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Beautiful leaves can be a serious autumn hazard

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You probably love the changing leaves in New York as fall sets in, as most people do. Often, people flock to the countryside just to look at them. However, as beautiful as they are, it’s important for property owners to remember that they can also be a serious hazard.

When the leaves fall and cover the ground, they can turn into a catalyst for a slip and fall accident. This is especially true on sidewalks and the front steps. If it rains, the leaves can become slimy and slippery, making this hazard even worse.

It’s very important for property owners to rake up leaves as soon as they fall. At the very least, the leaves need to be removed from the common walkways and raked into the yard. It’s best to bundle them all up and put them by the curb so that they can be taken away.

One of the biggest things that owners need to remember is that cleaning up once isn’t good enough. Over the weeks in which the leaves fall, cleaning has to be done at least once every 24 hours. If the wind kicks up, owners may need to do a handful of cleanups per day. This requires constant monitoring.

Owners shouldn’t assume that there is no danger just because they removed the leaves in the morning; a slip and fall accident could still easily happen in the afternoon, on a fresh coat of leaves. Having a set schedule for raking and removal is a great way to make sure this doesn’t happen.

If you slip on fallen and neglected leaves, injuring yourself in the process, you may be able to seek financial compensation.

Source: ODwyer & Bernstien LLP, “Premises Liability,” accessed Sep. 18, 2015

Jason Fuiman

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Co-Managing Partner and Chair of O'Dwyer & Bernstien's Labor & Employee Benefits practice, Jason has over twenty years of experience in the New York legal industry.