New York Personal Injury Attorneys
Proving Liability in a Slip-and-Fall Accident
Slip-and-fall accidents can occur in many establishments—restaurants, shopping malls, and even workplaces. While many slip-and-fall accidents may result in no injuries at all, others can have serious consequences such as fractures, spinal injuries and even brain injuries like concussions. In fact, falls account for 5% of job-related fatalities for women and 11% for men, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Certain demographics—such as elderly individuals—may have an even greater risk of obtaining a severe injury in the event that they suffer a fall.
If you suffered from a fall that left you with debilitating injuries, you must work with a team of personal injury attorneys who can aid you in proving liability—in other words, you must show that the property owners managing the premises where you were injured failed to properly maintain their premises and instead acted out of carelessness, which lead to the accident. Here, the personal injury attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C discuss the process of proving liability in a slip-and-fall accident.
Incidents That Could Lead to a Slip-and-Fall Accident
Slip-and-fall accidents can be caused by a variety of scenarios. Below are a few common dangers that can lead to serious falls:
Water, floor polish or wax on the floor can cause falls and injuries if not adequately made aware to individuals on the premises or precautionary measures have not been taken.
Ice or Snow on the Premises
If individuals track in ice or snow indoors on a winter day, the melting snow can cause a puddle and lead to a slip-and-fall incident. Likewise, if the exterior premises of a building or property, such as the sidewalk or outdoor steps, is covered with a sheet of ice or snow that was supposed to be removed, a slip-and-fall accident can occur.
Damaged or Uneven Floors
Premises with damaged, uneven, or loose floors—such as loose carpeting, cracks in wood flooring or tile—can lead to a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall incident if undetected. Additionally, exterior potholes or cracks in sidewalks, driveways, or parking lots can lead to serious falls and subsequent injuries.
Inadequate Barriers or Warning Signs
In any case where the flooring of a premise shows imperfections or obstacles, there must be a warning sign to inform individuals in the area that the area must be avoided. An example includes placing a “wet floor” sign near a puddle of water while management works to amend the issue, or a “warning” sign near a damaged area of the floor so individuals can freely avoid the danger.
Theories Of Liability in a Slip-and-Fall Accident
In order to prove liability in a slip-and-fall accident, the plaintiff must show that:
- The property owner should have recognized the hazard, and removed or mitigated the situation promptly, but failed to do so.
- The property owner caused the dangerous condition through their own carelessness.
In both cases, the injured party must show that a reasonable person would find the condition to be dangerous or that an individual could slip-and-fall due to the hazardous condition. Whether it was the failure to properly clean up or repair an area of the floor that posed a danger, or the failure to place a warning sign near said dangerous area, property owners have the responsibility to ensure their premises are reasonably safe and free of hazards. Additional questions to consider would be:
- Did the dangerous condition exist long enough for the responsible party to have an opportunity to correct the hazard?
- Was there a reasonable justification for the creation of the dangerous condition?
- Was there a routine check-in established to prevent these conditions from arising and remaining?
Proving The Property Owner’s Negligence and Upholding Your Innocence
It is possible that the property owner in a slip-and-fall case may argue that the victim was either partially or entirely responsible for the accident. This concept, known as “comparative fault,” could affect the plaintiff’s ability to recover the total amount of compensation awarded for their injuries if they are found to share partial responsibility for the accident occurring. The allegations that it was the injured person’s fault may include an argument that there was indeed sufficient warning of the potential danger, or that the plaintiff acted recklessly and failed to notice the hazard or any warning signs surrounding it. If you are the victim of a slip-and-fall accident and the location of the incident lacked any preventative warning, consult a skilled and experienced New York-area slip-and-fall lawyer to assist you with your case and help you obtain the best possible outcome.
Seek Legal Assistance From SPBMCC For Your Slip-and-Fall Accident
If you are the victim of a slip-and-fall case, the party whose negligence may have contributed to your fall must be held accountable. The New York-area attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C are here to assist you with your personal injury claim and help you receive the compensation you deserve. Discuss your legal options with an attorney today by calling (212)-732-9000 or by contacting us here.