Slipping and falling is a mainstay of old-time comedy (think The Three Stooges.) But in real life, a slip-and-fall accident usually isn’t funny. Slip-and-fall accidents can leave you with anything from sore muscles to bruises, lacerations, broken bones, and even traumatic brain injuries. We hope you never find yourself with such severe injuries, but they can happen.
This type of accident can have a number of causes—wet floors, ice and snow, sidewalks that aren’t yet clear, and other transient conditions. But building conditions, such as floor damage, improperly maintained or repaired stairs or lack of a handrail could also be the cause of a painful, debilitating accident.
Sidewalks are frequently involved in New York City slip and fall accidents. The City of New York has a specific administrative code that deals with sidewalk maintenance and repair. Owners face liabilities if they fail to take proper care of their sidewalks. This includes snow and ice removal in winter.
Property owners have a duty to keep their premises safe for their employees as well as visitors, in an area of law called “premises liability.” This is particularly true of retail establishments like grocery and discount stores, shopping malls and restaurants, where unsafe floor conditions are prone to happen.
A slip and fall accident is defined when an individual is injured on premises due to the actions and/or negligence of another party. A condition existed that the owner, manager, and by extension, their employees, knew or should have known existed, and should have taken actions to remedy in a reasonable amount of time. In the case of a grocery store with water, oil or other substances creating slippery conditions, warning signs, cones or other visual cues should be placed around the area until someone completes the cleanup and the floor is finally dry.
Was The Accident Your Fault?
Many states employ “comparative fault” in their personal injury laws. This means that if you were partly (or even solely) responsible for your accident, your settlement could be reduced, or even eliminated, depending on what percentage you are assigned.
Since New York is also a comparative fault” state, it’s not uncommon for the defendant to claim that you were at least partly responsible for your injuries. For instance, if you were walking through a store or mall, looking at your phone and not paying complete attention, you could be assigned 25% of the fault because you didn’t exercise a duty of care for yourself. That reduces your $10,000 settlement $10,000 down to $7,500.
Injuries from a slip and fall can be serious, and incur medical expenses that you were not expecting. Compensatory damages can take the form of:
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Lost earning capacity
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident
- Mental anguish
- Pain & suffering
These damages will differ depending on the details of your case. A personal injury attorney who understands slip and fall accidents and premises liability can advise you on what you can expect.
Statute of Limitations
New York allows three years for you to file your claim. After that, your claim will likely be dismissed. If you plan to file a lawsuit, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you are able.
NYC Family-Owned Personal Injury Law Firm
Have you been hurt in a slip & fall accident due to someone’s negligence? Call us at (212) 777-9400 (or use our online contact form.) Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier is a family-owned personal injury law firm in New York City, with more than 26 years of experience helping people just like you. Our contingency fee arrangement means we won’t get paid until you do, whether we settle your case in or out of court.