Slip and Fall cases present numerous unique challenges. Even though the facts show that you are owed compensation by the owner, in reality, you are likely to face multiple challenges with each move you make. It is important to take time to first recover, and it is one of the key reasons why you need to work with a lawyer. You will also increase your chances of receiving the maximum possible compensation amount.
At Cellino Law, we are committed to helping our clients with the following after a slip and fall accident:
- Consulting with top Bronx slip and fall lawyers to help in valuation of your case
- Ensuring that your rights are protected should the property manager or owner try blaming you for the accident
- Investigating the circumstances surrounding the case to establish the actual cause
- Confronting the insurance company if it attempts to devalue or deny your claim
Our team of highly skilled Bronx personal injury attorneys will work hard to build a strong case for you, which is backed by the strongest evidence. We first collect compelling evidence as well as the testimony of both professionals and witnesses before we start to negotiate your case with the insurance company or property owner to ensure that you get a good settlement amount. Should the offer received be unsatisfactory, our team of attorneys is never afraid to take the case to trial.
Your chances of securing a higher amount of compensation will be much higher if you have a lawyer representing you. Contact Cellino Law today, to learn more and discuss the legal options available to you. We offer our clients a free initial consultation.
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What Steps Should You Take After Being Injured In A Fall?
Research shows that more than 1 million people are taken to emergency rooms every year across the United States due to fall-related injuries. Just as is the case with other accidents, some people sustain minor injuries such as cuts and bruises while others sustain more serious injuries such as head injuries, concussions, broken hips, spinal cord damage, broken bones, etc. In some instances, the fall may lead to a fatality.
Fortunately, suffering a fall on another person’s property means that you could be eligible for compensation according to the law in Bronx, NY. It does not matter where that happens – it could be on public property, private property, home, or even business premises such as a restaurant or store – it is possible to take legal action following your slip and fall accident. But, what about the actions that you need to take?
Seeking Immediate Medical Attention
Following a slip and fall accident, the first thing you need to do is seek medical attention immediately. Always remember that timely diagnosis and prompt medical care can save your life. You should have your injuries checked out by a doctor not only to receive the necessary treatment but also to have medical records that will come in handy when it comes to filing for compensation. The medical records will help show the extent of your injuries and the damage inflicted. Some of the more serious injuries such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) will have immediate symptoms.
Reporting the Accident Without Delay
You need to alert either the company or individual in charge of the premises or property about your accident without delay. For example, if you had a slip and fall accident in a restaurant, you should notify the manager immediately. If the accident occurred in a rental apartment, you should inform the landlord. The entity that you inform about the accident should make a formal report of the accident and give you a copy of the same. If you must move from the accident scene to receive medical treatment, be sure to call back later and obtain a copy of the accident report.
Saying Very Little and Avoiding Sharing Details of the Incident
You should be very careful about what you say following the accident, no matter who you are talking to. Avoid getting emotional, arguing, admitting guilt, casting blame, or even explaining how the incident unfolded. Always remember that whatever you say can and may be used against you when it comes to calculating your compensation. Never allow the situation to escalate into an argument. Instead, report it in a straightforward manner.
Collecting the Contact Details of Any Available Witnesses
If there were any witnesses to the incident, you need to collect their names and contact details. The goal here is to have a way to get in touch with the witnesses whenever you need them to corroborate your version of the events that transpired should the owner of the property choose to present a different version of the story.
Taking Photos and/or Recording Video of the Accident Scene
It is important to ensure that you take as many photos of the accident scene as possible. The images captured should have enough detail and clearly show the area where you slip and fell. Don’t forget to take photos and videos of anything else that might be relevant to the accident, which include the scene, factors that contributed to the accident, as well as other elements. You should also ensure that the images and/or video footage have timestamps on them since that will be critical when you file for compensation.
