Trip, Slip and Falls

Manhattan Slip and Fall Lawyer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, slip and fall accidents are the third leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere and to anyone. If you or your loved one suffered a slip and fall accident due to the wrongdoing or negligence of someone else, you have the right to file a claim or lawsuit to recover compensation for the damages. The most common types of slip and fall accidents include sidewalk falls and staircase accidents. You can seek legal guidance from a Manhattan slip and fall lawyer to help you get justice.  

Person walking on frozen stairs

What Is a Slip and Fall Accident? 

A slip and fall is a term used for a type of personal injury case where a person slips or trips on someone else’s property and gets injured as a result of the fall. In most cases, a slip and fall accident falls under the category of premises liability claim. These claims are based on the legal concept that property owners, occupants, or other people or entities in charge of the property have a duty to provide reasonably safe conditions for visitors on their property. If failure to do so results in injuries to visitors, it can lead to a premises liability case

Common causes of slip and fall accidents include wet floors, unfastened cords or wires, uneven surfaces, or cluttered walkways. Inclement weather, such as sleep, snow, or rain, can also create unsafe or dangerous conditions that can lead to such accidents. Slip and fall lawyers specialize in such cases and can guide you on each step of the way. 

Common Slip and Fall Injuries

The range of injuries as a result of a slip and fall accident can vary from minor cuts to major incapacitation. Some of the most common fall related injuries: 

  • Fractures and broken bones 
  • Partial or total paralysis 
  • Internal bleeding
  • Lacerations
  • Puncture wounds 
  • Head and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) 

What Is the NYC Slip and Fall Law?

New York uses comparative negligence laws to govern slip and fall accidents. The comparative negligence rule in New York states that an injured plaintiff can recover compensation for their injuries even if they are partly responsible for the accident that caused the injuries. The amount of compensation will be adjusted according to the share of fault of the plaintiff. 

The opposing party, such as the property owner, will most likely argue that you share some fault in the accident. This will allow them to reduce their liability for the accident. If they are successful in proving that you were also negligent in the accident, you could see a significant decrease in your compensation amount.  

What to Do After New York City Slip and Fall Accident?

In the immediate aftermath of the slip and fall accident, you may feel a bit shocked and might not know what to do. The steps you take after the accident are important as you need to protect your legal rights. Here are a few steps to help you build a strong personal injury claim. 

Seek Medical Attention 

Tripping and falling can lead to minor to severe injuries. While some fall injuries are so severe that you might lose consciousness or be unable to move, for other injuries, you may not know the extent of the injuries until you get a medical check-up. This is why it is important to consider getting medical attention after your fall. 

Visiting the doctor also helps establish a record of your injury and might serve as a crucial piece of evidence in your personal injury claim. More importantly, getting medical attention ensures your injuries don’t worsen, and you get all the treatment needed to get you back to your daily life. You can compile all the medical records, including your medical expenses, to use as evidence in your case. 

Inspect the Cause of Your Fall

If you are in stable condition after the fall, you should take some time to examine the cause of your fall. At this point, you may not know whether your fall was a result of someone’s negligence, but as you examine the accident site, you may uncover crucial evidence or information to help you establish liability. 

Gather Evidence at the Accident Site 

Ideally, you want to document the scene of the fall. For example, if you fell due to a wet floor, you should take photos of the floor or other dangerous conditions that led to your fall. Take a variety of photos, including close-up photos. 

You can also identify eyewitnesses and ask them if they are willing to testify. A jury tends to give a lot of credence to eyewitness testimony. If the eyewitness is present at the site, you can request them to share their contact information. Memories tend to fade, so it is best that you have your lawyer get their statement on record as soon as possible. A lawyer can also help you determine if the eyewitness testimony would be useful to your case. 

Assess Your Damages

In most cases, your medical expenses will make up most of your damages from the slip and fall accident. However, there can be several other types of losses. If you had personal property on you, that could have been damaged when you fell. You could also have lost wages, or if there was a serious injury, you could have a loss of earning capacity. Along with the economic damages, you also need to consider the noneconomic impact of the fall. For example, you might suffer from anxiety, mental trauma, or depression as a result of the incident. All these damages must be calculated for you to know what compensation you deserve for the accident. It is best to consult with your slip and fall lawyer to ensure you have included all the expenses. 

Do Not Accept Offers Without Consultation With a New York City Slip and Fall Lawyer 

In the aftermath of the fall accident, you want to avoid discussion of your case as that could work against your personal injury claim. In particular, you want to avoid discussing your case with representatives of the opposing party, such as their insurance company or attorney. Whatever you say can be used against you in court. 

You should also not accept any settlement offer without consulting with your attorney. Insurance companies try to shift liability or minimize their payout by offering an early settlement, but such offers are typically unreasonably low. While it may be in your best interest to keep the other party engaging in settlement discussions, you have the right to reject any offer that you feel is too low. It is best to have your attorney handle the settlement negotiations. If your slip and fall lawyer feels that no settlement can be reached, you can consider taking the case to a trial. 

