Can you bring a case against a property owner or homeowner if you slip and fall during a snowstorm in front of or on their property?

The answer is “maybe.”

Here is what I mean.

In order to prevail in a slip and fall casein New York involving either snow or ice, I have to show that the property owner either knew of the dangerous condition and failed to take action or should have known of the dangerous condition and failed to take corrective action. In legal terms, that is known as actual notice or constructive notice.

If the homeowner did not know of the dangerous condition, how then can they be held responsible for fixing something they had no knowledge about?

On the other hand, if a homeowner should reasonably have had an idea that the weather conditions would create a dangerous situation and then fail to act or take preventive measures, the homeowner may ultimately be responsible.

In order to evaluate whether the property owner is responsible for your injuries when you slipped and fell on ice or snow, there are many factors an attorney needs to know to determine responsibility, also known as liability.

If a homeowner shovels his walkway in the middle of a massive storm, is it reasonable to expect that additional snow will continue to accumulate after he has shoveled the first time? If it is likely that the temperatures will drop, does the homeowner or property owner have an obligation to put down salt or sand to make a safe passageway on his property?

If a snow plow clears a parking lot and then the temperatures rise during the day causing the snow to melt toward the drain, if the temperatures drop overnight, should the property owner reasonably be expected to know that the melting snow will create a thin layer of ice that may not be visible to the naked eye? That is often known as Black ice.


Black ice arises when snow has been cleared away, it melts, and then a thin layer of water travels across the pavement. When the temperatures drop, that thin layer of water freezes and becomes almost transparent. Someone walking across the parking lot may not recognize that very thin layer of ice since it looks transparent. There are some cases where a property owner will be held responsible for failing to take reasonable steps to properly clear the parking lot or pathway in light of changing temperatures and snow storm conditions.


Injured victims often overlook the possibility that they may have also contributed to their own accident. This is something that we explore as we determine the facts surrounding your particular accident.

Why do you need to know this information?

Chances are you suffered an injury during the course of a snowstorm or shortly afterward and want to know if you have a valid case against a property owner or homeowner.

To learn how a snowplow company and a homeowner's association were legally responsible for a woman who slipped on black ice, I invite you to watch the video below...

To learn more, I encourage you to pick up the phone and call me. I can answer your legal questions. I answer questions like yours every day. You can reach me at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail [email protected]. I welcome your call.

Gerry Oginski
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NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer
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