Preserving All Clothing Items Worn at the Time of the Accident
Avoid washing the clothes and shoes that you were wearing at the time of the accident. The reason for this is that this is important evidence showing that the accident happened and that negligence was the reason why it did.
Contacting/Hiring a Lawyer
You need to get in touch with a lawyer in the Bronx, NY, immediately the accident happens. The premises liability attorney will help you gather important proof before it disappears. Furthermore, he/she will ensure that you don’t answer questions that aren’t relevant to the compensation claim or might affect your claim.
It is also advisable to contact a lawyer before signing anything or even starting negotiations with insurance providers. Keep in mind that insurance companies are just like any other business, which means that they are always looking for ways to minimize expenses or expenditure while increasing profits. That’s why they often try to give the least amount possible as compensation.
Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Usually Happen?
A slip and fall accident can happen anywhere in the Bronx or in any other city or state in the country, particularly when the people responsible don’t uphold safety, especially in public areas. Slip and fall accidents usually happen in the following areas:
- Unmarked wet floors
- Carpets that are not tacked down properly
- Icy or snowy parking lots or walkways
- Scaffolding on construction sites
- Poorly lit staircases or steps
People are often quick to blame themselves for slip and fall accidents, while in reality, the liability falls on the property manager, owner, or the individual responsible for maintaining the specific area, which essentially means that the accident and resultant injuries were due to their negligence.
Which Are Some of the Most Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents?
The Floor Safety Institute estimates that slip and falls are responsible for more than 1 million ER visits every year. Many victims of such accidents typically suffer from bruises, head trauma, bone fractures, and lacerations following the accident. Dangerous walking surfaces are perhaps the leading cause of slip and fall injuries. Still, there are numerous other dangerous conditions that are also known to cause slip and fall accidents, which include:
Wet, Uneven, or Slippery Surfaces
It is widely known that wet surfaces impact traction considerably. Things such as spills, a recently mopped floor, or a waxed floor can easily cause a slip and fall accident. In addition, things such as torn carpets, loose floorboards, and unanchored rugs and mats are potential hazards that may cause slip and falls.
When it comes to potential hazards outdoors, things such as ice, snow, and rain are all known to create potentially dangerous environments. Other potential hazards outdoors that can make a person fall are uneven or defective environments.
Walkway obstacles include such things as power cords, boxes, clutter, toys, shoes, equipment, etc. The list is virtually limitless.
Poor lighting is perhaps one of the leading potential hazards that causes slip and falls in staircases or buildings. In fact, it is one of the factors that creates an environment where the likelihood of falling accidents is quite high. Poor lighting can be a possible hazard even in non-hazardous environments.
Lack of Safety Features
Seniors are more likely to use railing to avoid falls. Installing rails that aren’t of the right height, not installing rails at all, or having loose handrails can cause a person to be injured in a fall. Wheel stops and speed bumps are other possible hazards that can lead to slip and falls. Such features should ideally not be installed directly on a pathway and if they must, they need to be marked with a bright color.
If a floor is dug or opened for construction purposes, it must be covered when not in use and signs erected indicating a warning. It also includes permanent grates and floor openings that need to be properly covered to ensure that people don’t trip.
Poorly Constructed or Designed Stairways
Handrails aren’t the only thing that can cause falls in buildings. Other features such as the stairs themselves can cause falls. All buildings are required to meet the stipulated county and state building codes. For example, stairs should meet certain height and depth minimum measurements, of which the difference in depth and height between each stair should not vary greatly.
The building code in New York requires all property managers to maintain escalators, elevators, curbs, and other building features based on acceptable standards.
Falls can happen just about anywhere, which means that a fall accident can happen at your place of work if you spend much of your time there. In fact, statistics show that many falls happen at people’s places of work.
Work-related deaths tend to be considerably more dangerous, particularly in risky industries such as construction. Work-related falls are rather common and are currently a leading cause of lost time. Workers often don’t attend work due to fall-related injuries compared to other reasons.
