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Who Is Responsible for Clearing Snow from Sidewalks in New York?

Who Is Responsible For Clearing Snow From Sidewalks In New York?

One of the greatest challenges New Yorkers face every winter is the accumulation of snow. When the city sidewalks become slick with snow and ice, the potential for serious slip-and-fall injuries increases exponentially. This public safety hazard is why New York City requires property owners and managers to remove snow and ice from the public sidewalks adjacent to their buildings. If they fail to do so in a timely manner, the city may fine them. Furthermore, their negligence can lead to liability for any resulting injuries.

Timeframe for Snow and Ice Removal

New York State has stringent property maintenance laws in place. All property owners must take reasonable steps to remove snow and eliminate ice in a timely fashion. In New York City, property owners, managers, lessees, or tenants have four hours to remove ice and snow from public sidewalks around their properties after the snow has stopped falling. If they cannot remove hardened ice right away, they must spread sawdust or sand and clear the ice as soon as possible.

This four-hour timeframe does not apply between nine o’clock at night and seven o’clock in the morning. Furthermore, Queens and Staten Island instruct the responsible parties to begin the removal of snow and ice within four hours rather than requiring them to have completed the process within that timeframe.

Penalties for Violations

If a building owner or property manager fails to clear the sidewalk of snow and ice, they may face the following penalties under New York Code Section 16-123:

  • First offense – A fine of $10–$150
  • Second offense within a year – A fine of $150–$250
  • Third or subsequent offense within a year – A fine of $250–$350


Liability for Falls on Icy Sidewalks in New York City

In addition to the above penalties, a property owner may be civilly liable if someone injures themselves in a slip-and-fall accident on their premises. However, a successful claim must demonstrate that the person responsible for the property:

  • Allowed the hazardous condition to exist by failing to clear the snow or ice quickly enough
  • Knew that there was snow or ice on the premises but failed to take steps to clear it
  • Should have known about the snow or ice because a reasonable person responsible for the property would have taken the necessary steps to correct the unsafe condition


If the accident occurred during a blizzard, you might be unable to hold the property owner accountable for your injuries unless they somehow made the conditions more dangerous. Speak to one of our experienced slip-and-fall attorneys if you are unsure whether your circumstances qualify you for a claim.

How an Attorney Can Help

A slip-and-fall accident can have devastating consequences for your life and finances. You may face enormous medical bills, unpaid time off work, and many other injury-related costs. The attorneys at The Mandel Law Firm believe that you should not be on the hook for an accident that was not your fault.

However, proving liability for a slip-and-fall accident on an icy sidewalk can be challenging. An experienced New York City personal injury lawyer can investigate the situation and gather evidence demonstrating that the property owner’s negligence led directly to your injury. One of our seasoned attorneys will also be able to negotiate with the insurance company and fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve. If necessary, we can take the at-fault party to court.

Contact The Mandel Law Firm Today

If you have suffered injuries in a slip-and-fall accident on an icy sidewalk, contact The Mandel Law Firm today. Our attorneys will work to recover the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (646) 779-1441, or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about your legal options.


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