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Has your landlord shoveled and salted?

New York City has become a winter wonderland as the Weather Channel reports that snowfall totals in Central Park climbed to more than two feet. As snow removal crews work overtime to clear streets and haul away mountains of the fluffy white stuff, city residents were required to have the sidewalks outside their homes shoveled by 11 a.m. yesterday.

For those residents without snow blowers, the herculean task of clearing the required four-foot wide path down the sidewalk can be downright dangerous. The New York Times reported that at least six of the deaths that are being linked to the monster winter storm involved residents who were attempting to shovel their sidewalks and walkways.

For New York City residents that live in rental units, it is the landlord's responsibility to ensure that the sidewalk in front of and walkways surrounding a dwelling are clear of snow and ice. Landlords who fail to ensure that sidewalks and walkways are passable and free of potential slip and fall hazards may face fines from the city. Additionally, in the event that a tenant or guest suffers injuries after slipping and falling on an icy patch, he or she may choose to take legal action against a landlord.

Slip-and-fall injuries can be serious in nature and result in an individual suffering broken bones, head trauma, sprains and painful contusions. Frequently, the financial costs associated with these types of injuries are significant and may include medical bills, rehabilitation services and lost wages.

New York City tenants who have suffered injury or harm due to a landlord's negligence would be wise to discuss their case with an attorney who handles premise liability matters.

Source: The New York Times, "New Yorkers, You Must Shovel by 11 A.M.," Andy Newman, Jan. 24, 2016

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