NYC Slip and Fall Lawyer
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Slips, trips and falls are the most common types of premises liability accidents. An individual can slip and fall on virtually any property — a public park, the grocery store, the workplace or right at home. To have grounds to sue for slip and fall injuries, the victim must be able to prove that someone else’s breach of duty caused or contributed to the incident. Premises liability claims follow slightly different procedures than other personal injury claims in New York. Retain a skilled NYC Slip And Fall Lawyer with experience in these types of cases at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP.
What’s the difference between slip and fall, premises liability, and personal injury claims?
Personal injury law exists to help protect people after they’ve been injured. If you’ve been injured and another party is responsible, personal injury laws are what allow you to seek compensation for damages.
Premises liability falls under personal injury law. If your injury was caused due to a property owner’s failure to maintain a safe property, your injury could qualify for a premises liability claim.
Slip and fall accidents are a type of premises liability claim. These accidents can result in injuries when unsafe property conditions cause you to slip or trip and fall.
Common Types of Slip and Fall Accidents and Where They Might Occur in New York City
From 1998 to 2008, fall-related deaths in New York increased by 15%, and fall-related hospitalizations increased by 19%. Slip and fall accidents are a common form of injury. They can happen anywhere, and they frequently happen in public places, including:
- Retail stores
- Public transit stations
- Parking lots
There are different types of slip and fall accidents determined by the circumstances surrounding the fall. Some common types are:
- Stair slip and falls
- Slip and falls with or without warning signs
- Slippery floor slip and falls
- Residential slip and falls
- Landlord slip and falls
- Sidewalk slip and falls
- Ice slip and falls
Depending on the type of accident, the location, and the type of property, different laws might apply to your specific situation. It’s important to speak with a lawyer quickly after a slip or trip and fall accident to ensure you don’t miss deadlines for taking legal action.
Why do slip and fall accidents commonly happen?
Slip and fall accidents usually happen because a property has not been safely maintained. Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Lack of signage
- Poor lighting
- Uneven or cracked ground
- Ripped carpet
- Wet or waxed floors
- Broken stairs or handrails
These types of safety hazards often result in serious injury, and the property owner is generally responsible for damages that come from them.
What should I do after a slip and fall accident in NYC?
After a slip and fall accident, it’s a good idea to be evaluated by a doctor. Sometimes injuries are delayed. Immediately seeing a doctor protects you if medical issues caused by the accident only affect you afterward.
You can sometimes also request an incident report from a manager or building owner. This can help further establish documentation of the accident. Don’t accept a settlement or speak with insurance companies until you’ve first spoken with a lawyer.
Slip-And-Fall Claims In New York City
Not all slip-and-fall accidents give the victims grounds for a lawsuit. The NYC civil courts require specific elements of proof for a plaintiff to recover damages after a slip and fall. It’s important to seek help from a knowledgeable NYC personal injury lawyer for these types of cases. Otherwise, you could make a mistake that leads to the courts dismissing your claim — even if it has merit. Understanding when you may sue for a slip-and-fall can help you take appropriate legal action after such an accident in New York. Here are a few important facts:
- You have to prove several elements. You must prove that the defendant owned or controlled the property and that he or she was negligent in its care. The property owner had to have known or reasonably should have known, about the hazard and done nothing to remedy the situation. If the property owner had no reasonable way of knowing about the hazard, or if another prudent owner wouldn’t have noticed the hazard, the courts may not find him or her guilty of negligence.
- You may share fault for your accident. Slip-and-fall cases almost always consider the question of shared fault. The defendant may argue that the plaintiff could have prevented injury if he or she had paid more attention. The courts may assign the plaintiff a percentage of fault if this is the case. In New York state, plaintiffs may still be eligible for compensation despite sharing fault for the slip-and-fall. The courts will reduce your compensation award by your percentage of fault.
- You can sue the city for an unsafe public property. If your slip-and-fall occurred on city-owned property, like a public park, you may be able to bring your claim against New York City itself. Claims against the government have very strict requirements and filing deadlines. Always seek help from an experienced NYC slip-and-fall attorney if you need to go up against a government entity after an accident.
Property owners in New York have certain duties and responsibilities depending on who is entering the property. For example, business owners owe greater standards of care to customers than homeowners owe to houseguests. You must understand your classification as a visitor on the property and the owner’s related duties of care to know whether or not you have grounds for a premises liability claim.
How do I prove a slip and fall accident case?
A successful slip and fall accident claim is dependent on proving that the property owner’s negligence played a key role in the reason for your accident. A successful argument must prove:
- You were lawfully on the property
- Owner negligence violated a duty of care
- Your injury was the result of this negligence
When a property owner fails to maintain a property safely, they’re responsible for injuries that happen. Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Cracked or uneven flooring
- Broken or missing stairs or handrails
- Wet or slippery floors due to leaks, puddles, spills, or maintenance
- Inadequate lighting
- Unmarked safety hazards
If your accident was caused by one of the above hazards or a similar issue, your attorney will work to build a case showing that your accident would not have happened if the owner had kept the property safely maintained.
How dangerous are slip and fall accidents in New York City?
Slip and fall accidents in New York City are extremely dangerous. Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury. Falls lead to 8 million hospital visits each year. The NFSI estimates 21.3% of emergency room visits are fall-related, making falls the leading cause of hospital visits, and 12% of those falls are due to slip and fall accidents.
Fatal workplace slip and fall accidents also commonly occur in industries like construction. OSHA identifies falls as one of the “fatal four” leading causes of death in the workplace. When a slip and fall accident occurs in the workplace, workers’ compensation laws may dictate settlement outcomes.
