According to research, more than one million people visit the emergency room across the USA every year due to fall-related injuries. Of course, like any other injury-related accident, there are those who get minor injuries, while others get more serious injuries such as concussions, broken hips and bones, head injuries, and even spinal cord damage. Some of these injuries can be fatal.
The good news is that if you fall on another person’s property, you may qualify to receive compensation according to the law in New York. If you have been injured in a fall review your claim with a Buffalo slip and fall lawyer. It does not matter the location or place; may it be public property, private property, home, or even business like a restaurant or store; you can take action after the slip and fall accident. Contact our Buffalo injury firm today to learn how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
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What Should You Do After A Slip and Fall Accident?
If you have been injured in a slip and fall in Buffalo, NY, you should take these steps:
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
It is wise to seek medical attention immediately after a slip and fall accident/incident. This is important not only to get your injuries checked out and receiving the required treatment; but also to get medical records, which will be used to file for compensation. The medical record will be used to show the extent of the injuries and the damage caused. Few serious injuries such as traumatic brain injury have few immediate symptoms. Also, remember that timely medical diagnosis and care may save your life.
Report The Accident
It is important to alert the company or person in charge of the property or establishment immediately. For example, if the accident occurs in a restaurant, inform the manager or the owner immediately. If the accident occurred in a rental apartment, inform the landlord. The person you inform about the accident should make a formal accident report, which you should ask for a copy. If you have to move from the accident scene for medical treatment, make sure that you have called back later and ask for a copy of the accident report.
Be Careful Of What You Say
After The Accident, be very careful of what you say. It does not matter who you are dealing with, either a homeowner, landlord, business manager, etc. avoid getting emotional, arguing, admitting guilt, casting blame, or explaining how and why you slipped and fell. Remember, anything you say may be used against you later in determining your potential compensation claim. Avoid letting the situation escalate into an argument. All you have to do is report the matter is a straightforward manner.
Get Witness Contact Information
If there are any witnesses, it is paramount to take their name and contact information. The goal of having a way to get in touch with witnesses is so that they can back up your version of the story if the property owner decides to provide a different version of the story.
Make sure that you have taken as many photos of the accident as you can. Remember, the images should be detailed, showing the area you have slipped and fell. Do not forget to take photos of everything else that is relevant to the accident like, the environment, what contributed to the accident, and others. It is wise to ensure the images are time-stamped, which is paramount in filing for compensation.
Preserve Everything You Were Wearing
Do not wash the clothes or shoes you were wearing when the accident occurred. That is because they important evidence that shows the accident actually happened, and it was due to negligence.
Call An Attorney
As soon after the slip and fall accident has occurred due to negligence, you should contact a Buffalo, New York lawyer. A Buffalo premises liability lawyer will help you gather proof before it disappears. Furthermore, they will ensure you do not answer questions that are not necessary to the accident or injuries sustained or questions that may affect your compensation claim. It is highly important to consult a lawyer before you sign anything or begin negotiations with the insurance company. Keep in mind that insurance companies are like any other business, and their main goal is to minimize expenses or expenditures so that they can increase profit. Therefore, they always try to give out as little compensation as they can.
What Are The Foundations Of A Successful Buffalo Slip And Fall Claim?
For a slip and fall compensation claim to be successful, the victim must provide proof showing:
- The respondent failed to fulfill or observe basic safety measures or condition
- The respondent was negligent, and their negligence was a direct cause of the fall accident
- The fall is what caused your injuries and the losses you have suffered
For the reasons above, it is paramount to review the circumstances of your slip and fall accident. If the fall incident is due to a property owner’s negligence and you can prove it, then you have a claim.
The evaluation of whether a property owner observed basic safety actions or if they failed to observe their duties; is what determines negligence. It is the duty of property owners who are inviting other people in their commercial space to inspect the space or take proper measures to correct dangerous situations or conditions. If the owner is unable to correct a certain dangerous condition, then they should warn people of them.
On the other hand, anyone who invites guests into their homes like friends, neighbors, and colleagues in their home also have the responsibility of correcting dangerous conditions or warning them about the condition. When it comes to homeowners, they have the benefit of not inspecting their premises.
For a claim to be successful, you will need to provide evidence showing that the respondent did not observe the basic obligations. Proof may include things such as dangerous condition photos, maintenance records, and/or witness testimony. The benefit of hiring a highly skilled Buffalo personal injury lawyer is; they can seek the services of expert witnesses who can explain to the court how the fall was because of the respondent’s negligence.
What Will A Slip And Fall Attorney Do After I Am Injured?