Fall-related accidents also account for many Workers’ Compensation requests with between 12- and 15- percent of requests relating directly to fall injuries. Research shows that the number actually increases with age. Work-related injuries tend to be fatal, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to their 2017 report, 31 workers lost their lives following work-related falls.
Fortunately, it is still possible for workers to receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits as long as the injuries were sustained at work. The reason for this is that employers are required by law to provide this type of coverage to employees. Injured employees are ideally compensated for lost wages, medical bills, as well as disability benefits in exchange for their right or ability to sue the employer should an accident occur. With that type of coverage, it will not matter who is actually at fault since the worker will be compensated regardless.
It is, however, important to remember that there’s usually a set limit to the amount that a worker can receive as well as the allowed time period. You might also be required to work with a doctor provided by the insurer. The insurance company will obviously try to drive your claim to the lowest possible amount. It is due to this reason that you need to hire a reputable Bronx slip and fall lawyer that’s familiar with the Workers’ Compensation Law.
As people age, they face challenges even for seemingly trivial tasks such as standing up. According to statistics from the New York State Department of Health, many elderly people living in NY lose their lives in fall-related accidents injuries while thousands are injured.
It was reported that 900,000 elderly people living in New York were rushed to the hospital due to fall-related injuries between 2005 and 2014. Of these, 8,000 succumbed to the injuries and lost their lives. In 2014 alone, 111,046 people in New York over 65 years of age went to the emergency room due to fall-related injuries. Of these, 52,310 had suffered serious injuries, while 1,203 succumbed to their injuries.
Who Is Liable for Your Injuries Following a Slip and Fall Accident in Bronx, NY?
Property owners and homeowners are responsible for ensuring that their premises are safe for both visitors and guests. If a property owner fails to address any safety issues, they can be held liable for injuries sustained in case of a fall. The safety condition that necessitates regular inspection typically depends on the reason why guests are on the premises. For instance, if guests are there for business purposes, the owner is required to regularly inspect the property and correct any issues likely to present a safety hazard.
If you are just visiting a friend, then the homeowner isn’t really required to inspect their property as often for possible safety hazards. If there are any safety concerns in the property, however, they are required to inform their guests beforehand. A property owner that fails to do that can be held liable if they were aware that you would probably visit their property.
Besides business owners and homeowners, landlords and government agencies too can be held liable for your fall injuries. That’s why it is so important to identify the persons responsible for the accident. The law in New York lets you seek compensation from the responsible parties. If you choose to work with Cellino Law, you can trust us to investigate the circumstances surrounding your case, identify the party responsible, and ultimately find out what caused the accident.
What’s the Value of My Slip and Fall Claim?
Slip and fall claims are unique and each case is different from the next. The reason for this is that each case has its own set of unique facts and circumstances that play a key role in determining the claim’s average value. Still, our experienced lawyers can offer you an estimate of a fair settlement amount by considering factors such as:
- The nature and extent of personal injuries sustained
- The extent of the non-economic damages such as emotional and physical suffering along with punitive damages
- Any loss of earnings and/or future earning capacity due to the injuries sustained
- Past and future medical expenses
The team of lawyers at Cellino Law will work hard to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Where necessary, our team will obtain the assistance of an economist and life care planner to get the value of some factors likely to affect the outcome of your compensation claim.
What Are Some of the Most Common Types of Injuries Caused By Slip and Fall Accidents?
Slip and fall accidents often cause injuries, as previously mentioned. While the injuries tend to be minor in most instances, they can be serious and sometimes even fatal. The severity of the injuries actually depends on the victim’s age, environment, and how the fall happens. If a worker falls while at work, his/her productivity may be affected and their health impacted negatively.
Having a good understanding of the common injuries that usually happen following a slip and fall accident can put you in a better position to communicate to the same to the doctor and lawyer. Better communication helps build room for better and more effective treatment programs, while also allowing the attorney to properly prepare for the compensation claim.
