According to the New York State Department of Health, “fall-related injuries are the leading cause of injury hospitalizations among children ages 0-14 and adults 25 years and older.” Slip and fall accidents happen frequently in New York and Long Island. Because every slip and fall accident is unique, involving unique circumstances and different individuals, it’s impossible to predict how much compensation a victim might be owed until the facts of the case are reviewed.
However, if you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in New York, your best bet for recovering fair compensation is to retain a skilled slip and fall attorney to assist you.
How Do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
Slip and fall accidents occur when someone falls and suffers an injury. A person could potentially pursue compensation for their injuries if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence.
Slip and fall accidents are extremely common and could affect anyone regardless of age or surroundings. A critical step in preventing slip and fall accidents is understanding the most frequent causes of them. Slip and fall accidents could happen due to poor maintenance or failure to warn individuals of potential dangers on the property.
Some of the most common causes for slip and fall accidents include:
- Dangerous building structure or conditions, which could include poor lighting, damaged handrails or banisters, broken stairs
- Hazardous areas which could include uneven surfaces, unsecured wires or cords, cluttered hallways or walkways, or wet floors or spills
- Inclement weather, including rain or snow that could cause surfaces to become slick.
Who is Liable for a Slip and Fall Accident?
New York follows a pure comparative negligence doctrine. This means if you were partially responsible for your slip and fall accident, the compensation you could receive would be reduced by the percentage of your fault as determined by the court. For example, say you were awarded $10,000 in compensation. However, the court agrees that you were 25 percent responsible for the accident. You compensation will be $7,500 per NY’s pure comparative negligence rule.
How a Slip and Fall Lawyer Could Help
If you’ve been injured in a slip, trip, or fall in New York, an experienced slip and fall accident attorney could help by:
- Identifying the at-fault party — These include the parties who are can be held responsible for the accident. At-fault parties could be people who own the property, tenants or employees who are responsible for the condition and upkeep of the property, or the property manager/landlord who controls the property.
- Determining Negligence — Determining liability requires the plaintiff to investigate what the defendants knew about the property and the existence of the dangerous condition. Successfully suing someone in a slip and fall case means proving the defendant knew about the dangerous condition and did not rectify it or warn visitors about it. The plaintiff must find out about the defendants’ knowledge of the property through discovery, including reviewing maintenance records, security videos, repair records, and other information. The defendants must be able to prove they acted in a reasonable manner to keep visitors safe. If the floor of a store is wet, they should have an employee mop the area and post signs indicating the floor is wet, and visitors should exercise caution. Not doing so would mean the store could be negligent.
- Determining Comparative Fault or Contributory Negligence — Your lawyer could help determine the other party’s fault or negligence. However, the defendant can also investigate the conduct and behavior of the plaintiff to determine if they share the blame for the accident. Contributory negligence is one of the most important reasons to hiring an experienced attorney for anyone filing a slip and fall lawsuit.
Types of Compensation You Could Seek for a Slip and Fall Case
The types of compensation you might receive from a slip and fall accident will depend on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of your injuries. Over one million emergency room visits per year occur due to slip and fall accidents, so there is considerable data about potential injuries.
Some of the more common injuries include:
- Broken bones — Broken bones are common in slip and fall accidents, including wrists, arms, and ankles. Breaking a hip is common, especially for plaintiffs who are seniors. Oftentimes, broken bones require significant healing time and physical therapy to resume a normal life.
- Economic damages — This can include medical care, emergency services, and physical and rehabilitative therapy. These medical expenses can also involve walkers and scooters. The costs of retrofitting the home to aid movement with wheelchairs and walkers can be factored in this category.
- Lost wages — In some instances, a person may not be able to work due to their injuries and recovery. You could receive compensation for lost wages and future lost wages.
- Noneconomic damages —These damages can include pain and suffering from the accident as well as mental health considerations such as depression, anxiety, and other debilitating consequences.
- Soft tissue injuries — Soft tissues injuries are another common occurrence from a slip and fall accident which include strains, sprains, scratches, and contusions.
- Spinal cord injuries — These injuries can include broken vertebrae, slipped or bulging disks, or trauma to the spinal cord itself. Victims can become permanently paralyzed by the injury.
- Traumatic brain injuries — TBIs are commonly caused by slip and fall accidents. These injuries can range in severity from concussions to irreparable damage.
It’s important to note New York’s statute of limitations with a slip and fall accident. In New York State, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is three years from the date of the accident for both property damage and personal injury. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, it’s important to contact an attorney right away to ensure your claim is filed in a timely manner.
Contact the Slip and Fall Attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C.
Seeking compensation for a slip and fall accident can be challenging. It’s essential to hire an knowledgeable lawyer who has had success with these particular cases. The New York slip and fall attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. have the right skills, experience, and resources necessary to handle your case. Contact us online or call us today at 855-TOP-FIRM for a free case review.