Slip and fall accidents can lead to a host of serious injuries, including:
Slip and fall accidents can also have serious long-term consequences, including the inability to return to work, chronic pain, the need for ongoing surgeries, or even death.
How much compensation can I receive for my slip and fall accident claim?
Compensation obtained from a slip and fall accident case can range widely. Typically, a settlement aims to balance compensation with the extent of the injuries incurred.
Awards might include economic and non-economic compensatory damages, as well as punitive damages. Punitive damages are reserved for cases involving gross negligence or willful conduct that’s especially egregious. These damages intend to punish the wrongdoer and deter future wrongdoing.
New York state law has no cap on the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded. However, the amount of punitive damages awarded often depends on the number of economic and non-economic damages given.
Damages might include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of potential income
- Pain and suffering
Some accidents are more serious and might result in injuries that cause a diminished ability or complete inability to return to work. If long-term disability or death results from a slip and fall accident, the compensation value will likely be higher.
What if I’m partly to blame for my slip and fall accident?
New York state slip and fall accidents are governed by comparative negligence laws. This means that the extent to which you are at fault in the accident is weighed against the contribution of property owner negligence. If owner negligence is the larger contributing factor in the accident, you can still receive compensation.
What if my loved one died due to a slip and fall accident in NYC?
Unfortunately, slip and fall accidents are often fatal. The CDC reports that the death rate from falls has increased in the U.S. by 30% from 2007 to 2016. The New York State Department of Health reports that falls are the leading cause of injury-related death, hospitalization, and emergency room visits for older adults.
If your loved one died due to a slip and fall accident, you might have grounds for a wrongful death claim. You’ll need to prove that negligence on the part of the property owner directly caused the accident resulting in the injuries that led to death. Typically, only close relatives can sue for wrongful death damages, and New York has a two-year statute of limitations for this type of lawsuit.
Compensation is possible after a loved one dies in a slip and fall accident. A premises liability attorney can assess your case and advise you on whether a wrongful death claim is right for your situation.
How long do I have to sue after a slip and fall accident in NYC?
New York has different time limits for when you can file a claim over a slip and fall injury. The time frame depends on the ownership of the property where the accident occurred. If your injury happened on privately owned property, such as a business or residence, there is a three-year statute of limitations for filing a claim.
However, a publicly owned property has a much shorter time limit. Public property includes places like the following:
- New York Housing Authority apartments
- New York City Transit Authority stations
- Municipal sidewalks
- Public parks
If your injury occurred on public property, you only have 90 days to file the Notice of Claim legal document. Acting quickly when filing a slip and fall accident claim is always recommended to increase the likelihood of receiving compensation. In some cases, failure to act promptly can mean losing out on your chance to seek compensation for your damages.
Why should I hire the New York City premises liability attorneys at Meirowitz & Wasserberg?
The New York City premises liability attorneys at Meirowitz & Wasserberg hold an impressive winning track record for helping clients gain compensation after slip and fall accident injuries. Successful case results and positive client testimonials show just how committed we are to helping clients obtain payouts for their damages after an accident derails their life.
Attorneys Sam Meirowitz and Dan Wasserberg are passionate about helping people achieve the justice they deserve. We offer skilled, dedicated representation to clients, and we have a reputation for excellence in New York.
Contact the premises liability attorneys at Meirowitz & Wasserberg today for a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) After a Slip and Fall Accident in NYC
You probably have some questions if you’re considering legal action after a slip and fall accident. Here are some common client questions answered by the premises liability attorneys at Meirowitz & Wasserberg.
It’s better not to speak to an insurance company at all. Instead, you should contact your lawyers and let them communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf.
Insurance companies are known for asking leading questions, and it’s very easy to accidentally say something that can disqualify you from full coverage after a slip and fall accident.
If you do speak with an insurance company yourself, never admit fault and don’t agree to a settlement before having an attorney review the offer.
Yes, you can sue a landlord for a slip and fall injury if you can prove that their negligence contributed to your injury. Landlords bear the responsibility of maintaining a rental property in a safe condition.
You’ll need to show that your accident was the result of an issue such as:
- Cracked or uneven flooring
- Ripped carpet
- Broken or missing stairs or handrails
- Unmarked drop-offs
- Water leaks
Both residents and guests can sue a landlord when a slip and fall injury occurs at a rental unit or apartment building.
Yes. It’s possible to sue for a slip and fall injury that occurred at an Airbnb. When an Airbnb property has not been safely maintained, the owner can be held responsible for accidents and injuries that occurred due to negligence.
Airbnb offers insurance coverage through its Host Protection Program to protect hosts from expensive lawsuits. This insurance policy covers third-party bodily injury claims of up to $1,000,000 for each person injured in an accident. While not all accidents are covered under this policy, slip and fall accidents are among the types included.
Slip and fall injuries are most common in the winter when snow and ice create hazards that don’t exist in the warmer months. Common weather-related slip and fall claims may be caused by:
- Icy sidewalks or parking lots
- Leaking roofs
- Puddles created by wet or muddy shoes
- Wet walkways or stairways
To receive compensation for a slip and fall claim in which the weather was a contributing factor, your lawyer will need to prove that owner negligence played a role in your injury. An owner’s duty of care extends to include additional safeguards when wet or icy weather creates a safety hazard.
The time it takes to receive compensation in a slip and fall accident varies. Many factors will impact the timeframe, including whether the accident can be covered by insurance, whether an insurance company accepts or challenges your claim, and whether direct negotiation or litigation with the property owner is necessary.
Usually, compensation through insurance will occur more quickly, while going to court can make the process last much longer. Most cases settle out of court, as both parties typically prefer to avoid the expense and time commitment of ongoing litigation.
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