A fall can lead to a serious injury, resulting in time away from work, medical treatment and even long-term disability. If you slip or trip on private property, such as a store or a residence, the owner may be responsible if he or she acted negligently in maintaining the premises.

These are the legal requirements for filing a slip and fall lawsuit in New York.

Statute of limitations

 When a slip and fall injury occurs, you have three years to file a lawsuit. After that, the New York court will dismiss your case. Most injured individuals first seek compensation from the property owner’s insurance company. Act right away so that if the insurer offers a settlement that does not cover the costs associated with the injury, you can take further steps to receive deserved compensation.

Comparative negligence

 New York abides by the comparative negligence standard, which means that if you share a percentage of blame for the slip and fall incident, the court will reduce your settlement by that percentage. The court may find you acted negligently if:

  • The incident occurred in an area that does not allow public entry.
  • You should have noticed the dangerous conditions that led to the fall.
  • You were walking without paying attention, for example, while texting on your phone.
  • The property owner took reasonable steps to prevent visitors from entering, such as signs and caution tape.
  • You were wearing unsafe or inappropriate footwear, such as flip-flops in a slippery parking lot.

Documenting the incident

 After becoming injured in a fall, gather as much information as possible about the incident. Take photographs of the scene and ask witnesses for their contact information. Ask a family member or friend to help if you are unable to take action.

Get immediate medical care for your injury. Make sure you keep track of treatments, appointments, costs and bills associated with the fall. The insurance company will require proof of these expenses before offering a settlement.