When involved in a slip and fall accident in New York City, you may be wondering: how can I prove that it wasn’t my fault? The truth is, thousands of people are injured every year due to defective stairs, wet floors, defective patches of ground, and more. In some cases, the property owner was negligent in avoiding an obvious hazard; in other cases, the property owner was not at fault for your injuries. As such, if you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, you need to remember that it’s normal for things to fall on the ground, become hazardous, and so forth, and the property owner can’t be running around 24/7 eliminating hazards.
On the other hand, property owners do have a legal obligation to keep their properties safe and carefully maintained. A slip and fall lawsuit occurs when the property owner committed negligence on his property, whereas that negligence and/or wrongdoing led to your injuries.
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident here in New York, the first step is to call the NYC slip and fall attorneys at Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier. Boasting years of experience successfully helping individuals just like you, we will give your case the attention and vigorous litigation strategies that it deserves, and we’ll relentlessly fight to get you full and fair compensation for your injuries. For a free consultation with our law firm, call us today at (212) 777-9400.
How to Determine “Liability” in a Slip and Fall Claim
In order to be successful in your slip and fall lawsuit, one of the most important things you’ll need to prove is the property owner’s liability. Put differently, you’ll need to prove to the courts that the property owner was unreasonably negligent and that his/her negligence led to your current injuries. Generally, one of the following must be true to prove liability:
- The property owner caused the hazard
- The property owner knew about the hazard but did nothing about it
- The property owner should have known about the hazard, as a “reasonable” person would have known about it and repaired or maintained it
A Property Owner’s Reasonableness For Maintaining Property in NYC
In the section above, I mentioned the aspect that a “reasonable” person should have known about a hazard and, therefore, repaired it. However, “reasonable” needs to be defined so that you can have a better idea of what this means. In general, the law defines “reasonableness” on whether the owner made regular and thorough efforts to keep the property safe and clean. You can better uncover whether or not the property owner was reasonable by asking the following questions:
- Did the hazard exist for a long period of time, whereas the property owner should have known about it?
- Does the property owner have a regular procedure for examining his/her property, maintaining it, and repairing any faults?
- Was there a legitimate reason for the hazard to exist?
- Could a simple barrier or warning have prevented the slip or fall?
- Did poor or broken lighting contribute to the accident?
Were You Careless?
Lastly, when considering fault in a slip and fall case, it’s essential to take an objective look at your role in the accident. For personal injury cases, the property owner may make the argument that you were partially to blame for the accident and the injuries you sustained.
If the property owner is successful in his/her arguments, then the total amount of compensation you’re entitled to can be affected. For instance, if you are seeking $10,000 to cover injuries, and the courts found that you were 10% at fault for the injuries, then the maximum you may be able to receive would be $9,000.
Call the Slip and Fall Attorneys at Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier Today
When you’re involved in a slip and fall accident that led to an injury, the first thing you should always do is fully take care of the injuries; remember, some spinal and head injuries may not show up right away, and so it’s always best to get professional medical help. Additionally, you can always benefit by speaking with a personal injury attorney regarding the viability of your case. That’s why our NYC personal injury attorneys accept free consultations. Just give us a call at no cost to you, and we’ll discuss the possibility of a lawsuit that’ll seek compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
To get your free consultation with Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier, P.C., call our Manhattan-based law firm today at (212) 777-9400.