Slip and fall accidents are common premises liability claims in New York. However, most people do not know what to do to protect themselves and their liability claim after an accident. What do you do after a slip and fall accident in New York City?
At Hach & Rose, LLP, we have the answers you seek for what you should do if you’re injured in a slip and fall accident. Our legal team wants to provide you with proactive advice on managing an accident of this type and the steps you can take to ensure you can pursue maximum compensation for your injuries.
What Are the Elements of a Slip and Fall Case?
Slip and fall accidents fall under the premises liability umbrella. Premises liability laws protect New Yorkers when the careless actions of a property owner lead to dangerous conditions that cause accidents. Slip and fall accidents are common because a wide range of hazards can contribute to falls.
Proving a slip and fall case in New York requires proving specific elements. The first element of a slip and fall case involves establishing that a hazardous condition exists on someone else’s property. The next element is proving that the property owner knew or should have reasonably known about the dangerous condition and did not take adequate measures to remedy the situation. Finally, an individual needs to show that because of the hazardous condition, they suffered significant injury and financial losses.
Common examples of conditions that can pose a significant risk to the safety of visitors, guests, tenants, and patrons can include:
- Wet or slippery flooring
- Snow or ice left on walkways
- Torn carpeting or rugs
- Uneven flooring
- Cracked sidewalks
- Broken tiles
- Tripping hazards like cords and wires
- Pavement defects and potholes in parking lots and garages
- Unmarked steps
- Broken handrails on stairways
- Improper signage warning of hazards
- Poor lighting
Every New York property owner has a legal responsibility to maintain a safe environment free from tripping dangers.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident in New York
These are some of the steps you can take to protect yourself and strengthen your compensation claim:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible – After a slip and fall accident, always seek prompt medical attention. Some injuries don’t manifest for hours or days. Protect yourself and get to a medical professional immediately.
- Report the accident – Always report the accident to the landlord or property manager. Complete an incident report and ask for a copy for your records.
- Document the scene – If possible, document the scene of the fall. Take pictures of the hazardous conditions and your injuries. Ask any witnesses at the scene for their contact information.
- Save your clothing – Store your clothing and shoes from the accident in a bag in a safe location. This physical evidence may be crucial to your case.
- Contact an attorney – Talk to an experienced New York slip and fall accident lawyer as soon as possible.
- Keep complete records – Keep detailed records of your medical expenses, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses related to the slip and fall accident.
- Avoid social media – It is best to avoid posting on social media platforms entirely until your attorney resolves your case. Anything you post could be taken out of context and used against you.
Time Limits for Filing a Slip and Fall Injury Lawsuit
If you’re injured in a slip and fall on someone else’s property because of a hazardous condition on the property, you can file a lawsuit to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. How long you have to file such a suit depends on where the injury occurred and who owned the premises. If your slip and fall takes place on:
- Private residential property: New York’s statute of limitations allows three years to file a lawsuit.
- Property commercial property: The same time limit applies.
- Property owned by municipalities: Notice must be given to the government entity within 90 days. The injured party has one year after the 90 days expires to file a lawsuit.
There are some exceptions to these rules, so it’s best to consult an attorney about the timeline that fits your particular situation.
Slip and Fall Injuries and Treatments
Slip and fall accidents can cause devastating injuries that lead to life-long medical complications. Slip and fall accidents can also cause financial instability as victims struggle to cope with medical expenses and day-to-day expenses while they are out of work and recovering.
Some of the most common injuries caused by New York slip and fall accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Back injuries
The National Floor Safety Institute estimates that falls cause nearly 8 million emergency room visits annually. Treatment for these types of injuries may only involve over-the-counter medication and rest. However, significant slip and fall accident injuries may require surgical intervention, physical therapy, and long-term rehabilitation efforts.
Slip and Fall Settlement Amounts in New York
Slip and fall settlement amounts vary based on the specific facts of each case and the severity of the injuries. Insurance companies attempt to settle slip and fall claims for a fraction of what they are worth to save themselves time and money.
An individual injured by the careless actions of a property owner may find themselves financially struggling after an accident because an insurance settlement doesn’t entirely cover their financial losses. That is why you need the help of an experienced New York slip and fall attorney.
Your attorney can help you seek compensation for a fall so you can move forward with your life. Compensation may include money for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
An attorney can investigate the hazardous condition that led to your fall while collecting and preserving vital evidence. An attorney can also accurately assess the value of your claim and negotiate for maximum compensation for your financial losses.
Contact a New York Slip and Fall Attorney Immediately
After a New York slip and fall accident, contact an experienced New York slip and fall attorney with Hach & Rose, LLP. We want to help you hold the careless property owner responsible for their actions and get the money you need.