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Confusion contributing to slippery New York sidewalks

Man cannot control the weather. We can do what is within reasonable means to respond to extreme weather conditions like excessive snow and ice, but there are limits to what can be done to protect New York residents and overall conveniences.

But are the proper parties in parts of Queens doing enough to protect pedestrians from slip-and-fall accidents? The New York Daily News shares a picture of an elderly New Yorker who fell on a Queens sidewalk earlier this week. Without having exact numbers of residents who have been injured on slippery sidewalks in the area, there is still concern over the handling of sidewalks in the area.

There is more to this situation than answering whether it is a failure to remove snow or ice from the sidewalks that has led to at least the one woman's injuries. According to reports, there is confusion among various entities in New York regarding who is responsible to clear the snow and ice from the sidewalks.

Is it the Sanitation Department's duty? Is it in the hands of the Parks Department? Are other property owners failing to clear the walkways for their patrons? The answer to the matter is crucial not only for those who might have already fallen and suffered injuries but to others in New York who deserve to rely on the safe conditions of their city.

Someone who is injured in a fall, whether it was on a patch of ice or a broken sidewalk, might have legal options. They at least have a right to pursue a premises liability case against the party responsible for the property on which the accident took place. It is a scary thought, however, that not even the responsible parties might know what their responsibilities are.

Source: New York Daily News, "Ice-covered sidewalks continue to be a hazard in parts of Queens," Lisa L. Colangelo, Feb. 17, 2014

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