There are many unique challenges to slip and fall cases. Even if there is overwhelming evidence that you are owed compensation by the property owner, you will have to face multiple challenges in order to get fair compensation. It is important to take your time to recover completely from the incident and this is also the reason, it is recommended to work with an experienced Brooklyn slip and fall lawyer. Working with an attorney also significantly enhances your chances of getting the maximum compensation.
Here at Cellino Law, we help our clients who have had a slip and fall accident with the following:
- We protect your rights if the manager or the property owner tries to put the blame on you
- We take on the insurance company on your behalf in case they devalue or deny your claim
- You get to consult with the top legal and other professionals to determine the value of your case
- We try to establish the root cause of the accident by thoroughly investigating the circumstances leading to your accident
Our team of highly skilled personal injury attorneys in Brooklyn will work hard to gather strong evidence in order to build a strong case for you. We will begin by collecting irrefutable evidence and combine it with testimony given by professionals and witnesses. We will take it to the insurance company or property owners in order to negotiate your case. Having strong evidence before the negotiations begin offers excellent leverage and increases the chances of getting maximum settlement amount. If the offer given by the insurance company or the property owners is unsatisfactory, we will take the case to trial in order to help you get what you deserve.
You will multiply your chances of receiving maximum compensation with an experienced attorney by your side. Call Cellino Law now to know more about various legal options available to you. You don’t need to worry about paying anything as initial consultation is completely free.
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What Should I Do After Being Hurt in a Slip and Fall?
Research data suggests that more than a million people across the US need to go to the ER to get help for fall-related injuries. Like other accidents, some people only suffer minor injuries such as bruises and cuts but there are also others who suffered serious injuries including concussions, broken hips, broken bones, head injuries as well as spinal cord damage. In some cases, it could be fatal.
As per the law in Brooklyn, NY, you are eligible to get compensation in case you fall on a property that belongs to another person. The location or place doesn’t matter. It could be on business premises such as a restaurant or a store, a home, public property, or private property. You have every right to take legal action following your accident. If you’re wondering what actions you need to take – here is what you should do:
Get Medical Attention
Your first step should be to get proper medical attention after your accident. Getting proper medical attention is not only essential to ensure that you have received the required treatment for injuries but it is also important to have official medical records that will be quite useful when you file your claim for compensation. These medical records will be needed to demonstrate the extent of injuries along with the damage incurred. Some injuries such as a traumatic brain injury will display immediate symptoms. It is also important to keep in mind that timely and proper medical care and diagnosis may save your life.
Report The Incident As Early As Possible
You should alert the company or person in charge of the premises immediately after the accident. For instance, if the accident happened in a restaurant, you should immediately inform the manager or the owner about the accident. In case it took place in a rental apartment, you should immediately inform the landlord. You need to get a copy of the formal accident report which should be prepared after you have reported the accident. If you are unable to get a copy of the accident report immediately due to the need for medical treatment after the accident, you need to call them back and ask for a copy of that accident report.
Do Not Share Details of the Incident
Keep in mind that whatever you say after the accident can affect the outcome of your case. Therefore, you need to be extremely careful about what you say after the accident. Don’t get emotional, admit guilt, cast blame or explain how the accident happened. Try to avoid arguments. Any argument or any details shared by you can potentially be used against you when you file your compensation claim. The only thing you need to focus on is reporting the accident in a straightforward manner.
Get Witness Contact Information
You should try to get the names and contact information of witnesses if any. It is required to get in touch with them later to corroborate your version of the story. It will be needed in case a different story is provided by the property owner.
Take Videos and/or Photos
Try to take photos of the accident spot from as many angles as possible. Click detailed images that clearly show the area where the accident happened. Also, try to take videos or photos of anything that might be relevant including the factors that might have contributed to the accident, the accident scene as well as any other elements. If possible, make sure you have time stamp on the images as these will be very important when you file for compensation.
