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Premises Liability

New York City Snow Removal Requirements

During the winter months, the city of New York requires property owners and renters to clear snow and ice from the sidewalks outside their buildings. This helps to keep pedestrians safe and reduce the risk of a slip and fall accident. The city released a guidebook outlining what exactly property owners, managers, and residents are required to do after a snowfall.

 According to the New York City Department of Sanitation, homeowners, property managers, and tenants should prepare for the winter season by gathering the necessary supplies for clearing snow. This could include shovels, plows, and salt, since salt naturally melts ice. The department also recommends hiring an outside service when the snowfall is too heavy for you to clear on your own.

 The guidebook states that anyone who owns, leases, rents, or manages a property can be held responsible for clearing the sidewalks adjacent to the building of snow and ice. You do not need to clean the snow and ice while the snow is falling, or even immediately after it stops snowing. The department lays out a timeline for when snow must be removed, depending on the time it stops snowing. For example, if it stopped snowing sometime between 7 a.m. and 4:59 p.m., you must clear the snow and ice within four hours after it stopped.

Protect Yourself and Passersby

 Removing snow from a sidewalk can be a very strenuous activity, depending on the amount of snow you have to shovel. If you wait until it stops falling, Consumer Reports recommends that you remove the snow in layers, and only carry as much snow as you are comfortable lifting. Between 1990 and 2006, about 11,500 people injured themselves while shoveling snow each year. It’s important to use the right tools and ask for help when you need it.

 Clearing the snow from the area around your building will help protect pedestrians passing by, but will also help protect you from being held liable for an accident on your premises. By clearing a path for people to pass safely, it is less likely that someone will slip and fall on a snowy or icy surface and hit you with a premises liability lawsuit. The law varies from state to state, but in New York, the property owner will be held liable if someone was injured while walking on snow that was not cleared in a timely manner, as this constitutes a hazardous condition.

 Property owners who do not comply with this mandate will face fines up to $350.

 Contact a New York Attorney

If you were involved in an accident in New York City, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, including your medical expenses, lost wages, more. The New York slip and fall attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP are ready to assist you. We’ll do the legal legwork so you can focus on healing. Call our office today at (212) 779-0057 to speak with a member of our team.

Truck slams into Sunset Park outdoor dining area

Three people were injured and taken to the hospital after a pickup truck accidentally drove into the outdoor seating area set up by L’Wren restaurant in Sunset Park. Thankfully, initial reports indicate that none of them have sustained life-threatening injuries.

Many New Yorkers knew that this was a possibility as restaurants started reopening with outdoor seating that extends into the street. The city has issued “siting criteria” for these new kinds of temporary seating areas that require barrier elements and that the barriers be at least 8′ from crosswalks.

Sunset Park

Fox 5 NY reported on this incident.

Falling Building Debris Poses Safety Risk to New York Pedestrians

One New York City woman’s death caused by falling debris has shined a light on safety infractions of hundreds of other city buildings, according to The New York Times.

Sixty-year-old architect Erica L. Tishman was killed after a piece of debris fell from a building she was walking past in December of 2019. The city’s Department of Buildings issued the owners of the 17-story office building a fine in April of that year because the terra cotta facade above the 15th floor was deteriorating and could potentially break off, putting pedestrians in danger. Himmel + Meringoff Properties, the building’s owner, paid the $1,250 fine but apparently did not repair the problem.

After Tishman’s death, the Department of Buildings launched surprise inspections at the city’s buildings, finding 220 other structures in violation. The Department issued a number of Class 1 facade violations, which are “immediately hazardous” to pedestrians but are not necessarily major violations. Class 1 violations include loose masonry, bricks, or stones on the building’s exterior, or cracks in its facade that could injure passersby.

Falling debris, whether from a construction site or from shoddy masonry, can potentially pose serious health risks to workers or pedestrians. As was the case with Tishman, who died before first responders even arrived at the scene, head injuries are the most common and most severe results of falling debris. The victim might experience a traumatic brain injury such as a concussion or contusion, paralysis, a spinal cord injury, or even blindness. They might also need treatment for cuts, bruises, broken bones, and neck injuries.

When someone is injured on another person’s property, due to the property owner’s willful negligence or irresponsibility, the victim or victim’s family can file a premises liability lawsuit. In this type of suit, the plaintiff must show that:

  • they were on the defendant’s property legally
  • the property owner should have known about the dangerous condition that caused the accident but for some reason didn’t fix it or provide ample warning
  • the property owner’s negligence caused the victim’s injury

When a pedestrian is injured by a falling object, they are eligible to file a premises liability lawsuit to win compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If the pedestrian died because of their injury, their family may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Contact a New York Pedestrian Accident Attorney

If you were injured by a piece of falling debris, you might be eligible to file a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner. The attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP have years of experience representing injured pedestrians and want to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call Hach & Rose, LLP or contact us online to receive a free consultation.



