Slips and falls are very common and sometimes they result in serious injuries. They can occur almost anywhere including shopping malls, supermarkets, hotels, restaurants, and parking lots. While some people are simply clumsy, many slip and fall accidents are due to the negligence of property owners so it is important to contact a trustworthy New York slip and fall lawyer after an accident. If you have been injured by a fall on a neglected property contact the New York personal injury firm of Cellino Law.
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Common Causes of Slip and Falls and the Injuries They Cause
It is natural for infrastructure to show wear and tear over time. property owners in New York have a responsibility to ensure their properties are safe for visitors. They should address hazards promptly or clearly warn visitors about the danger. Placing a sign, cordoning off the area or asking an employee to steer people away are common responses to hazards. Unfortunately, visitors aren’t always warned, and they slip or trip and fall.
Several types of dangerous conditions can lead to slips and falls. Among them are:
- Uneven pavements
- Poor lighting
- Slippery floors
- Snow and ice
- Loose carpets
- Broken stairs and handrails
- Cracked Tiles
- Damaged sidewalks
If you suffered injuries because of any of these things, you need the services of a New York slip and fall lawyer. If your injuries are serious, you may face high medical bills, lots of time away from work, and lost wages. Some victims are so seriously hurt that they never return to normal. They may have to live with chronic pain or face a lifetime of medical treatment. Common injuries include:
- Bone fractures
- Back strains
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Knee injuries
Your attorney will be instrumental in helping you to prove all the elements of negligence. As any premises liability lawyer will tell you, you can’t claim damages simply because you fell on someone’s property. Even falling and breaking your leg isn’t enough on its own. You must be able to show that the property owner’s negligence actually led to your injuries.
How to Hold the Property Owner Liable for Your Slip and Fall
You have two options for getting compensation from a negligent property owner. You can file a claim with their insurance company or take the matter to court. Your attorney will advise you on the best course of action. However, most slip and fall cases are handled out of court. Both victims and insurance companies try to avoid potentially lengthy court cases. A lawsuit is seen as a last resort.
The property owner can be held liable if they created the conditions which caused the accident. They may also have to pay damages if they knew about the conditions but didn’t address them. Some courts have held owners liable because the dangerous situation existed for so long that they should have known about it. Your attorney will seek to prove that one of these situations led to your injury.
What to do After a Slip and Fall Accident to Strengthen Your Claim
There are some things you need to do after your fall to ensure you have evidence of the accident. If you don’t have evidence to support your claim, you can kiss the idea of compensation goodbye.
- Make sure you know why you fell. Look for loose carpets, spilled liquid, broken flooring, or any other hazardous conditions.
- Identify witnesses to your fall. Try to get the contact information of people who were in the area when you slipped and fell. Even if they didn’t see the incident, they may have seen the conditions which led to it.
- Take photos of the scene and write down details of your fall. If you can, capture the object or condition which caused you to trip. It is likely to be cleared away or cleaned up quickly.
- Obtain an incident report. If you fell in a business place, you should notify the manager. They may give you a form to fill out or they may ask you to detail the incident. Either way, ensure you get a copy of the report.
- Seek medical attention. This step is very important. Even if you don’t think you’re seriously hurt, you should go to the doctor immediately. If you want to get compensation, you need to have a medical report outlining your injuries. If you wait too long to see the doctor, the property owner will argue that you received your injuries elsewhere.
Important Considerations in Your New York Slip and Fall Case
As your slip and fall attorney will explain, a number of laws and legal rules will affect your case. A significant one is the statute of limitations which is the deadline by which you must file your lawsuit. Under New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules section 214, you must file your case within three years of the incident. Even though this seems like a long time, you should contact an attorney about your case as soon as possible. If you try to file a lawsuit after the time has passed, the court will probably throw it out.
Another important factor is the concept of shared fault or comparative negligence. The property owner is likely to argue that you share some of the blame for the accident. They may say:
- You were in a section of the property where visitors aren’t allowed
- You weren’t looking to see where you were going
- Also, you were wearing shoes which were inappropriate for the situation
- You should have noticed the conditions were dangerous
If your case goes to trial and the jury finds you were partially responsible, your damages will be reduced. Even if the case doesn’t make it that far, your negligence will come up during settlement negotiations. If you want to get the maximum compensation for your injuries, you need an experienced New York slip and fall lawyer on your side.
Contact a New York Slip and Fall Lawyer at Cellino Law For a Free Consultation
Injuries from a slip and fall accident can throw your life into a tailspin. A victim who doesn’t have a lawyer is more likely to accept a low settlement offer. However, your attorney will take all your losses into consideration including medical bills, lost wages, and future loss of income. They will work hard to negotiate a settlement so you can start to get your life back on track. If the insurance company refuses to make a fair offer, they will ensure you file a lawsuit within the stipulated time. If you want your claim to be successful, call us today to schedule a consultation. Our New York personal injury lawyers have the skills and experience you need.