Bronx Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
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The second-leading cause of accidental injury deaths is falling, and in 2019 more than 39,400 people died as a result of falls. According to the National Safety Council, falls are a leading cause of death in some industries. In 2019, 244,000 people were injured badly enough in falls at work to require time off. While construction workers are most at risk for fatal falls, falls can occur in any industry or job, according to the NSC.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that one in four adults older than 65 falls every year, and one out of every five falls results in a severe injury. Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury, and the medical costs for senior citizen falls totaled $50 billion in 2015.
In some cases, someone’s breach of duty caused or contributed to these falls. In these cases, fall victims may be able to recover damages for medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and emotional trauma. The Bronx personal injury attorneys at Sam and Dan at Meirowitz & Wasserberg LLP have significant experience in advocating for those injured because of the negligence of others, and we can help you receive the best settlement possible for your case.
Is a slip and fall accident claim the same as a premises liability or personal injury claim?
Slip and fall accidents are a premises liability claim covered under personal injury law. When someone slips and falls and proves the property owner’s negligence, they are eligible for compensation. A slip and fall accident occurs when someone falls due to slipping on a surface such as a wet floor, an icy driveway, a broken step, or a poorly maintained sidewalk.
Common slip and fall hazards in the Bronx
Several common hazards cause slip and fall incidents in the Bronx. These include:
- Obstructions or debris
- Lack of warning signage
- Poor lighting
- Uneven ground
- Wet or waxed floors
- Broken flooring or steps
- Failure to block off dangerous sites
- Poor housekeeping at work or other commercial sites
- Rain, ice, and snow hazards in winter
Winter presents unique challenges because of snow, ice, and rain. The law recognizes that weather poses challenges to property owners. However, owners are responsible for keeping their premises safe and free of snow, ice, and water. If the property owner was negligent, you might be able to sue and collect damages if you slip and fall.
Steps to take after a slip and fall accident in the Bronx
If you slip and fall in the Bronx, you can maximize the possibility of recovering damages by taking specific steps.
- Seek medical attention. Hospitals in the Bronx include Beth Abraham Center, the BronxCare Health System, Calvary Hospital, Jacobi Medical Center, the James J. Peters Veterans Medical Center, Lincoln Medical Center, Montefiore Medical Center, and Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Montefiore Wakefield, and Westchester Square Medical Center.
- Examine the cause of the slip.
- Photograph the scene.
- Obtain the contact information of any witnesses.
- Fill out an accident report with the property owner.
- Write down an account of the incident as soon as possible.
- Contact an attorney for advice.
Injuries caused by slip and fall accidents
Slip and fall accidents cause several serious injuries. Fractures and broken bones are common accident injuries, particularly for those older than 65. The CDC says that about 270,000 seniors fracture their hips each year in falls. Falls are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, according to the CDC. In 2017, about 17,500 people died from traumatic brain injuries caused by falls.
Falls also can lead to cuts and abrasions, which can scar and disfigure. Soft tissue injuries, such as sprains, strains, severe bruising, bursitis, and tendonitis, are painful and sometimes result from falls.
Falls also can result in severe spinal cord injuries. The number of spinal cord injuries as a result of falls has consistently increased over the past few decades, according to a study published in the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine. About 31 percent of spinal cord injuries from 2010 to 2013 resulted from falls; 75 percent of those for patients older than 75 occurred from falls.
Determining liability and fault in a slip and fall accident
When slip and fall accidents occur and victims file claims, New York courts determine liability and fault based on several criteria. The first is whether the property owner was negligent in caring for the premises. If a prudent property owner should have known a hazard existed, they may be held liable. However, if the hazard was not foreseeable, they may not be. Also, the legal responsibility of property owners differs depending upon the type of owner. For example, businesses have a greater standard of care than residential owners.
What if I'm partly to blame for my slip and fall accident?
Often those injured do share some blame for their accidents. In these cases, the injured can still collect damages. The court may assign a percentage of fault to both the defendant (the property owner) and the injured (the plaintiff). In cases with assigned percentages, the plaintiff may only collect for the portion of fault assigned to the defendant.
How much compensation can I receive for my slip and fall accident claim?
Each case is different, and the amount of compensation varies depending upon the circumstances of each case. Factors include the seriousness of the injury, the type of property where it occurred, whether you could have avoided the slip, and whether the property owner was negligent.
New York offers various types of compensation for premises liability cases. Compensation may account for economic and non-economic factors. Economic factors include medical costs and loss of wages. Non-economic factors include pain and suffering or emotional distress. The court also can award punitive damages if the property owner has been negligent. Punitive damages are over and above actual damages.
What if my loved one died due to a Bronx slip and fall accident?
Under New York law §5-4.1, wrongful death occurs due to actions that would have enabled a personal injury lawsuit if the person had lived. Personal representatives of the person’s estate may file the lawsuit. Damages will go to the estate.
These damages can include:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Injury-related health care costs
- Monetary support the person would otherwise have contributed to the family
- The non-monetary value of support the person would have given the family
- The survivor’s lost inheritance
- Pain and suffering the injured may have experienced
- Interest from the date of death
Representatives must file wrongful death lawsuits within two years of the death.
How long do I have to sue after a slip and fall accident in the Bronx?
In New York, you must file a premises liability lawsuit within three years of the occurrence.
Why should I hire the Bronx premises liability attorneys at Meirowitz & Wasserberg to help me with my slip and fall accident case?
Accident cases are complex, and without the help of an attorney, you could make a mistake that causes your case to be dismissed unnecessarily. The attorneys at Meirowitz & Wasserberg are compassionate advocates with considerable experience in premises liability and personal liability cases. They can help you achieve the best outcome possible based on your specific case. For example, we helped one client who fell and broke their jaw obtain a settlement of more than $235,000.
Samuel Meirowitz and Daniel Wasserberg are committed to helping those injured through the negligence of others. Every case is important to us, and we provide outstanding service to each client. Contact the premises liability/personal injury attorneys at Meirowitz & Wasserberg for a free consultation today.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) after a slip and fall accident in the Bronx
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by people who’ve just had a slip and fall accident in the Bronx.
The best course of action is to direct them to speak with your lawyer. Don’t say anything that the insurance company could construe as admitting fault and never agree to a settlement. Have all conversations go through your attorney.
Landlords in New York are responsible for maintaining safe conditions on their properties. When they fail to do so, a tenant who slips and falls may sue, depending upon the circumstances. Generally speaking, you can sue the landlord if they knew or reasonably should have known about the risk. For example, if a landlord fails to remove snow and ice from surfaces within a reasonable period or allows building code violations to exist, residents may be able to sue. Not all slip and fall injuries will be actionable, however.
Cases proceed at different speeds. Depending on the facts of the case, a settlement might require months or years. Most cases settle out of court through negotiations between attorneys for the plaintiff and defendant.
332 E. 149th St., Suite 201
Bronx, NY 10451