How is a slip and fall accident different from a trip and fall?

If you were hurt in a slip, trip, or fall accident in New York City, you could be owed significant compensation if someone else’s negligence caused you to get hurt.

First, it is important to learn the definitions of both a trip and a slip. A slip and fall accident occurs when a person loses traction with the ground, causing their foot to slide out from underneath them. Usually, they fall backward and might sustain injuries to their back, neck, back of the head, or hip. Wet, icy, or slippery surfaces put people at risk of slipping. Additionally, a person could slip on any number of objects scattered on the ground like beads or salt.

In contrast, when a person trips, it is because an object on the floor blocked their path. You might trip over uneven floorings such as broken tile or a cracked sidewalk, hazards that were concealed by poor lighting, or random objects left on the floor. When the plaintiff trips, they usually fall forward. This forward motion could result in injuries to the head and face, elbows, knees, or arms.

Depending on what injuries you suffered, you could be eligible to seek compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain, suffering and emotional trauma
  • Other losses

Slip and fall accidents tend to result in more severe injuries because the head, neck, and spine are at greater risk of injury, and treatment could include lengthy physical rehabilitation.

Regardless of the nature of your case, you and your lawyer will need to prove that the property owner’s negligence caused your accident. Sometimes, the defendant will try to avoid compensating you by suggesting that you were partially responsible for your own injury. If the jury determines that you were somewhat responsible for your injury, you will only receive a portion of the total amount.

Contact a New York Slip and Fall Attorney

If you were injured because you slipped and fell on someone else’s property, you might be entitled to compensation. The personal injury attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP can help determine how much compensation you could win from your case. Call our office today for a free consultation to discuss your case at (212) 779-0057.

Escalator Injuries: How Do They Happen?

Escalator InjuriesIf an escalator is defective, poorly maintained, or otherwise unsafe for use, innocent people could be severely hurt or killed. Some of the most common types of injuries that occur on escalators include:

  • Neck injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  •  Cuts or lacerations
  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Internal organ injuries

Other types of elevator or escalator accident injuries could include possible entanglement injuries such as choking hazards caused by clothing or body parts being caught in machinery. Some people may also suffer electrocution injuries in some cases.

Escalator accidents can happen anywhere, at any time. Escalators are commonly found at: 

  •  Shopping malls
  • Amusement Parks
  • Hotels and Resorts
  • Office Buildings
  • Movie Theaters

An important thing that you can do after an elevator or escalator accident is to take pictures of everything at your accident scene. If there is a clear issue with the safety of an escalator or elevator, try to get as many photographs as you can of the hazard from lots of different angles and distances. 

You need to be very careful if you are contacted by an insurance company for the negligent property owner in your case soon after your accident. Remember that all insurers are only concerned with trying to limit what they pay you to keep their costs low, so any agent who is telling you that you do not need to worry about hiring a lawyer because you will be taken care of is only trying to lull you into a false sense of security.

To determine liability for an escalator accident, your attorney will have to go through many different kinds of evidence relating to the case, including any security video, work records for the escalator or elevator, and inspection reports. Evidence could also include correspondence between a property owner and elevator or escalator company, service reports, and maintenance logs. 

This requires an experienced injury attorney who knows what to look for to build a strong case on your behalf. If you suffered severe injuries in an escalator accident in New York, contact Hach & Rose, LLP at (212) 779-0057 to discuss your rights and legal options right away.

What you need to know about toxic mold

toxic moldMold is a relatively common occurrence in homes and buildings, especially in dark, damp areas such as basements and bathrooms. Generally, the presence of mold is harmless, if unsightly. But certain types of mold, if present in large enough amounts, can pose a health risk to people living or working in that building. This could give rise to a premises liability or workers’ compensation case.

What type of mold is harmful?

Chances are, you’ve spotted at least a tiny bit of mold in your own bathroom. This won’t cause you any harm. But two well-known types of mold can potentially be dangerous if they are present in high concentrations.

The first is Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold. Black mold usually grows after a building has been flooded because it needs constant hydration to flourish, according to the CDC. Black mold can be toxigenic, meaning it releases toxins from its spores. For someone with preexisting health conditions, these toxins could take a severe toll.