Even if the facts clearly show that you are owed compensation, the truth is that you will face many challenges in every step you take. Getting the time to focus on recovery is one of the benefits of hiring a slip and fall accident lawyer. Furthermore, you bet a better chance of receiving a huge amount of compensation.
At Cellino Law, we will help you with the following after your slip and fall accident:
- Consult with top injury professionals in Buffalo to value your case
- Protect your rights and case when and if property owners try to blame you for the fall accident
- Investigate the circumstances of the case carefully, to determine the root cause
- Stand up to insurance companies why they try to deny or devalue the claim
Our highly skilled Buffalo slip and fall lawyers will build a strong case supported by evidence. The moment we sit to negotiate your case with the insurance company or property owner, we will use proof collected, together with testimony from witnesses and professionals, to leverage a fair settlement. If the offer you get is not satisfactory, our professional trial lawyers will not be afraid to take the case forward (to court).
The chances of receiving a higher amount of compensation are better with a lawyer at your corner. Contact Cellino Law today, and let us discuss your case as well as learn your legal options.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Slip And Fall Accidents?
The National Floor Safety Institute (NSFI) confirms that falls are responsible for more than one million emergency room visits every year. A majority of people will sustain head trauma, bone fracture, lacerations, and bruises after an accident. The leading cause of fall injuries is dangerous walking surfaces. However, there are many other dangerous conditions known to cause a person to lose balance and fall.
Fall accidents are caused or as a result of either one of the following conditions:
Uneven, Slippery, Or Wet Surfaces
It is a known fact that a wet surface greatly affects traction. As such, spills, a waxed floor, or a recently mopped floor will cause a person to slip and fall. Also, torn carpets, loose floorboards, and unanchored rugs and mats are potential hazards, especially placed in a slight elevation. All these are potential indoor hazards.
When we move to potential outdoor hazards, factors such as ice, snow, and rain will create environments for a dangerous environment. Other factors, such as uneven or defective surfaces, may make a person fall.
This involves items such as clutter, toys, shoes, open drawers, boxes, equipment, tools, and power cords. The list is virtually limitless and known to make a person fall.
Poor lighting is the leading danger that makes people slip and fall in buildings or on the staircase. In fact, it creates an environment for a high probability of slipping and falling. With poor lighting, even non-hazardous surfaces or environments can become potential dangers.
Lack Of Safety Features Like Handrails
The elderly are more likely to need to use rails to avoid falling. Therefore, a lack of rails, having a rail that is not of the proper height, or loose handrails will most definitely make a person lose balance and fall. Another potential hazard for falling includes wheel stops and speed bumps. Such road features should not be directly on a pathway, and if they are, they should be painted a bright color.
If a floor is opened or dug due to construction purposes, then it should be covered very well when not in use or use signs to indicate a warning. This should also include permanent floor openings and grates, which must be covered very well to avoid tripping people.
Poorly Constructed Or Designed Stairways (Building Code Violations)
Handrails are not the only features of a building that can make a person fall. Other features, such as stairs, can make a person fall. It is important to note that all buildings must meet the county and state building codes. For example, stairs must meet depth and height minimum measurements, of-which the difference in depth and height between each stair should not vary greatly.
The building code in New York demands that property owners must maintain elevators, curbs, escalators, and other building features as per the acceptable standards.
It is important to note that falls can happen anywhere. Therefore, if you spend most of your time at work, then it will happen there too. In fact, a majority of falls happen at work, according to statistics. Work falls are relatively dangerous more, especially if you work in risky industries construction. Work-related falls happen all the time to a point where they have become the leading root of lost time. Many workers fail to attend work due to a fall-related injury while at work compared to all other reasons.
Fall-related injuries are responsible for many Workers’ Compensation requests, with 12% to 15% of the requests directly relates to fall injuries. Research also shows that this number increases with age. On the other hand, work-related falls are often fatal. This is according to the Bureau of Labor. Their documents continue to show that 31 workers died in 2017 after a work-related fall.
The best thing is that a worker may be able to get Workers’ Compensation benefits if the injuries occurred while at work. This is because almost all employees are needed by law to offer this cover to employees. An employee will receive cover for lost wages, medical bills, and disability benefits, in exchange for their ability or right to sue the employer in case of an accident. With this type of cover, it does not matter the person responsible for the fault; the worker will still receive compensation.
Nevertheless, it is wise to note that there is a limit to the amount a worker will receive and a time period. With this option, you will have to use a doctor provided by the insurer. The insurer will of-course, try to drive the value of the claim down. As such, it is best to seek the services of a Buffalo, New York personal injury attorney who is well familiar with the Workers’ Compensation System.
