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New York Slip and Fall Attorneys

New York Slip and Fall Accident AttorneyFalls are one of the leading causes of injury and hospitalization every year in the United States. People over the age of 65 tend to be at the greatest risk, but falls affect all age groups. The Centers For Disease Control (CDC), estimates that nearly 3,000,000 people are hospitalized in emergency departments for fall injuries. Head and hip fractures make up a large portion of those hospitalizations. In fact, falls are one of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries. In 2015 alone, the medical costs associated with falls was more than $50 billion.

A large number of slip and fall cases occur inside a person’s home. Many of those people typically don’t have legal recourse for their injuries. But if a slip and fall was due to the negligence of another person or entity, the victim may have legal recourse through a personal injury claim. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. The slip and fall attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. are here to help with whatever you need. They can investigate your case free of cost and let you know if you have a valid claim. You can contact us anytime for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Wet and uneven surfaces are one of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents. Supermarkets, in particular, are a common site of slip and falls. Supermarkets have numerous beverages and food items that can accidentally spill onto the floor and cause it to become slick. Even after a mess has been cleaned up, the water and soap that were used to clean the area can increase the likelihood of someone slipping. Unlike juice or some other liquid, water can be extremely difficult to see and can cause someone to lose their balance while walking. Similarly, produce and floral sections regularly spray water into the air to keep store goods fresh. That water can accumulate on the floor. There are a number of other common sources of slip and falls including:

  • Icy sidewalks
  • Cracked sidewalks
  • Parking lot potholes
  • Accumulated debris in walkways
  • Broken or worn carpeting
  • Waxed or polished floors

When a property owner is not able to eliminate a potential slipping hazard, they must take reasonable steps to warn others about the condition. For example, a grocery store can put up yellow “wet floor” signs. Or, better still, they can section off a wet area with cones and caution tape to prevent people from stepping on the wet surface. There are many steps that property owners can take in order to reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents. This includes installing anti-slip paint or material wherever possible and cleaning up spills immediately after they occur. All passageways should be kept in a neat and orderly fashion without debris on the floor. Depending on the specific facts of any case, there could be numerous sources of liability for a slip and fall accident.

Liability In Slip And Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents fall under a subcategory of premises liability claims. Generally speaking, property owners can be held at fault for a slip and fall. All property owners have a legal responsibility to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition. According to the seminal case of Basso v. Miller, 40 N.Y.2d 233 (1976), property owners owe a duty of care to all persons whose presence on a property is reasonably foreseeable. When a property is in a dangerous condition, property owners must take steps to remedy that condition. There are a number of potential ways that a property could be in a dangerous condition so as to contribute to a slip and fall accident.

  • A puddle of liquid in a supermarket could create an unsafe condition. (Navedo v. 250 Willis Ave. Supermarket, 290 A.D.2d 246 [1st Dep’t 2002])
  • Accumulated debris in a stairwell could create a tripping hazard. l (Bido v. 876-882 Realty, LLC, 41 A.D.3d 311 [1st Dep’t 2007])
  • A patch of ice on a sidewalk could cause someone to fall. (Rosenblatt v. City of New York, 160 A.D.2d 927 (2d Dep’t 1990])
  • An electrical cable not taped or secured to the floor could create a defective condition. (Stevenson v. Saratoga Performing Arts Ctr., 115 A.D.3d 1086 [3rd Dep’t 2014])

New York is a comparative negligence state and plaintiffs can pursue claims even if one partly is partially at fault for an accident under N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 1411. Insurance companies will often argue that plaintiffs were entirely or mostly at fault so that they can avoid paying out damages. This is why it’s so important to have an experienced personal injury attorney representing you. An attorney can take steps to help ensure that your rights are being protected.

Proving Fault In A Slip and Fall Case

Demonstrating fault in a slip and fall accident can be difficult. It is critical that evidence is preserved and that there is a thorough investigation to document what may have caused the fall. The condition must have existed at the time of the fall. Plaintiffs must demonstrate that the condition as documented through photographs or eye witnesses was “substantially similar” to the condition that they claim caused them to fall. But even this is not enough. A plaintiff must also demonstrate that the person who owned a property was negligent. There are four key elements that must be demonstrated in a slip-and-fall case or other negligence claim.

  • Duty: The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care under the conditions in which the accident occurred;
  • Breach: The defendant breached their duty of care through their action or inaction;
  • Causation: The defendant’s action or inaction caused the plaintiff’s injury; and
  • Damage: The plaintiff was injured as a result of the defendant’s action or inaction.

Courts will look at whether or not a defendant breached their legal duty of care by determining what a “reasonably prudent person” would have done under a similar set of circumstances. This legal term “reasonably prudent person” is a legal standard that represents how a typical or average person would have responsibly acted under a given set of conditions. Even a seemingly simple case can be extremely difficult to litigate. This is why it is so critical to seek legal representation as early as possible. Grocery stores and other businesses will almost never hand over the evidence or surveillance footage that demonstrates they were negligent. Hiring an attorney can often mean the difference between winning or losing your case.

Important Steps to Take After A Slip and Fall Accident

It can be difficult to know where to begin after a serious slip and fall accident. The stress of being seriously injured can be very high all by itself. On top of that, many people who are injured in slip and falls don’t have insurance. According to the United States Census Bureau, nearly 28 million Americans did not have health insurance at any point in 2020. For these people, a fall can be devastating. A hip fracture or serious brain injury can leave victims with sky high medical bills. It is important to remember that properly documenting evidence is crucial to winning your case.

  • Take as many photos as you can of the scene of the fall.
  • Try to gather information from any potential eye witnesses.
  • Document all of the details surrounding the accident.
  • Seek medical help as early as you can.
  • File an incident report with the owner of the property.
  • Seek the guidance of an experienced slip and fall attorney.

There are two common mistakes that people make after many slip and fall accidents. They might not think that they are seriously injured and won’t get checked out. But the truth is that many accident victims may not realize the full extent of their injuries for several weeks or months after an incident. It’s also not uncommon for people to blame themselves after falling. This is a mistake! Don’t admit fault for any accident. Instead, consult with an experienced attorney who can examine your case and let you know if you have a valid claim.

Getting Help After A Slip and Fall Accident

Best Lawyers: Edward Gersowitz, Jeff Korek and Michael Fruhling - PartnersHave you or someone that you care about been injured in a New York or New Jersey slip and fall accident? There are a number of laws designed to help you. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to help with whatever you need. We are committed to helping accident victims get the medical and financial support that they need to recover. In fact, we’ve recovered nearly $1 billion for our deserving clients.

It doesn’t cost anything to hire our attorneys. We work off of a contingency fee basis. If we aren’t able to successfully resolve your claim, you don’t owe anything. Feel free to take a look at what some of our past clients have to say in our five star reviews. There is a reason that so many people and families choose to hire us. We care deeply about the outcome of their case and will do everything in our power to win. For more information or to schedule a risk free consultation you can reach out to us anytime at 800-529-9997.

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