The second type of harmful mold is aspergillus, which is less dangerous than black mold but more common. Like black mold, aspergillus grows in buildings that have been flooded and can cause health complications for people who already have asthma or allergies.

What are the symptoms of mold poisoning?

If you have been exposed to a high concentration of toxic mold for a prolonged period, the chances are that you have developed a mold-related illness. According to Healthline, these symptoms usually mirror those of a cold or flu and could be fatal for people with asthma or lung problems.

Common symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Itchy, red skin and eyes

If you have allergies or asthma, you may experience:

  • Chest colds
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Exhaustion
  • Persistent coughing at night
  • Headaches

Contact a New York toxic mold lawyer

If you contracted illness because toxic mold existed in your home or workplace, be sure to speak with an attorney right away. The legal team at Hach & Rose, LLP could help you determine if you have a valid personal injury claim and could help you get the justice you’re owed. Call us at (212) 779-0057 to discuss your legal options today.

Fire Injuries in Buildings: How Do They Happen?

Fires in buildingsFires are common in buildings during winter because of the dry air and strong winds. Property owners have a legal responsibility to reduce the risk of a fire breaking out in their buildings and should take precautions to protect people in case of a fire, such as by installing sprinklers and clearly marking emergency exits. When property owners fail to do these things, they may be liable if someone was injured because of a fire in their building. 

When the property owner fails to mandate certain safety protocols or install basic precautions that could warn of or even prevent a fire, they have shown negligence. Some specific examples are:

  • Failing to install or maintain fire alarms
  • Failing to install or maintain sprinkler systems
  • Failing to clearly mark fire exits
  • Failing to keep fire exits clear of potential obstructions
  • Failing to address fire hazards such as improperly installed electrical wiring

According to Stanford Children’s Health, installing both smoke alarms and sprinkler systems can reduce fire-related deaths by 82% and injuries by 46%.

Common injuries sustained in building fires

  • Burns
    • First-degree: Only affects the outer layer of skin, results in moderate pain and redness
    • Second-degree: Harms the epidermis and dermis layers of skin, results in sharp pain, swelling, blistering
    • Third-degree: Injures skin down to the subcutaneous layer, results in extreme and unbearable pain, burned skin may appear charred
    • Fourth-degree: Affects victims down to the muscles and bones of injured areas, may cause permanent loss of sensation and immobility of that region
  • Smoke inhalation
  • Asphyxiation (suffocating)

Contact a New York premises liability attorney

If you sustained injuries due to a property owner’s negligence, Hach & Rose, LLP can help you get justice. Our personal injury attorneys have over 100 combined years of experience dealing with premises liability cases and are prepared to assist with yours. Call us at (212) 779-0057 or reach out to us online.

Poisonous Holiday Plants

Poisonous Holiday PlantsAs residents in New York City prepare for the holidays, people will be lining their homes with gorgeous seasonal greenery such as holly, mistletoe, yew, ivy, and poinsettias. However, what many people don’t realize is that these plants can be toxic — or even fatal — if ingested. Unfortunately, children are the most at-risk of being poisoned.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “over 300 children in the United States . . . are treated in an emergency department, and two children die [from accidental poisoning].” By becoming educated on how these holiday plants can impact the health of your child, you can help reduce the risk of poisoning in your own home.

  • Holly – While the leaves of a holly plant are non-toxic, the berries can be poisonous if ingested. In children and pets, symptoms can be seen if even two berries are consumed. Swallowing these berries can cause diarrhea, vomiting, drowsiness, and dehydration. In severe cases, a trip to the emergency room may be necessary.
  • Mistletoe – Some species of this plant contain viscotoxins, which are poisonous proteins that can cause gastrointestinal distress, a slowed heartbeat, and other reactions. All parts of this plant (including berries, stems, and leaves) are considered toxic.
  • Yew – Yew plants contain the poisonous chemical compounds, Taxine and Taxol. In a 2015 study focused on the toxicity of the plant, researchers found that “patients who ingest a lethal dose [of yew] frequently die due to cardiogenic shock, in spite of resuscitation efforts.” The berries and needles of this plant are poisonous.
  • Ivy – English ivy, otherwise known as Hedera Helix, is toxic to both humans and animals. The leaves can cause severe contact dermatitis, blisters, and skin inflammation. The berries, which are a deep purple color, may cause a burning feeling in the digestive tract, breathing issues, gastrointestinal problems, delirium, hallucinations, and even seizures.
  • Poinsettias – Ingesting the leaves of a poinsettia can lead to mild cases of nausea and vomiting in humans. In pets, these symptoms can be more severe. If the sap of the plant comes into contact with the skin, it can lead to mild irritation.