The Elderly Are More At Risk Of Falling In New York
As a person ages, it becomes a challenge to stand steadily on their feet. According to a statistic by the New York State Department Of Health, many elderly living in New York die due to fall-related accidents each year, and thousands more get injured.
In fact, between the years 2005 to 2014, it was reported that almost 900,000 elderly people living in New York were rushed to the hospital because of unintentionally fall-related injuries. From this number, over 8,000 succumbed to their injuries and died. One hundred and eleven thousand and forty-six persons living in New York over the age of 65 visited the emergency room after falling in the year 2014 alone. Out of this number, 52,310 were seriously injured, while 1,203 did not survive their injuries.
Who Is Liable For Your Injuries After A Slip And Fall Accident In Buffalo, New York?
Property owners and even homeowners have the responsibility of keeping their buildings safe for visitors and guests. When a property owner fails to correct safety issues; they may be responsible for the injuries if a fall occurs. Safety condition watch will depend on the reason why a guest is on their premises. For example, if you are on a premise for business purposes, then the owner must inspect their property often and fix any issue that could be a safety hazard.
If, for example, you are simply visiting a friend, then the property owner does not have to inspect their house for potential safety hazards often. But, if there are any safety conditions on their property, they must inform you in advance. A property owner can be liable even when you get hurt while trespassing. However, in this case, the owner will only be liable if they knew that you would likely get into their property.
Aside from business and homeowners, you can hole government agencies and landlords responsible for your fall injuries. As such, it is vital to identify anyone who might be responsible for your injuries in case you fall. New York law allows monetary compensation from those who have caused you injury. With our help at Cellino Law, we will investigate the case carefully, identify what caused the accident, and identify the person responsible.
Can I Receive Compensation If I Am Blamed For A Slip And Fall Accident?
New York law regarding compensation allows comparative negligence. Therefore, it is possible to get compensation, even if you are blamed for your injuries. Comparative negligence simply means that both parties share the blame. As such, just because you share blame does not mean that you will not receive compensation. Responsibility is assigned to everyone who has contributed to the accident.
When a victim is partly responsible for the accident, it will affect the compensation amount they will receive. Actually, the amount an accident victim will receive will reduce by the percentage that a person is at fault. If, for example, you are 20% at fault, the compensation amount will be reduced by 20%.
Do not waste time, contact a lawyer after your accident, especially when a property owner is trying to shift blame to you. At Cellino Law, we believe every victim deserves fair compensation and the right protection. The less fault is allocated to you, the more money you will receive.
What Is The Value Of My Slip And Fall Case?
Honestly, all slip and fall cases are different from one to the next. That is because each case has its own set of facts, which will play a role in determining the average case value. However, our highly skilled professional lawyers can provide a fair settlement estimate amount using the following factors:
- Loss of wages and future earning capabilities due to injury
- Past and future medical expenses
- The nature and extent of personal injuries a person has suffered
- The extent of non-economic damages such as suffering, pain, emotional, and punitive damages.
Our lawyers at Cellino Law in Buffalo, New York, will work hard to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Where needed, we will seek the assistance of an economist and life care planner to get the value of some factors that will affect the outcome of the compensation claim.
Which Are The Most Common Injury Types Resulting From A Slip And Fall Accident?
As mentioned in this document, when a person slips and falls, they will get injured. Sometimes the injuries are minor, and sometimes the injuries are major. Also, as mentioned in this document, injury severity will depend on age, place, and how you fall. When a worker falls while at work, it will affect their productivity, and it is painful.
By simply knowing and understanding the common slip and fall injuries, a person can be in a better position to communicate to both the doctor and the Buffalo personal injury law firm in New York. Better communication creates room for better and fast treatment programs and also help a lawyer prepare very well for the compensation claim.
Fall accident does cause many forms of injuries which include:
A bone breaks when more pressure is applied to a specific place than it can handle. Falling is one way to exact more pressure on bones. As such, a fall accident can result in the wrist, hip, and ankle fractures that can resemble the most common types of broken bones. As a matter of fact, the older a person is, the higher the chance of breaking a bone after a slip and fall accident.
However, at the time of the injury, health status and age does not matter from the legal point of view. It does not matter if you have fragile bones; you will still have the same right to receive financial compensation like any other person.
