Who Can File a Slip and Fall Claim?

Who can file a slip and fall claim?

Falls are the leading cause of injury-related U.S. emergency room visits, prompting millions of people to visit ERs every year. Falls are also the most common cause of workplace injuries.

Slip-and-fall accidents are also very common, often producing serious injuries. If you sustain injuries, you may be eligible to seek compensation, but how do you know if you qualify? Cellino Law explains.

What Is a Slip-and-Fall?

These falls happen on someone else’s property, caused by slipping on a hazardous surface that the responsible party failed to address due to negligence. If this type of fall injures you, you can seek compensation from that party through an insurance claim or by filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Not every incident qualifies as a slip-and-fall accident, however. For instance, tripping over your own feet or falling in your own home usually does not allow you to seek compensation. If the following statements are all true, you might have a valid premises liability claim:

  • You sustained injuries in the accident.
  • The accident happened on someone else’s property, including public properties.
  • You slipped and fell due to a hazardous condition.
  • The responsible party was negligent: They knew about the hazard — or should have known — yet did not repair it or warn others about it.

If you believe your situation might entitle you to compensation, contact Cellino Law to request a free consultation. We will assess your case and tell you about your options.

What Is Negligence?

As the basis for most personal injury claims, negligence is failing to exercise reasonable care to protect others from harm that most people would in a similar situation, by action or inaction. To hold someone accountable for your slip-and-fall injuries, your Cellino Law attorney must prove that:

  • Someone owed you a duty of care (providing a safe environment for visitors).
  • That party breached their duty of care (failed to provide a safe environment).
  • The breach injured you (you slipped and fell).
  • The breach was directly responsible for your injuries and associated damages (your injury caused expenses and other kinds of harm).

These cases are somewhat tricky, because we need evidence to prove that the responsible party knew about the hazardous condition that caused your accident, and that they had sufficient time to fix it. This timing is a crucial issue in slip-and-fall claims, and finding proof may be more difficult if you wait to hire an attorney to begin an investigation.

Are There Any Exceptions?

As with most laws, there are exceptions that might disqualify you from seeking compensation for your slip-and-fall accident. Trespassers typically can’t obtain damages for their injuries. Young children may unknowingly trespass, and this exception might not apply to them.

New York follows a storm-in-progress doctrine. These rules apply to hazardous conditions created by ongoing storms, such as ice and snow buildups during prolonged snowstorms. This doctrine allows responsible parties to wait until a reasonable time after the storm passes to remedy the dangerous conditions.

What Are Common Types of Slip-and-Fall Accidents?

There are several kinds of hazards that commonly cause slip-and-fall accidents, such as:

  • Liquid spills on grocery store floors
  • Damaged, broken or loose flooring or pavement surfaces
  • Faulty stair treads or broken, loose or non-existent handrails
  • Loose electrical cords or objects left in walkways
  • Poor lighting

If the responsible party knows, or should know, about conditions like these, they should immediately make repairs. If that’s not possible, they should take suitable precautions, such as placing hazard cones or blocking access to the area.

If the person in front of you in a store drops a container of orange juice, causing you to slip and fall due to the spill, the store manager has no time or way to prevent your accident. You likely don’t have a valid slip-and-fall claim, but you can ask your Cellino Law legal team to be sure.

What Kinds of Injuries Do Slip-and-Fall Accidents Cause?

The injuries resulting from slip-and-fall accidents range from minor scrapes to life-altering conditions. The severity of these injuries depends on the circumstances. Common injuries include:

If you experience any of these injuries, you will likely require medical treatment. Severe conditions may cause you to be away from work for extended periods and significantly impact your quality of life. You may qualify to seek compensation for various damages, and your attorney from Cellino Law can help you get the maximum amounts available.

What Types of Damages Can You Obtain?

You may receive compensatory damages, and in some cases, punitive damages are available. Each accident is different, and damages vary due to case-specific details. When you contact Cellino Law, we will tell you which damages you can seek and how much your claim is worth.

Compensatory Damages

The damages in this category reimburse you for accident-related expenses and compensate you for the effects your injuries have on your quality of life. Economic damages include reimbursement for:

  • Medical treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Replacement services
  • Property damage

Economic damages are exact, so keep all of your invoices and receipts.

Non-economic damages compensate you for intangible damage, and payout amounts vary depending on how much these conditions affect you:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disfigurement or disability
  • Anxiety, depression and PTSD
  • Damage to personal relationships
  • Losing the ability to enjoy life

Liable insurance companies often try to deny these damages, but your Cellino Law attorney knows how to prove these conditions exist so you can get the compensation you deserve.

Punitive Damages

While compensatory damages focus on you, courts may award punitive damages as a further punishment of the guilty party for their negligence. Few cases qualify for these damages. To be eligible, the responsible party must have exhibited wanton or willful negligence.

Who Are the Responsible Parties in Slip-and-Fall Accidents?

There are a few potentially responsible parties for this kind of accident, and again, your specific circumstances determine who is to blame. Among these parties are:

  • Property owners or managers
  • Business owners or managers
  • Third-party maintenance companies
  • Government agencies responsible for maintaining public spaces

In some cases, more than one party shares fault. In New York, you can seek compensation even if you are partially to blame for causing your accident. However, your degree of fault decreases payout amounts.

Why Should You Hire an Attorney?

Slip-and-fall accidents usually require an in-depth investigation to obtain the evidence needed to prove negligence and hold guilty parties accountable. Many people don’t have the resources to conduct investigations, especially while injured.

When you hire Cellino Law, we will investigate your accident to uncover who is responsible. We will also:

  • Provide information and legal advice
  • Handle case-related administrative tasks
  • Serve as your liaison with insurance companies
  • Negotiate a reasonable settlement or take your case to trial

From day one, we focus on protecting your best interests. Although we can usually settle these claims without going to court, we will recommend taking your case to trial if needed to maximize your payout. You won’t pay us unless we win.

Why Should You Choose Cellino Law?

If you need a slip-and-fall attorney, you want one with proven results handling cases like yours. Cellino Law has served New York for over 60 years, winning more than $2 billion for our clients. Contact Cellino Law today to request your free case review.

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