If your child or loved one has ingested a toxic amount of any of these plants, do not hesitate to call the Poison Control Center for immediate advice. While a trip to the emergency room may be necessary, it is preferable to losing a loved one.

Contact a New York Premises Liability Lawyer

The holidays should be spent spreading cheer and showing generosity, not worrying about unexpected cases of poisoning. If you or your child became ill due to a negligent property owner’s failure to warn you about dangerous plants in their home or on their property,  call Hach & Rose, LLP at (212) 779-0057 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights. 

Christmas Tree Fires: How Common Are They?

Christmas Tree Fires: How Common Are TheyFor those who celebrate Christmas, Christmas trees are an essential holiday decoration. Real Christmas trees can brighten up a home, spread holiday warmth, and help the environment. Unfortunately, they can also be a fire hazard. According to a report from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Christmas tree fires caused an average of 160 home fires, fifteen injuries, and three deaths from 2013 to 2017. Annually, these fires contributed to approximately $10 million in property damage.

Home fires are a serious matter, no matter what the cause may be. According to the NFPA, fires involving Christmas trees have much higher fatality rates than fires caused by other factors. Researchers have estimated that for every 52 Christmas tree fires, there is one death. Compared to the national average of one death for every 135 reported house fires, Christmas tree fires are almost three times more likely to result in a fatality.

The most common causes of Christmas tree fires involve electrical distribution or lighting equipment. According to researchers from the NFPA, 44 percent of home Christmas tree fires were attributed to these factors. Twenty-five percent of Christmas tree fires involved a heat source, such as candles or space heaters, being too close to the tree. In almost 40 percent of reported cases, Christmas tree fires began in the living room.

During any time of year, it is essential to monitor your home for fire hazards. The holidays are no different. To ensure that your home is not at risk for a Christmas tree fire, you can take the following precautions:

  • Place Christmas trees away from flammable heat sources, such as candles or space heaters.
  • Make sure that any lights you decorate your tree with are not defective or damaged in any way. If you notice that your lights have cracked plugs, frayed wires, or bent prongs, do not use them.
  • Do not leave any lights or electronics on your Christmas tree plugged in while unattended. Be sure to unplug decorations on your Christmas tree every night before going to bed.
  • Do not leave children or pets unattended around your tree for long periods
  • Make sure that your tree is adequately hydrated. Dried-out trees are significantly more likely to catch fire, making them serious fire hazards.

 Contact a New York Premises Liability Attorney

The holidays should be a time for celebration and happiness, not for tragedy and loss. If you or someone you know has suffered injury from fire caused by a negligent party, the experienced premises liability attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP will be there to help you get justice and fair compensation if a negligent party caused a fire that harmed you. Call us today at (212) 779-0057 to schedule a free consultation. 


Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent KillerPerhaps one of the most frightening aspects of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning is the fact that most victims don’t even realize when it’s happening to them. This is because CO is a colorless, odorless gas that humans cannot detect with their senses alone. Often times, victims don’t even realize something is wrong until they begin showing signs of sickness. Unfortunately, CO poisoning claims the lives of hundreds of people each year.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 25 thousand Americans must seek medical attention for serious cases of CO poisoning every year. Annually, an average of approximately 400 people each year die because of fatal CO exposure.

CO fumes are created by the incomplete combustion of fuels within machinery such as cars, trucks, stoves, small engines, grills, lanterns, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. If these CO fumes build up indoors, they can slowly and silently poison both humans and animals who breathe them in. According to the CDC, “People who are sleeping, intoxicated, or otherwise incapacitated can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms.”

 It is extremely important to recognize the signs of potential CO poisoning within your own home, so you can reduce the risk of potential illness or death. Some of the most common symptoms of CO poisoning in humans include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Nausea, vomiting, and upset stomach
  • Weakness
  • Chest pain
  • “Flu-like” symptoms

CO poisoning is a silent danger that many Americans unknowingly face on a daily basis. To ensure that you and your family remain safe, make sure that your home is outfitted with an up-to-date, battery-operated CO detector that will immediately alert you should danger arise.

Contact a New York Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Attorney

If you or a loved one suffered a CO-related injury or if you lost a loved one due to the negligence of a property owner, know that help is available to you. At Hach & Rose, LLP, our experienced premises liability attorneys will seek justice on your behalf and take every necessary action to obtain the financial compensation you deserve.

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