Do not make the mistake of washing your clothes or shoes you were wearing at the time of the accident. It is an important piece of evidence and it might be needed to prove that the accident happened due to negligence.
Call an Attorney
You should immediately get in touch with a professional premises liability lawyer in Brooklyn, New York after the accident. An experienced lawyer by your side will help in collecting proof before it is lost. They will also make sure you do not give out any unnecessary information pertaining to your accident as it might negatively affect your chances of getting adequate compensation. Do not sign anything or negotiate with the insurance companies without a lawyer by your side. Insurance companies are not your friend. They are like any other business looking to find ways to minimize their payouts in order to have bigger profits. Don’t negotiate with them without an experienced lawyer by your side.
Slip and Fall Accidents – Common Places
A slip and fall can happen anywhere across Brooklyn as well as across any other city or state. These typically happen when people do not keep the public areas safe which is their responsibility. Some of the common places where fall accidents usually happen include:
- Wet floors that are unmarked
- Staircases or steps that are poorly lit
- Construction sites with scaffolding
- Snowy or icy parking lots or walkways
- Improperly tacked down carpet
In many cases, people blame themselves for the accident but the actual liability should fall on the manager or the property owner or the individual who has the responsibility to maintain that specific area. Simply put, their negligence is responsible for the accident and resulting injuries.
Slip and Fall Accidents – Common Causes
As per the statistics released by Floor Safety Institute, more than a million people visit ER each year due to injuries suffered during falls. Common injuries suffered due to falls include bruises, head trauma, lacerations, and bone fracture. Dangerous walking surfaces are the leading cause of fall injuries. Nonetheless, a variety of dangerous conditions can cause a person to fall and suffer injuries. Some of the common conditions that lead to fall accidents include:
Wet, Uneven or Slippery Surfaces
A wet surface doesn’t offer required traction. A floor that has been recently mopped or has spills or has been recently waxed can lead to a fall. Similarly, unanchored rugs and mats, torn carpets as well as loose floorboards can lead to fall accidents. In terms of potential hazards outdoors, various things such as rain, ice, and snow can create a dangerous environment leading to falling accidents. Sometimes, uneven or defective surfaces also lead to fall accidents.
Walkway obstacles include things such as power cords, equipment, tools, shoes, open drawers, boxes, clutter as well as toys among other things. It’s a virtually endless list.
It is one of the leading causes of fall accidents in staircases or buildings. In fact, it is one of the main factors that increases the chances of fall accidents. Inadequate lighting increases the potential danger of even non-hazardous surfaces or environments.
Lack of Safety Features
It is much more likely for elderly people to use railing in order to prevent a fall. However, the absence of rails or rails with improper height or handrails that are loose can lead to fall accidents. Wheel stops and speed bumps also present a potential falling hazard. A pathway should not have such features, and if these are necessary, it is important to mark these with bright colors.
If a floor needs to be dug or kept open due to construction, it should be properly covered when it is not in use. Also, there should be warning signs. If there are permanent floor openings or grates, they should also be covered well in order to prevent people from tripping.
Poor Stairway Design or Construction
People fall due to a variety of reasons other than handrails. For instance, stairs can also lead to fall accidents. Don’t forget that all buildings need to comply with the required county and state building codes. Stairs are required to have a minimum depth and height. Also, the difference in depth and height between each stair shouldn’t be much. As per the New York building code, all the property owners are required to maintain escalators, elevators, curbs and other building features as per the acceptable standards.
Fall accidents can happen anywhere. Since you spend a significant amount of time at work, it can happen there too. Fall accidents related to workplaces are also significantly more dangerous, especially when they happen in high-risk industries such as construction. In fact, fall accidents due to work have become quite common and are one of the leading causes of lost time. One of the leading reasons for workers missing work is fall-related injuries.
Also, many requests for Workers Compensation are also related to fall accidents. Studies suggest that around 12 to 15% of the requests are in direct relation to fall accidents. Data also shows that this number keeps increasing with age. As per the data provided by the Bureau of Labor, fall accidents at work are usually fatal. The 2017 report released by the Bureau shows that 31 workers lost their lives in 2017 due to work-related fall.