Photo of slip and fall accident

Establishing Liability in Slip and Fall Accidents 

One of the key aspects of a slip and fall accident is to prove the fault of the other party. You will have to demonstrate that someone’s negligence or wrongdoing resulted in your fall. To determine eligibility for a slip and fall accident, you have to consider whether it was a genuine fault of someone else or if it was your own negligence that led to your fall.

Other factors include whether you have enough evidence, such as medical records, to prove fault and whether you suffered significant damages that are worth the time and effort required to file a claim. You should carefully assess the facts of the case with your attorney to determine if you have a slip and fall case. 

A key factor to consider in establishing liability is whether the defendant had created or ignored the dangerous situation that led to your injuries. The defendant should not only have been aware of the dangerous situation, but they should have also had a reasonable amount of time to address the issue or post a warning for the visitors. All these factors need to be considered to help you establish liability in a slip and fall accident in New York. 

Damages Available in New York City Slip and Fall Accidents 

There are three categories of damages available in slip and fall accidents:

Economic Damages

All the financial losses and expenses related to your fall injury are economic losses. This includes the cost of medical care and lost wages. In some cases, victims have to make modifications to their homes for a disability caused by the injury. All such expenses can be included in your claim. 

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages in personal injury cases refer to the mental anguish and trauma as a result of the injury. This includes loss of quality of life, loss of consortium, anxiety, and depression. 

Punitive Damages 

Punitive damages are rare in slip and fall accidents. These types of damages are designed to punish the person for their disregard for the safety of others that resulted in an accident or injury. For example, if a property owner knowingly fails to fix a hazard condition that they know can cause severe harm to visitors, they can be punished with punitive damages. 

Injured Person Filling Out a Slip and Fall Report

How Long Does a New York City Slip and Fall Case Take to Settle?

On average, you can expect a slip and fall case in New York City to take six months to three years to settle; however, the timeline depends on several factors, including the complexity of the case and whether the opposing party is ready to accept liability and settle the case. Some plaintiffs want to wait until they have fully recovered to have a better estimate of their medical expenses and other damages caused by the injury. 

Both parties can take extra time to collect evidence and build their case, making a slip and fall case to become a more drawn-out process. If the case goes to trial, it can take even longer to conclude. If you are in need to settle the case quickly, you should not let this be apparent to the opposing party, as they can use this to pressure you into accepting an unreasonably low settlement. 

What is the Statute of Limitations on a Personal Injury Lawsuit in New York?

The statute of limitations refers to the time limit you have to file a personal injury lawsuit from the time of the accident. If you miss this deadline, your personal injury lawsuit could be dismissed. In most cases, the statute of limitation for a personal injury case will apply to a slip and fall injury. 

According to Section 214 of the New York Civil Practice Laws and Rules, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case in NYC is three years. The time starts from the date of the accident that caused the injury. 

The three-year time limit also applies to any lawsuit you file for property damage as a result of the slip and fall accident. For example, if you were wearing a watch or had a smartphone in your pocket, and it got damaged due to the fall, you could seek compensation for such property damage. 

Ideally, you don’t want to get too close to the time limit to file a personal injury lawsuit. Even if you are confident about your case, it is best to leave yourself plenty of time to file a lawsuit. You also want to leave some extra time to negotiate with the other party in case they want to settle the case out of court. 

It is important to note that if the injury occurred on government-owned or operated property, special rules might apply, including a reduced statute of limitations. This means if you were injured at municipal sidewalks, public parks, New York City Transit Authority stations, or New York Housing Authority apartments, you may have a shorter time limit to file a lawsuit. You may also need to file a Notice of Claim, which is a type of legal document to inform the opposing party that you intend to file a claim. Acting quickly can help maximize your chances of recovering full and fair compensation for your slip and fall accident. 

Knee Injury Image

What Questions to Ask for a Slip and Fall Case?

Asking the right questions in a slip and fall case can lead you to a strong legal strategy to recover compensation for your damages. Here are some important questions you need to ask for a slip and fall case:

  • What caused the fall? 
  • Was the fall a result of someone’s negligence or wrongdoing? 
  • How did you respond to the accident? 
  • Can you prove the fault of the other party? 
  • What evidence do you have to support your case?  
  • What is a fair assessment of your losses? 
  • Have you consulted with a New York slip and fall attorney? 

These questions can point you in the right direction so you can gather information and evidence to support your case and check if your case qualifies as a slip and fall incident. Slip and fall lawyers can help you answer these questions. 

Allow Our NYC Slip and Fall Lawyers to Get You Justice 

While you may not be able to predict or plan for a slip and fall accident, you can certainly seek expert legal guidance to help you recover your losses. At Gray Injury Law, our law firm offers the services of experienced and skilled lawyers. Our premises liability lawyer knows the ins and outs of premise liability law and can help you recover compensation for injuries that resulted from the property owner’s negligence. Our slip and fall lawyers routinely go against the largest insurance companies and work hard to get maximum compensation for our clients. We are proud to have helped fall accident victims get justice for their suffering. To learn more, you are welcome to schedule a consultation with one of our slip and fall lawyers. 

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