Many slip, trip, and fall accidents are the direct result of a property owner’s negligence, or their failure to maintain a safe environment for others. Unfortunately, when these accidents occur, they can result in serious injuries for the individuals involved. Many victims of slip and fall, or trip and fall accidents suffer physical pain, as well as financial damages.
That being said, many victims of slip and fall, as well as trip and fall accidents can recover compensation for the physical and financial damages that they have sustained in what is known as a premises liability lawsuit.
New York’s Premises Liability Lawyers
If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall, or a trip and fall accident in the State of New York you may be entitled to compensation for the damages that you’ve sustained. Our experienced premises liability lawyers are dedicated to helping you recover the compensation that you deserve. We will evaluate your case and help you make the best decisions based on your specific circumstances. You can read below to learn more about premises liability in slip, trip, and fall accidents.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a term that refers to the liability that a property owner or manager has for certain types of injuries that occur on his or her property. More specifically, premises liability is the inherent legal responsibility of a landowner to keep his or her property safe for all employees and patrons of that property. When the owner or manager of a property fails to maintain a safe environment, or acts negligently in some way, he or she may be held liable for any injuries that occur in a premises liability lawsuit.
FAQs: Recovering Your Losses After a Slip, Trip, or Fall in New York
For purposes of seeking just compensation, does it matter where I fell?
Yes and no. In New York, the general rule is that all property owners owe a duty of care. If a property owner falls short of meeting this duty, he, she, or it can be held legally responsible.
However, there are special rules that apply in certain circumstances. For example, if you were trespassing on someone else’s property, then you might not have a claim unless the property owner knew you were there. Additionally, if you fell on public property, there are limitations on government liability under a law known as the Court of Claims Act. There are some practical considerations that come into play as well. For example, while your neighbors should have insurance to cover premises-related accidents, more coverage will likely be available in cases involving slips, trips, and falls on commercial property.
Does it matter why I fell?
Again, yes and no. In premises liability cases, the key issue is negligence. If you fell due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
You will need to prove the specific type of negligence (i.e., failing to clean up a spill or repair a broken step) in order to successfully pursue your claim. But, if someone else is to blame, you will generally have grounds to seek a financial recovery.
What if the property owner claims that the risk should have been obvious?
If the property owner claims that you should have seen and avoided the hazard that caused you to fall, this might play a role in determining how much you are entitled to recover. Under New York’s “comparative fault” law, an accident victim’s compensation award can be reduced in proportion to his or her percentage of fault.
But, even if the hazard was “obvious,” this still does not necessarily mean that you could (or should) have been able to avoid it. As your attorneys, we will critically assess the facts involved in your case in order to determine your legal rights.
Can I try to handle my premises liability claim on my own?
You can, but we don’t recommend it. In addition to the considerations we discussed above, there are simply too many complicated and time-consuming legal issues involved. Also, as a practical matter, if you don’t hire a lawyer to represent you, the property or business owner and its insurance company aren’t going to take your claim seriously.
Will my attorney’s legal fees eat up my settlement?
No. Like most personal injury law firms, at Lever & Ecker, PLLC, we handle all premises liability cases on a contingency-fee basis. This means that our legal fees, if any, will be calculated as a percentage of your settlement or verdict. As a result, in no set of circumstances is it possible for your legal fees to consume all (or even the majority of) your award.
What do I need to do in order to get started?
If you would like to speak with a lawyer about your premises liability claim, your first step is to schedule a free initial consultation. After your consultation, you can take the time to consider your options and make an informed decision about moving forward. That said, there are strict timelines for asserting your legal rights, and your attorneys may need to act quickly in order to collect key evidence. So, while it is important for you to make an informed decision, it is also important that you not wait any longer than necessary.
Premises Liability In Slip, Trip & Fall Cases
Many of the slip, trip and fall accidents that occur in New York can be prevented by adhering to reasonable safety and maintenance standards. However, many property owners fail to take the necessary precautions to avoid these accidents, and as a result, injuries occur. When the negligence of a property owner causes an accident to occur, the injured party may be able to sue the property owner to recover damages.
For example, one of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents during the winter is snowy or icy sidewalks. In New York, the responsibility of maintaining a hazard-free sidewalk typically falls on the owner of the property adjacent to or connected to the sidewalk in question. Therefore, if property owners fail to clear snow or ice from their sidewalk, they can be held liable for certain injuries that happen due to the hazardous conditions being present.
Proving Fault In A Slip, Trip & Fall Accident
The fact that you were injured by a hazardous condition on someone else’s property does not necessarily mean that the owner or manager of that property was responsible and will be held liable for your injuries. In order to win a slip and fall, or trip and fall case based on premises liability, you must be able to prove negligence.
To prove negligence, you must show that a dangerous condition existed on the property and you must also be able to prove that the dangerous condition caused the accident which led to your injury. Furthermore, you must be able to show that an owner, manager or employee at the establishment knew about the dangerous condition and failed to do anything about it. Additionally, it is possible to prove liability by arguing that the owner or employee of a premises should have known about the hazardous condition if they had been following reasonable safety etiquette.
Do I Need A Premises Liability Attorney?
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury in a slip and fall, or trip and fall accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your damages. However, proving negligence in a premises liability case can be very difficult. For example, if you slipped on a spill in a supermarket aisle, you may have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit against the store manager or property owner. However, the owner or manager may argue that neither they nor their employees knew about the accident and therefore, could not have done anything to prevent your accident from occurring.
While you deserve to receive rightful compensation for any injuries caused by others, you must be able to prove fault. Fortunately, a qualified attorney with experience in premises liability will know how to prove fault and maximize your chances of recovering the money you are owed.
Contact A New York Premises Liability Lawyer
At Lever & Ecker, PLLC, we are dedicated to recovering compensation for our clients. Our experienced premises liability attorneys have extensive knowledge in premises liability law and are equipped with the knowledge that it takes to prove liability in slip, trip and fall cases.
Have you been injured in a slip and fall, or trip and fall accident in New York? Contact us for a free case evaluation. We will help you analyze your legal options and determine the best course of action based on your specific circumstances. Visit our offices located at 120 Bloomingdale Road, Suite 401 in White Plains, NY. While our offices are located in the Westchester area, we serve clients throughout the State of New York including those in The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island, as well as individuals outside of the Greater New York City area.