Thankfully, the Workers Compensation Benefits might be available to a worker in case they suffered injuries at work. Law requires all employers to have this coverage for all their employees. The injured employee is eligible to get compensation for lost wages, medical bills as well as disability benefits. The good thing about this coverage is that the worker gets the required compensation regardless of the person responsible for the accident.
However, it is important to mention here that you can receive compensation only up to a certain limit and within the allowable time period. The worker also has to work with a doctor provided by the insurance company. Needless to say, the insurance company will try to minimize the payout as much as possible. This is the reason, it’s better to have a workers’ compensation lawyer in Brooklyn, New York, by your side in order to get maximum compensation.
Elderly Are Vulnerable
With increasing age, elderly individuals find even seemingly trivial tasks such as standing up a bit challenging. The data released by the New York State Department of Health shows that many elderly people lose their life due to fall-related accidents each year. Also, thousands get injured due to fall-related accidents.
More than 900,000 elderly people living in the state of New York had to be rushed to the hospital between the years 2005 and 2014, due to fall-related injuries. Out of these, 8000 lost their lives. In 2014 alone, 111,046 people above the age of 65 had to visit ER in New York due to fall accidents. Out of these, 1203 lost their lives and 52,310 suffered serious injuries.
Who Is Liable for Injuries in a Brooklyn Slip and Fall Accident?
Property owners, as well as homeowners, have the responsibility to keep their properties safe for visitors and guests. If a property owner does not take corrective action for any safety issues, they might be held liable for injuries suffered by an individual due to a fall accident. The frequency of inspection of the premises depends on the reason for the presence of guests on that property. For instance, if guests were visiting a property due to business purposes, it is the responsibility of the owner to inspect the property frequently and ensure there are no issues that could be a safety hazard.
In case you are just visiting a friend, the homeowner isn’t really required to frequently check their home for any potential safety hazards. However, it is their duty to inform their guests in advance if they have any safety concerns in their property. It is possible for a property owner to be held liable in case they were aware of the safety concerns and they knew about the likely guest visit.
In addition to business owners and homeowners, landlords as well as government agencies can also be held liable for the injuries. Therefore, it is pertinent to determine the individuals responsible for the accident. The law in the state of New York allows you to get proper compensation from people responsible. Here at Cellino Law, our team of experienced attorneys can help with investigating the circumstances leading to your accident and help you in identifying the person responsible for the accident and in identifying the root cause of the accident.
How Is The Value of a Slip and Fall Accident Calculated?
Every slip and fall case is unique as every case happens in unique circumstances. The average value of the case depends on the facts and circumstances leading to the accident. However, our team of attorneys can help you in arriving at an estimate of a fair settlement amount which typically includes the following factors:
- Loss of current earnings as well as future earnings due to injuries suffered
- Current as well as future medical expenses
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
- Compensation depending on the nature and extent of personal injuries
The team of experienced lawyers at Cellino Law will help you get the maximum compensation you deserve. If needed, we may obtain the services of an economist and a life care planner in order to determine the dollar amount of factors that might have an effect on your compensation claim.
Common Slip and Fall Accident Injuries
As mentioned above, a slip and fall accident often leads to injury. In many cases, these injuries are minor but these can be extremely serious in some cases. In fact, people have lost their lives due to such injuries. As far as the severity of the injury is concerned, it depends on a number of factors including the age, environment as well as the manner in which fall happened. If an individual falls while working, it has the potential to affect their productivity as well as their health.
Having a preliminary understanding of the common injuries that usually happen after a slip and fall accident can put a person in a better position when they discuss it with their doctor and their attorney. Proper communication not only leads to a more effective treatment plan but also helps the lawyer in preparing the appropriate compensation claim. Here is a list of some of the common injuries that result from a slip and fall accident.
