Proving Negligence in New York Slip and Fall Injury Claims
Accidents involving a slip and fall might result in very serious injuries. These injuries may keep you from working and cost a lot of money. A major financial hit also results from missing work. While you are recovering from your injury, bills can quickly mount. Fortunately, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries if someone else’s negligence caused your accident. However, not every slip-and-fall incident is someone else’s fault.
To understand more about your legal possibilities, you can also consult a skilled slip and fall lawyer. A lawyer can examine your case and, depending on the particulars of your accident, assist you in developing a compelling evidence-based case. It is important to demonstrate that another party was negligent or careless and that your injuries occurred as a result of their actions (or inaction) in order to be able to receive compensation for your damages.
Who is Liable in a Slip & Fall Injury Accident?
In slip and fall accidents, the person or company that owns or manages the premises are liable for the accidents that take place on their property. Here are some of the most common parties that can be held responsible in slip and fall accidents:
- Property owners
- Property manager
- The company in charge of the maintenance of the building
Present to Prove Negligence
The only way to be able to collect compensation for your damages after a slip and fall accident is by proving that the person or company responsible for ensuring that the property is safe, was negligent. You must also prove that their carelessness provoked your injuries. Here are 4 things that you must take into account to prove negligence.
Duty of care
All property owners and property managers have the responsibility to keep their premises free of hazardous conditions. This is also known as duty of care. The person responsible for maintaining the property must ensure that the property is safe for anyone who can be on the premises. If there is a dangerous condition, the property owner must fix or remove said hazardous condition within a reasonable amount of time.
Violation of the duty of care
As previously mentioned, property owners have the responsibility to maintain their property safe for everyone. If they fail to do so and someone gets injured, they may be held liable for the injuries suffered by this person. For example, if someone reports that there is a broken step in the staircase, the property owner has to repair it as soon as possible. If someone trips and falls after stepping on the broken step, the property owner can be sued. Nonetheless, there needs to be evidence that the property owner was informed of the dangerous condition and that they did not correct it within a reasonable amount of time.
You must demonstrate that the property owner or manager’s negligence was the primary reason for your accident, even if there is proof of that wrongdoing. If there is no conclusive proof that the property owner’s negligence led to your accident, you cannot file a lawsuit against them for every slip and fall injury. For instance, you might not be able to receive compensation for your injuries if you fall while walking on a wet floor after bumping into someone. Although the property owner may have been negligent by failing to remedy the dangerous situation, the judge may find that you fell because you collided with another person and that the presence of water on the floor was unrelated to your accident.
Finally, you must prove that you sustained different damages due to the accident. You must have receipts or invoices of all the expenses that you incurred. Medical bills, transportation expense invoices, proof of your lost wages, and other documents can be very valuable pieces of evidence.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages
After a slip and fall accident, it is clear that you can suffer several losses. These losses can be categorized as economic and non-economic damages.
- Economic damages are compensation for verifiable financial losses such as past and future medical bills, loss of past and future wages, loss of property usage, personal property repairs or replacement, the economic value of domestic services, and loss of job or business possibilities.
- Non-economic damages are compensation for non-financial losses such as pain, suffering, annoyance, emotional distress, loss of society and companionship, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life is referred to as non-economic damages.
Understanding New York’s Comparative Negligence Law
New York follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. This means that accountability can be shared among multiple parties, including the accident victim. If the judge determines that you were partially responsible for the accident, your compensation will be reduced. For example, if the judge dictates that you were 30% responsible for the accident, you will receive 70% of the total compensation amount.
Evidence in Slip and Fall Cases
Having solid evidence is key to being able to collect compensation after a slip and fall accident. These are some of the most important pieces of evidence for a slip and fall case:
- Photos or videos of the accident scene and the dangerous condition that caused the accident.
- Photos and videos of your injuries.
- Evidence that the dangerous condition was reported to the property owner. For example, text messages, emails or letters.
- Statement from witnesses.
- The clothes you were wearing at the moment of the accident if they were damaged.
- Medical reports and tests.
- Proof that you were not physically able to work.
- Proof of your lost wages.
Slip & Fall Accident New York Statute of Limitation
In New York, you have three years from the date of the accident to initiate a lawsuit. However, we always recommend starting the process as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more your chances to get the compensation you deserve decrease.
Greenberg & Stein Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
If you suffered an injury due to a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Seeking help from a professional slip and fall attorney may be the best and fastest way to get the compensation you deserve. At Greenberg & Stein P.C. you will find some of the best slip and fall attorneys in New York. Our legal team is ready to help you just like we have helped other New Yorkers with similar situations. Contact us at 888-716-3843 to schedule a free consultation to review your case.