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Slip and fall accidents – also referred to as trip and fall accidents – are among the leading causes of injuries among people of all age groups in New York. Data from the New York State Department of Health shows that slip-and-fall-related injuries are the leading cause of hospitalization among children in the 0-14 age group and adults over the age of 25.

Older people – especially those over the age of 65 – are particularly vulnerable to slip and fall accidents. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that slip and fall injuries are among the leading causes of death among people over the age of 65.

Under New York law, residential and commercial property owners are required to provide a safe and hazard-free environment for all their visitors. If they fail to do so – and if a visitor is injured as a result – they can be held responsible for the injuries and other losses suffered by the visitor.

Key Elements of a Slip and Fall/Premises Liability Case

To be able to file a premises liability claim against a property owner, your slip-and-fall case must meet the following criteria.

  • Your presence on the property in question was legal, which means:
    • You were asked to visit the property by the owner.
    • The property was open to the public and you chose to visit it.
    • You were working there at the time of the accident.
  • The owner of the property had prior knowledge of the hazard that caused the accident or should have known about it.
  • The owner of the property did not take any steps to fix the hazard or warn you about the hazard.
  • The property owner’s negligence caused or contributed to the slip-and-fall accident.
  • You suffered injuries and other losses (if any) as a result of the accident.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in New York?

  • Wet and slippery floors
  • Uneven floors
  • Broken or cracked floors
  • Spilled liquids (water, beverages, liquid soap, and so on)
  • Broken stairs
  • Broken handrails
  • Exposed electrical wiring
  • Poorly lit walkways

In addition to this, there are other hazards that could pose a threat to your safety as well. For instance, if a property is being repaired or renovated, the owner has a duty to inform you about the construction activities going on and warn you about the presence of construction materials, debris, and other such hazards on the premises.

If they do not do so, and if you are injured as a result of their negligence, you have the right to bring a premises liability claim against them and demand compensatory damages.

Common Injuries Resulting from Slip and Fall Accidents

  • Bruises, cuts, and scrapes
  • Lacerations
  • Sprains
  • Tendon and ligament tears
  • Dislocations
  • Contusions
  • Fractures
  • Internal injuries
  • Neck and shoulder injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries

What Should You Do after a Slip and Fall Accident in New York?

Document the Accident Scene

If you are able to, take multiple pictures of the accident scene, the hazard that caused the slip and fall injuries, the surrounding area, and your injuries.

Talk to Witnesses

Talk to people who might have witnessed the accident and obtain their name and contact information. You can build a strong case against the at-fault property owner if you have witnesses who can back up your story.

Inform the Property Owner

Contact the property owner right away and inform them of the accident. Do not get angry or emotional with the owner, as it can escalate the situation. At the same time, do not say anything that could be construed as an admission of guilt or fault. Keep it simple and just tell them what happened.

Seek Medical Attention

Get medical help as soon as you can, even if you do not have any visible signs of injuries. If you suffered an internal injury, you might not exhibit any symptoms right away. Also, even if you suffered a serious injury, you might not feel any pain right away, due to the overflow of adrenaline in your body. So, it’s pivotal to get yourself thoroughly checked by a physician.

Moreover, the physician’s report and the medical records that document the severity of the injuries you suffered and the treatment you received are the most important piece of evidence you should submit in your premises liability case.

The amount of compensation awarded in these cases is directly proportional to the extent of the victim’s injuries. So, extensive documentation of your treatment and rehabilitation is of the utmost importance.

Contact a Slip and Fall Injury Attorney

Contact a New York-based attorney who is experienced in handling slip and fall injury cases. Based on your account of what happened, the attorney can tell you whether you have a case against the property owner or not. If they tell you that you have a case, retain them as legal counsel, file a claim against the at-fault property owner, and seek compensatory damages for your injuries.

Is It Possible to File a Premises Liability Case Even If the Victim Was Partially at Fault?

Absolutely! New York is one of the few states in the country that follow the doctrine of pure comparative negligence, which allows victims to sue the at-fault party even if they were partially at fault for the accident. The compensation awarded to the victim in such cases is usually reduced based on the extent of their liability.

For instance, if it is found that the property owner was 80% at fault for the accident and you were 20% at fault, the compensation awarded will be reduced by 20%.

The Cost of Slip and Fall Accidents

A slip and fall accident can result in serious injuries that can leave you bedridden for weeks. The cost of treating these injuries can be prohibitively expensive, especially if the physician recommends treatments that are not covered by your health insurance plan.

Moreover, the sudden, unexpected loss of income can make it harder for your family to make ends meet, especially if you happen to be the main breadwinner of your family.

This is why you should contact a New York personal injury attorney as soon as you are able to and seek compensation for your injuries from the at-fault property owner. While the compensation you receive might not ease your physical pain or suffering, it can help you keep up with the medical expenses and cover your family’s essential needs until you are ready to work again.

Under New York law, victims of slip and fall accidents have the right to seek compensation for the following damages.

  • Expenses related to your treatment and rehabilitation
  • Cost of psychotherapy and counseling
  • Cost of long-term care (in case of a disability)
  • Cost of mobility aids and the expenses associated with modifying your home and vehicle (in case of a disability)
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Diminished quality of life

Do Not Accept an Offer of Compromise

If you suffered extensive injuries in the accident and if you have a strong case against the defendant, they might reach out to you and try to get you to agree to an out-of-court settlement.

The problem with such settlements is that the compensation offered by the insurance company is usually far lower than the amount you can recover through litigation. So, do not accept any offers from the insurance company without the explicit approval of your attorney.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Cases in New York?

New York law requires you to file a premises liability case within three years from the date of the accident.

The Role of an Attorney in Premises Liability Cases

In order to obtain a favorable outcome in your premises liability case, your attorney will take several steps, which include:

  • Investigating the circumstances that led to your accident, determining why and how it happened, and determining who can be held liable for your injuries
  • Collecting the evidence needed to establish the liability of the property owner and other liable parties, if any
  • Determining the amount of compensation that can be sought – depending on the extent of your injuries and other losses you suffered
  • Negotiating with the insurance company
  • Preparing the necessary counter-arguments to refute the claims of the property owner, if they try to blame you for the accident
  • Recovering damages from the at-fault property owner through settlement or litigation

Choose the Best Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers in New York to Represent You

Since 1922, the personal injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP have represented countless injury victims and recovered well over $1 billion in compensatory damages. We have the legal knowledge, resources and experience to obtain a favorable outcome even in the most complicated of personal injury cases.

If you are injured or have lost a family member in a slip and fall accident, you might be able to file a premises liability case against the property owner and recover damages. Contact our law firm today at 1-800-660-2264 for a free consultation with one of our premises liability attorneys.


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