Broken bones happen when there is too much pressure put at a specific place in the bone. A fall accident is one of the ways that can lead to pressure more than the handling capacity of the bone. A fall accident can lead to waist, hip, and ankle fractures resembling broken bones. In fact, the likelihood of a broken bone after a fall accident increases with age.
However, the health status and age of an individual at the time of injury won’t matter much from a legal standpoint. Even if you have fragile bones, you have as much right as any other individual to seek financial compensation for your injuries.
Cuts and Bruises
Cuts and bruises are the most common type of injuries suffered due to fall accidents. These can be internal as well as external. While you might not deem these injuries to be serious but Brooklyn injury law takes disfigurement seriously. Therefore, it is important for you to take pictures of the bruises and cuts after the accident in order to document your injuries.
Your brain can suffer trauma due to injuries suffered in a fall accident. It usually happens when the head hits the ground directly or suffers a jolt without any direct impact. Head injuries should be taken seriously as these can be dangerous and can lead to life-threatening complications. It is especially true in cases where proper treatment isn’t sought for such injuries. It is important to work with a specialist in order to evaluate the extent of injuries related to brain trauma.
Nerve and Spine Damage
Your nervous system, as well as the spine, are fragile. These fragile organs can get damaged through stretching or cuts. In case there is permanent damage to the spine or the nervous system, it will have a permanent effect on all aspects of your life which also includes your earning capacity.
Muscle Strain and Shoulder Dislocation
These are also common injuries due to fall accidents. These injuries typically happen when an individual is trying to reach out to something, and slips and falls. In some cases, surgical treatment is needed for such injuries. In some severe cases, a long-term prognosis is needed to fully recover.
It’s another common type of injury due to slip and fall accidents. Your knee consists of bones and ligaments and it takes much longer to heal MCL or ACL. In addition to ligament tear, it is also possible for an individual to dislocate their patella. If that is the case, a knee reconstruction process might be required.
Sprained Wrists or Ankles
It’s common to sprain your wrists and ankles during a fall. This is due to the reason that a person usually spreads out there arms in order to cushion their fall. Sprains are ligaments tears and can be extremely painful. Also, the healing process for ligaments takes a lot of time as these don’t receive a lot of blood. In many cases, sprains do not look serious initially but these can have a serious impact on the quality of life. Simply put, these might affect the ability of a person to perform everyday tasks such as walking, cooking, or buttoning a shirt among other things.
Slip and Fall Injury Cases – Statute of Limitation
You should immediately get in touch with an attorney after a fall accident. Don’t make the mistake of losing your compensation due to the Statute of limitations. In simple terms, the statute of limitations defines the time limit for filing a claim. It starts on the day of the accident. If a claim isn’t filed within this time period, it could be lost forever and you might lose your ability to file a claim forever. The state of New York defines statute of limitations as 3 years for slip and fall accident cases.
It is also important to mention here that the statute of limitations will also depend on the type of case. For instance, the claim needs to be filed within 90 days in case you are asking for compensation from a government agency or municipality. In such cases, the statute of limitations is limited to one year and 90 days.
Filing of Accident Report
If you suffer a slip and fall accident due to another person’s negligence, you are entitled to financial compensation. In such cases, having an accident report can help in establishing the facts that surround your case but it’s not always needed. However, the process of filing accident reports is different in different locations and depends on the type of property such as private residence, government property, or business property.
Call an Experienced Brooklyn Slip and Fall Lawyer Now
The highly skilled and experienced team of personal injury lawyers at Cellino Law in Brooklyn, New York, will work hard to build a strong case that is backed by strong evidence. Our Brooklyn personal injury firm will collect compelling evidence and testimony from professionals and witnesses before we begin negotiations on your behalf with the insurance company or the property owner. This evidence along with testimonies will give us leverage to secure a good settlement amount for you. If the offer made by the insurer or the property owner is not up to your satisfaction, our team of professional lawyers will take the case to trial.