Here are some of the most common forms of injuries:
Bones usually break if pressure is applied to a particular place than it is capable of handling. Falls are one way such pressure is exerted. A fall accident can, therefore, cause hip, ankle, and wrist fracture, which might resemble most forms of broken bones. In general, the older an individual is, the higher the chances of them breaking a bone after suffering a fall.
Still, health status and age at the time the injury was sustained won’t matter much from a legal perspective. It does not matter whether your bones are fragile – you still have the same rights to seek financial compensation for your injuries as any other person does.
Cuts and Bruises
Cuts and bruises are some of the most common injuries in fall accidents and can be external or internal. Cuts and bruises might not appear to be serious to the naked eye, but disfigurement is a rather serious concern under Bronx injury law. It is why you must always take pictures of the cuts and bruises sustained in an accident for documentation purposes.
Injuries sustained in a fall can cause brain trauma. It usually happens when the head hits the ground first or a jolt without a direct impact. Head injuries are usually quite dangerous and may sometimes even lead to life-threatening complications. That’s particularly true in cases where injuries are not attended to. For brain trauma-related injuries, it is always advisable to consult a medical specialist who will evaluate the injury.
Nerve and Spine Damage
The spine and nervous system are both fragile. Spine and nerve damage can be caused by cuts or stretching. If the spine and nerves suffer permanent damage, this is most likely to affect all aspects of your life, including your earning capacity.
Muscle Strain and Shoulder Dislocation
Muscle strains and shoulder dislocations are another common fall-related injury. They usually happen when the person attempts to reach out to something but ends up falling in the process. In some situations, when this type of injury occurs, surgical treatment is necessary and the individual might require long-term care before they fully recover.
Knee damage is another common injury in slip and fall accidents. Since the knee is made up of bone and ligaments, it takes much longer to heal when a person hurts his/her ACL or MCL. Besides tearing ligaments, the individual may dislocate their patella, which means that a knee reconstruction procedure might be necessary.
Sprained Wrists or Ankles
It is quite easy to sprain your wrist or ankle if you fall because you will probably try stretching your arms out to cushion the fall. A sprain is basically a ligament tear and can be incredibly painful. Since ligaments typically don’t receive a lot of blood, the process of healing might require a lot of time. Sprains might not seem serious initially, but they definitely affect the person’s quality of life. Simply put, you might be unable to perform everyday tasks such as walking, cooking, buttoning a shirt, etc.
What is the Statute of Limitations When It Comes to Slip and Fall Injury Cases?
You shouldn’t lose your compensation claim simply because you didn’t acknowledge the statute of limitations. You need to get in touch with a lawyer immediately after your slip and fall accident. The statute of limitations refers to the time allowed under the law within which you should file your claim, starting from the day of the accident. If you fail to acknowledge the statute of limitations as provided by the law, you could lose the case forever, since you might never be allowed to file your claim in court. The statute of limitations in New York for slip and fall injury cases is 3 years.
Always remember, however, that the statute of limitations generally varies depending on the type of case. For instance, if you are filing a compensation claim against the municipality or any other government agency, you are required to file the claim within 90 days.
Are You Required To File An Accident Report When You Fall And Are Hurt?
Slip and fall accidents, which are the result of another party’s negligence can entitle you to financial compensation. An accident report is thus important to help establish the facts surrounding your case, even though it is not always needed. The process of filing an accident report, however, differs slightly depending on the location i.e. private residence, government property, or business property.
Contact a Lawyer Today!
Cellino Law has a team of highly skilled personal injury attorneys in the Bronx that will build a strong case on your behalf that’s backed by strong evidence. Before we start negotiating your case with the insurance company or property owner, we first ensure that we have collected compelling evidence as well as the testimony of professionals and witnesses to ensure that you receive a good settlement amount. If you find the offer received to be unsatisfactory, our Bronx personal injury law firm is never afraid to take the matter to court.