Everyone has fallen or tripped at some point in time – we don’t always have our feet in place. Most of the time, we are able to dust ourselves off and get back up and blame it on being clumsy, not paying attention, or being too involved in our phones. However, sometimes the falls aren’t actually our faults – it is something that happened because of someone else’s negligence. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t – on both private and commercial property.
If you were injured from a slip and fall on someone else’s property, you may have a case in East Village and you may not. Use the following guidelines.
Was the East Village Property Unsafe or Have Unsafe Conditions?
For the property owner to be found liable, an unsafe condition must have caused the fall in the first place. This can be as a result of debris, snow and ice accumulation, wet floors, damaged sidewalks and pathways, and potholes.
The landlord must have either caused the property to be unsafe or allowed the property to stay unsafe. The property doesn’t have to be perfectly safe, there is no way to ensure that. Instead, the property has to be considered reasonably safe.
For example, during the winter months property owners must ensure that there are cleared pathways and parking at their homes so that someone is safe. However, this person isn’t required to ensure that they stay dry and clear all day and night.
Did the Owner Know About the Situation?
If a property owner is not aware of the dangerous condition, he or she is not responsible for it. Property owners have a certain amount of time to find and fix any dangerous conditions. For example, if someone were to throw a milkshake out the car window and someone slips on that spilled milkshake five minutes later, the owner of the restaurant would not be responsible for the injuries from the resulting fall.
For attorneys, notice is one of the most difficult things to prove. The best way to do this is through incident reports that sometimes pop up from the business. Those incident reports sometimes give information about if and when the property owner became aware of the dangerous conditions. At a private residence, this becomes more difficult.
Surveillance video, eyewitness reports, and medical reports can also help to give light to the conditions around the property when you fell. However, surveillance videos and incident reports are the most important.
Was a Warning Posted on the Property?
A simple warning sign is enough to take the blame off of the property owner. If someone cannot remedy the situation in a reasonable amount of time, there needs to be a sign to warn people about the danger. A simple “Wet Floor” sign, a rope around crumbling sidewalks, and caution tape should be enough to warn you about existing dangerous conditions.
Was the Fall Your Responsibility?
Property owners are typically not found to be responsible if the dangerous conditions were obvious. For example, if you fall into an obvious hole in the ground that has been marked, it will not be the fault of the owners. Another example is that if you see a sidewalk is icy and you still decide to walk on it, the fault is your own. You chose to walk somewhere that you knew was unsafe.
Before making a claim, make sure that you contact an attorney who can help you get what you deserve for your pain and suffering. You have medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and distress from your injuries. In order to get what you want, you need to reach out to a trusted attorney who knows local laws and can help you prove your case.