Cuts and Bruises
Bruises and cuts are most common in a fall and often can either be external or internal. Although to the naked eye, such an injury may not seem serious, under the Buffalo Injury law, disfigurement is a serious loss. Therefore, after the accident, it is wise to take photos of the bruises and cuts for documentation purposes.
A brain can get traumatic injuries after a fall. In most cases, this occurs when the head hits the ground or receives a jolt without any direct impact. Head injuries are very dangerous and often lead to more complications and sometimes life-threatening. This is truer, especially if brain injuries are left untreated. When it comes to brain trauma, it is wise to work with a specialist who can evaluate and identify this kind of injury.
Nerve and Spine Damage
A spine and nerves are fragile. Nerve and spine damage can occur through stretching or cuts. Both the spine and nerves may be damaged permanently, which will most definitely affect all aspects of life, including earning capabilities.
Muscle Strains And Shoulder Dislocations
Muscle strains and shoulder dislocations are very common to slip and fall accidents. They often occur when a person is trying to reach out as they are falling. There are cases when this type of injury will demand surgical treatment options. A person may be required to start a long-term prognosis in order to recover.
Knee damage is another type of injury that is very common to slip and fall accidents. Because the knee is a combination of ligaments and bones, when a person hurts their ACL or MCL, it takes longer to heal. Aside from ligament tear, one can also dislocate the patella. When this happens, knee reconstruction will be needed.
It is very easy to get an ankle and wrist sprains, especially when a person is falling. That is because when a person is falling, they may try to put their arms out in an effort to cushion the fall. Sprains are simply ligament tear, which is quite painful. Because ligaments do not receive a lot of blood, the healing process may take a long time. Although many sprains do not seem like a serious injury, it surely interferes with life in a huge way. In other words, you may be unable to perform basic daily tasks such as cooking, buttoning a shirt, walking, and much more.
What Is The Statute Of Limitation In Slip And Fall Injury Claims?
Avoid losing your compensation claim because you failed to acknowledge the statute of limitations. It is paramount to contact a lawyer immediately after a slip and fall accident. Statute of limitation can be defined as the time allowed by law to file a claim case, from the day of the slip and fall accident. If a person fails to acknowledge the time frame provided by law, the case will be lost forever, or the victim can never file a compensation case every again for their injuries. The state of New York provides a statute of limitations of 3 years for a slip and fall accident.
It is important to note statute of limitations varies depending on the case type. for example, filing a compensation lawsuit against government agencies and municipality, the claim must be filed within 90 days, and the provided statute of limitations by law is one year and 90 days.
Should An Accident Report Be Filed At The Time Of The Fall?
It is clear that a slip and fall accident that results in personal injury due to negligence of a property owner may entitle you financial compensation through a court case. Therefore, an accident report will help establish the facts of the case, although not required. Nonetheless, the process of filing an accident report is slightly different depending on the location (government property, business property, or private residence).
How To Complete A Slip and Fall Accident Report
To complete an accident report in a timely and accurate manner, follow the guidelines below. If possible, the report must be made the same day.
Claim Against A Business
A slip and fall that has happened in a store or any business-related premise, it should be reported immediately to the manager or someone responsible (like an on-duty employee). Chances are many business premises that have an incident reporting form that is provided by the company’s or business’s insurer.
Claim Against A Government Entity
Compensation claims against a government, city, state, or federal state often have strict deadlines. In Buffalo, for example, a person must submit an injury claim form within 90 days after the accident. NOTE: the function of the note is to indicate that you intend to file a lawsuit against them. Therefore, to buy yourself some time, you should submit a notice of intention to file for a compensation claim. Doing this will extend the deadline for filing and serving a claim to 2 years from the date of the accident.
A notice of intention must contain the same information as the claim, apart from specifying your losses. With the help of our lawyers at Cellino Law, we will help you comply with all notice requirements, which will avoid claims risks. Allow us to deal with the bureaucracy for you while you focus on healing.
Claims Against Landlords And Home Owners
If a slip and fall accident occurs at a managed or rented property, an accident report form may be available. However, it is unlikely for a private homeowner to have a report form. In any case, you can gather records showing what happened to you, ensuring you have included the following information:
- Injury description
- Name, address, contact, and remarks of any witnesses
- Environmental information such as surface, light, and weather condition
- Accident description
- The time and location of the accident
Contact a Buffalo Slip and Fall Lawyer For a Free Case Review
At Cellino Law our personal injury lawyers in Buffalo are dedicated to getting injured victims compensation for their suffering. We will use evidence proving the negligence of the property owner to negotiate your settlement with insurance companies or in court. Call us today at (800) 555-5555 to schedule your free consultation.