You probably don’t expect to fall down and get hurt as you go about your daily life. Yet slip and fall accidents are far too common, particularly among older Americans. No matter your age, a slip and fall can lead to serious or even fatal injuries.
If you have been hurt in a slip and fall, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the property owner. Slip and fall accidents are a type of premises liability claim. Through a personal injury lawsuit, you can recover financial compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses.
The NY slip and fall accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan represent injury victims throughout New York who have been hurt in all types of accidents, including slip and falls. We offer free initial consultations, and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. To learn more, give us a call to set up an appointment with a member of our legal team.
Who Is Liable for a Slip and Fall in New York?
In New York, people who own, lease, occupy or control property owe a duty to protect others from harm when they are on their property. This is true regardless of the reason why you are on their property – even if you are trespassing.
This duty means that property owners must maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition, and prevent the occurrence of foreseeable accidents. They are also generally required to either repair dangerous conditions or warn people about the danger.
A number of different people may be responsible for injuries that result from a slip and fall, including:
- Property owners
- Tenants of residential or commercial properties
- Business owners
- Property management companies
- Government agencies
Slip and fall accidents can have many different causes. Most commonly, they are caused by dangerous conditions such as:
- Wet floors
- An icy sidewalk
- Plumbing leaks
- Uneven floors
- Broken or missing railings
- Uncovered cables and cords
- Torn or loose carpeting or tile
- Failure to warn about known hazardous conditions
For example, consider a situation where you slip and fall while walking up the stairs to a friend’s house. The fall happened because one of the wooden stairs was rotted, and it cracked as you stepped on it. In this situation, your friend (through their insurance company) may be responsible for your injuries.
Slip and falls are often associated with serious and even catastrophic injuries. This may include traumatic brain injury (TBI), broken bones, spinal cord injury, and soft tissue damage. Accident victims may also suffer from long-term chronic pain as a result of their fall – even if their injury doesn’t appear that serious at first. For this reason, it is important to seek medical care as soon as possible after an accident.
A New York personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and options for pursuing a claim. If you have been hurt in a fall on someone else’s property, give our law firm a call to schedule a free case evaluation.
What Do I Need to Prove to Recover Compensation for a Slip and Fall?
Slip and fall accident cases are a type of personal injury claim known as premises liability. These cases are usually based on a theory of negligence, or carelessness. Generally, the idea is that the property owner was somehow negligent in failing to fix or warn of a hazardous condition.
The injury victim (plaintiff) has the burden of proving that the responsible party was negligent.
To win this type of personal injury claim, the plaintiff will need to prove the following things:
- The premises were not reasonably safe;
- The person in control of the property (defendant) was negligent in not keeping the premises in a reasonably safe condition; and
- The defendant’s negligence in allowing the unsafe condition to exist was a substantial factor in causing the injury.
Importantly, these types of cases usually require proof that the property owner either knew or should have known of the unsafe conditions. If they weren’t aware of the hazard – or didn’t have time to fix it before your fall – then you may be unable to recover financial compensation.
For example, a customer at a grocery store drops a bottle of spaghetti sauce on the floor. This customer does not notify an employee about the spill. A few minutes later, another customer falls on the slippery floor and suffers a head injury. In this situation, the store may not be liable for the accident because they were not aware of the hazardous condition.
It can be hard to know what your rights are after a slip and fall accident. If you have been hurt in this type of accident, you should schedule a free consultation with a personal injury law firm as soon as possible.
How Can a Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Help Me?
Insurance companies are in business to make money. They make huge profits each year by collecting premiums – and figuring out ways to pay as little as possible on claims. Ultimately, the insurance company does not have your best interests at heart.
For this reason, you should never talk to an insurance adjuster or sign any paperwork before consulting with New York personal injury attorneys. Unlike the insurer, your lawyer is obligated to advocate for your best interests – and to fight for your right to full compensation.
In a slip and fall case, you may be entitled to three types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. You could recover financial compensation for all of your losses, including:
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Future medical treatment
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
Insurance companies often make a lowball settlement offer to injury victims to try to limit the amount that they have to pay out. If you accept this offer, then you may be left without enough money to cover your losses. Studies show that people who are represented by a personal injury lawyer recover an average of 40% more than people who represent themselves in personal injury claims.
Hiring a lawyer is the best way to ensure that you get the money that you deserve for your injuries – and that you achieve justice. Reach out to the Gallivan Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.
Help for Slip and Fall Injury Victims
Being injured in a slip and fall can be incredibly traumatic. It can also lead to significant financial stress as you struggle to pay medical bills while off work to recover from your injuries. Our law firm will fight to help you get the money that you deserve.
The Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC advocates for slip and fall accident victims throughout New York. With offices in White Plains, Manhattan, Uniondale, and Riverhead, we are well-positioned to help accident victims throughout New York. We offer free initial consultations and handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a New York slip and fall lawyer, give us a call at 914-220-1086 or fill out our online contact form.
How Long Do I Have to File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
Under New York law, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 3 years. Under this law, you have 3 years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit (with a few exceptions). If you don’t file a lawsuit during this time frame, then you probably won’t be able to recover financial compensation for your injuries.
While 3 years may seem like a long time, it can go by quickly when dealing with issues related to your fall. Scheduling a consultation with a New York slip and fall accident attorney shortly after your fall will help to preserve your rights. Call the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan today to set up an appointment with a member of our team.
I Fell at a Friend’s House. Can I Really File a Lawsuit Against Them?
When you file a personal injury lawsuit for a slip and fall accident, you typically are not suing the person themselves. Instead, you are filing a claim against their insurance company. This is why people have homeowner’s, renter’s, or commercial liability insurance policies – to cover situations like this.
While it can be difficult to take this step, it is often necessary to ensure that you get the money that you need to move forward with your life. Without filing a claim, you may be stuck with tens of thousands of dollars – or more – in losses. Reach out to the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan to schedule a free initial consultation with a New York slip and fall accident lawyer.