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Slip, Trip & Fall Accidents

Have you been hurt in a slip and fall accident? Most trip and fall accidents are minor, but these accidents are also one of the leading causes of accidental injury, injury-related disability, accidental death, and workers’ compensation claims. Falls are responsible for about 800,000 hospital admissions every year, and they kill 15,000 seniors alone per year.

At Goidel & Siegel Injury Lawyers, we understand just how serious a slip, trip, or fall accident can be. We will fight back against the insurance company’s tactics to minimize your injuries or blame you for your fall to pursue fair compensation for your injuries.

New York Premises Liability Law

New York Premises Liability Law

Most slip and fall accident cases involve premises liability, or accidents that occur on someone else’s property. New York’s premises liability law holds property owners responsible for maintaining premises that are reasonably safe for visitors. If you are injured due to dangerous conditions on the property, the property owner may be held liable if they were negligent.

To recover compensation, your case must show that you were owed a duty of care by the property owner which they breached, resulting in your injury. The duty of care or standard of behavior depends on your relationship with the property owner:

  • Invitees are people on public property or premises for the property owner’s benefit. Customers are an example.
  • Licensees are people who are not specifically invited onto the premises but allowed on the property. Social guests are an example.

Invitees are owed the highest duty of care. Property owners must maintain the property in reasonably safe condition, fix or warn of known hazards, and perform regular inspections to identify and address hazards. The property owner can be liable for injuries that result from defects they knew about or should have known about.

If you were a licensee, the property owner is only liable for injuries they had actual or construction knowledge of, not hazards they could have detected through regular inspection of the property.

Comparative Negligence in a Slip and Fall Accident

All premises liability cases are complex and require substantial evidence and a well-prepared case. To win your case, you must show that the property owner either knew the danger existed or should have known of the danger. This can be challenging. After demonstrating that there was a dangerous condition, the defendant must show they fulfilled their duty by taking reasonable steps to correct the condition, provide warning, or otherwise make the property safe.

Another crucial aspect of your case is whether the hazard was obvious and whether you contributed to your accident. New York uses a pure comparative negligence doctrine which means a percentage of liability can be assigned to all parties involved after an accident. If you failed to exercise reasonable caution, or even failed to mitigate your damages by seeking prompt medical attention, your recovery can be reduced according to the share of fault you are assigned.

A court will consider whether the hazard that caused your injury was open and obvious. This means the hazard was recognizable and observable and an ordinary person would have taken reasonable steps to protect themselves. This can be tricky, however. Property owners have a duty to maintain safe walkways and entrances which means shoveling and salting to avoid an accumulation of ice and snow. While a build-up of snow or ice is usually considered open and obvious, this isn’t always the case, particularly with black ice that isn’t readily apparent.

Any fault that is assigned to you directly reduces the compensation you can recover. This is why it’s crucial to work with an experienced New York slip and fall accident lawyer who understands the evidence necessary to prove a premises liability case.

Contact a New York Slip, Trip & Fall Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation

A slip and fall can leave you with a long and painful recovery, permanent impairment, and long-term health effects. If you have been hurt because a property owner was careless, you should not be forced to suffer the financial burden of your injuries.

Goidel & Siegel Injury Lawyers has represented slip and fall victims and their family members for more than three decades. Our New York trial lawyers have extensive courtroom experience which gives us an edge during negotiations because insurance companies know we are prepared to take a case to court when necessary. Call our law office today for a free consultation with our multilingual New York injury lawyers to discuss how we can help you.

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