New York Slip and Fall Lawyer
Were you or a loved one injured in a slip and fall on someone else’s property? Make sure you speak with an experienced New York slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights. Contact us today for a free confidential consultation.
Slip and fall accidents are a relatively common accident in New York, but it can cause serious injuries that could affect you for the rest of your life. If you were hurt, contact a New York slip and fall lawyer to have your potential claim evaluated.
What Is a Slip and Fall?
Slip and fall accidents occur when someone slips or trips because of a hazard that exists on property that belongs to another person or entity. The person is injured in some way as a result of the accident. Slip and fall accidents are known as premises liability, a branch of law. Under this area of civil law, a property owner or their agent has a duty to keep the property reasonably safe to keep others from being injured.
The most common slip and falls include slippery surfaces; puddles; spills; unsafe stairways; falling from a balcony, porch, stoop, or terrace; tripping or twisting an ankle because of a problem with a sidewalk or driveway; ice and snow build-up that wasn’t properly cleared; parking lots in serious disrepair; elevators and escalators; cluttered aisles or floors located in stores; loose carpet; poor lighting; a water leak; spilled food or drinks; and poor design of the area where the accident happened.
When Is a Property Owner Responsible for a Slip and Fall?
As mentioned above, a slip and fall accident is part of an area of law known as premises liability. A property owner is responsible for injuries caused by a slip and fall if they have an obligation to maintain their property in a safe condition for invitees. An invitee is someone who is invited to the property. This can be someone who is invited to an event such as a birthday party, a barbeque, or a wedding; someone who is considered a patron of a restaurant, clothing store, grocery store, or other place where goods or services are offered; someone such as a houseguest, house sitter, pet sitter, or baby sitter who visits the property. There are many other instances where a property owner may be considered liable for a slip and fall. If you believe that a property owner is responsible for your injuries, schedule an appointment with a New York slip and fall lawyer to discuss the facts surrounding your case.
When Slip and Fall Accidents Happen Because of Ice or Snow
New York is no stranger to inclement winter weather. Ice and snow can cause slip and fall accidents. Property owners have a duty to take reasonable action (and a reasonable amount of time) to remove snow and ice. This includes parking lots and some sidewalks. However, property owners are not generally required to go out in the middle of a snowstorm to clean up their sidewalk and the parking lot. If you slip and fall in the middle of a winter storm, the property owner may not be liable for your injuries.
The Elements of a Slip and Fall
There are specific elements that must be present for you to have a successful claim. If you believe that your slip and fall meets these requirements, talk with a qualified New York slip and fall lawyer:
- The property owner or their agent had an obligation to make sure that their property was reasonably safe.
- The property owner or their agent was negligent and did not fulfill their obligation to maintain the property in a way that is considered reasonable.
- The negligence of the property owner or their agent was the direct cause of your fall.
- You had actual injuries or losses that you suffered because of the fall caused by their negligence.
Slipping and falling isn’t enough to warrant a successful claim. You must have actual physical injuries, emotional injuries, property damage, or another form of actual loss for your claim to possibly be successful.
Negligence is an essential element for a successful claim. Negligence on the part of the property owner or their agent is determined by the type of location where the accident occurred (such as someone’s home, a private venue hosting an event, or a retail establishment of some kind). For example, a grocery store has a duty to inspect their property to ensure it is safe. They also have a duty to repair dangerous conditions or, where necessary, warn their customers about them. Home owners also have an obligation to maintain their property. They must also take reasonable steps to keep their property free of hazards or warn those who visit that the hazards exist. The State and City also have obligations related to the safe upkeep of public property, too.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall
If you’re hurt in a slip and fall:
- Report the accident. This could involve calling the police (non-emergency) if you don’t have a serious injury, notifying the manager on duty in a retail establishment, or informing the homeowner. The police can take an informational report that documents what happened. Store managers can also create an incident report. While a homeowner may not take an actual report, it can be reported to their insurance company.
- Get medical care as soon as you can. If you hit your head, break a bone, hurt your neck, hurt your back, or have another serious injury, call 911. Those are medical emergencies. If you have an injury that you don’t believe is a medical emergency or even if you don’t think that you’re hurt at all, you still need medical attention. You could be hurt and not know it because of the adrenaline rush that often occurs during an accident. Minor injuries can get significantly worse if they are not treated. Many internal injuries don’t have symptoms until it’s too late.
- Take photos of the accident scene. It’s important that you document the scene. This includes where you were and why the fall happened. You can also take pictures of your injuries.
- Get contact information from witnesses. This includes the name, address, and telephone number for any person who saw what happened. This information can be helpful for the insurance company and for your lawyer.
- Be careful about what you say after the slip and fall. Don’t admit any guilt. Don’t blame yourself. Don’t argue about how the slip and fall was caused. It’s important that you protect your potential claim. If you accept any sort of responsibility, even if it is just a slip of the tongue, you could reduce the likelihood that you’ll receive financial compensation. Instead, focus only on relaying the facts.
- Don’t throw away the shoes or wash the clothes. Your shoes and clothes could be evidence that can be used to prove negligence.
- Call a New York slip and fall lawyer as soon as you can. Don’t wait. A lawyer can help you by dealing with the potential defendant and any insurance company that may get involved. This is important because an insurance company could offer you a settlement that doesn’t pay you what you deserve. If you agree to a settlement, you could lose your legal right to sue. A New York slip and fall lawyer has the job of looking out for your best interest.