Do You Have A Serious Injury After Tripping Or Slipping And Falling?
Slip-and-falls can be devastating to your body and cause serious injuries. Treatment and rehabilitation for these injuries can be extremely costly. It may require taking time off of work to heal and having to mentally recover from pain and suffering inflicted as a result of the slip-and-fall. Our personal injury attorneys at the DeMore Law Firm, PLLC, have experience representing individuals in Syracuse and across New York State for a vast range of these and other types of premises liability claims.
Common Hazards That Cause Slip-And-Fall Injuries
A trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall incident can occur due to multiple reasons. Here are some of the most common causes of these incidents:
- Accumulated snow and ice on pathways or in parking lots. This could be due to the property owner cutting corners or hired plow companies failing to be diligent in removing the snow from the premises. Property owners in Syracuse should be well-aware of the risks of ice and snow.
- Spills/wet floors. These happen most commonly in grocery stores and restaurants. The owners of these businesses are required to clean up any spills promptly or notify customers of the unsafe condition. Typically, the yellow wet floor signs are used to make customers aware of the slippery floors. Sometimes a wet floor sign itself is not enough if it is not properly displayed.
- Worn and uneven steps. When steps are poorly maintained or step risers are uneven, tripping and falling is likely to occur, which can lead to serious injuries. Similarly, loose floorboards can cause falls if left without repair.
- Lack of stair handrails. Certain building codes have exact specifications for handrails next to stairs. If there are no handrails when the building code requires them, or the handrails do not meet the exact requirements of the building code, the building owner may be held liable for falls on those stairs.
Important Steps To Take After A Slip-And-Fall/Trip-And-Fall
It is important to document critical information relating to your incident and injuries. Here are a few steps we recommend taking as soon as possible after suffering from an accident:
- Seek medical attention – Your health and wellness is a priority. See a medical professional as soon as you can, not only to treat your injuries, but also to document the physical injuries. The court may limit your compensation if you fail to mitigate your damages. This means that if your injuries could have been less severe if you had sought medical attention earlier and you chose not to, your potential compensation may be subject to a reduction. It is also possible that the longer it takes you to see a doctor, the easier it is to blame your injuries on other factors.
- Take pictures – Pictures of the scene of the incident are crucial. If the fall was a result of an unsafe condition, it may be impossible to prove that there was an unsafe condition without pictures of the unsafe condition at or near the time of the incident. Certain conditions are time sensitive, like spills, ice or snow, while others are likely to persist like broken steps, lack of handrails, and other unsafe conditions.
- Avoid speaking with insurance companies – You should retain counsel before speaking with any insurance representatives. Opposing parties may have insurance that will try to pay you the least amount possible. Be sure to consult with an attorney that specializes in premises liability before you say too much or agree to anything with the insurance company.
Who Can Be Held Responsible?
The location of your slip-and-fall can have an impact on who will be responsible for your injuries. Was it a private residence, a business, a municipal building, your place of work? The type of owner of the premises can determine how to approach a case. In addition to the owner of the premise, tenants, building managers and contractors performing work on the premises may be liable as well.
Each of the various types of property owners have a different level of duty to prevent slip and falls. Business owners have a duty to keep their places of business free from unreasonable safety hazards. Private residence owners have a lower duty of care but still are required to keep safe premises within reason. Slip-and-falls at a place of work may have to deal with separate workplace safety standards and may require you to go through workers’ compensation insurance.
Types Of Damages
There are several categories of damages that one can be compensated for. These include:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitative care costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity due to injury
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
New York is a comparative negligence state. This means that if your case goes to trial, a jury could find that you had some degree of fault regarding the fall. The damages you recover will be lessened by the percentage of fault that is your own. For example, if the jury finds that you were looking at your phone when you slipped on ice in front of a business and that 50% of the fault is yours for not being careful, you may only get 50% of the monetary damages.
New York law requires filing premises liability claims within three years from the date of the accident causing the injury. If you are considering seeking compensation for a slip and fall case, contact the DeMore Law Firm, PLLC, today.
Call DeMore Law Firm, PLLC, For Help
An attorney can build your case by gathering evidence, witness statements, and even put the opposing party on notice to preserve vital evidence such as security video footage. We can help you settle a case with the landowner or advocate on your behalf in court. Both of these methods can help you seek compensation for your slip-and-fall injuries. Send an email or call us at 315-413-7000 for a consultation.