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Who Is Liable in a Slip and Fall Accident in New York City?

Slip and fall accidents are very common in New York. These kinds of accidents have the potential to cause very serious injuries.

Every year, the CDC registers more than 2 million visits to the emergency room due to slip and fall accidents. Around 15% of all slip and fall cases are related to workplace injuries. However, not everyone who suffers a slip and fall accident is entitled to compensation.

There are various factors that will determine if someone is eligible to receive compensation after a slip and fall incident. Therefore, it is highly advisable to speak to a slip-and-fall attorney after suffering a mishap of this nature.

Determining Liability in a New York City Slip and Fall Accident
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What Is a Slip and Fall Accident? 

A slip and fall accident occurs when a person slips, stumbles, or falls on someone else’s property due to dangerous conditions.

These incidents can occur in a variety of settings, including retail stores, hospitality enterprises, pedestrian areas, office buildings, residential premises, and healthcare institutions.

When such incidents occur, determining who may be held accountable for the harm incurred is critical. If a third party (who owed a duty of care) was negligent and their carelessness led to the accident, the injured individual may be entitled to compensation. 

Who Can Be Held Liable in a Slip and Fall Accident in New York?

The liability for a slip and fall injury in New York City varies based on where the incident happens. The following are some of the most prevalent places where slip and fall incidents occur, as well as the parties who may be held liable:

Retail Establishments:

In retail establishments like stores and supermarkets, the property owner or occupier may be held liable for slip and fall accidents.

They have a responsibility to keep their facilities reasonably safe and to rectify any dangerous circumstances that might cause injury as soon as possible.

This obligation applies to the establishment’s interior and outside surroundings, including parking lots and walkways.

Hospitality Venues:

Hotels, restaurants, pubs, and other hospitality businesses are all required to keep their premises secure.

If a slip and fall accident happens in one of these businesses, the owner, management, or operator may be held accountable for the injuries.

It is very important to remember that third-party contractors hired to undertake maintenance or repair work on the property may also be held accountable.

Pedestrian Areas:

The New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) is in charge of public walkways and pedestrian spaces. If a slip-and-fall accident happens on a city sidewalk, the city may be held accountable for failing to keep the area safe.

However, because slip-and-fall lawsuits against the city can be complex and entail special legal criteria, it is critical to speak with an attorney.

Office Complexes:

Depending on the conditions of the lease agreement, liability for slip and fall incidents in office complexes might lie on the property owner, building management, or individual tenants.

Property owners and managers are responsible for keeping common spaces such as lobbies, corridors, and staircases safe. Commercial building tenants are usually responsible for keeping their rented properties secure.

Residential Properties:

Liability for slip and fall incidents in residential premises might vary depending on the kind of property.

In the event of rental homes, the landlord may be held liable for the upkeep of common spaces such as hallways and staircases.

If they have established a dangerous environment, tenants may be held accountable for slip and fall incidents that occur on their rented premises.

Condominium or cooperative societies may also be liable for the upkeep of common areas in residential buildings.

Healthcare Facilities:

Healthcare facilities, including hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes, have a duty to provide a safe environment for their patients and visitors.

If a slip and fall accident occurs in a healthcare facility, the responsible party may be the property owner, the healthcare provider, or both, depending on the specific circumstances.

Understanding Responsibility in a Slip and Fall Incident in New York City
Who Is Liable in a Slip and Fall AccidentGreenberg & Stein P.C. | Contact Us To Get Help

What Are Some Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in New York?

Several factors can contribute to slip and fall accidents in New York City. Understanding these common causes is crucial when determining liability in such cases. Some of the typical causes include:

Wet or Slippery Surfaces:

Spills, leaks, and freshly washed floors may all produce slippery surfaces, increasing the risk of slip and fall incidents.

Snow and Ice:

Snow and ice accumulation may make walking surfaces treacherous throughout the winter months. Property owners and managers are responsible for keeping conditions safe by removing snow and ice as soon as possible and spreading sand or salt to minimize slip and fall incidents.

Insufficient Lighting:

Inadequate illumination can make it harder for people to detect potential risks, which can result in slip and fall incidents.

To reduce the danger of accidents, property owners should ensure that all spaces are appropriately illuminated.

Hazardous Obstacles or Debris:

Tripping hazards can be caused by objects left in walkways, such as wires, cables, or rubbish.

To avoid slip and fall incidents, property owners and managers must maintain paths clear of impediments.

Inadequate Warning Signs:

Property owners should utilize warning signs or barricades to advise people of potential risks when there are temporary hazards or continuing repair works. Inadequate notice might result in slip and fall incidents and consequent liabilities.

Negligent Maintenance:

The failure to maintain and check premises on a regular basis might lead to dangerous circumstances that raise the likelihood of slip and fall incidents.

Property owners have a responsibility to fix maintenance concerns as soon as possible in order to maintain a safe environment.

When Should You Sue?

If you were hurt in a slip-and-fall accident in New York City, you may file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for your loss.

Nonetheless, to accurately determine if you should file a lawsuit or not, you should speak to an attorney that specializes in slip and fall accidents to review your case. In general, you should consider filing a lawsuit if the following requirements are met:

  • You can prove that your slip and fall accident was caused by someone else’s carelessness or failure to maintain safe premises.
  • You have sustained serious injuries, such as broken bones, head traumas, or spinal cord injuries, which have resulted in medical bills, missed earnings, and pain and suffering.
  • The statute of limitations, which establishes the time restriction for filing a case, has not run out. The statute of limitations in New York for slip and fall cases is normally three years from the date of the accident.

How Much Might Your Slip and Fall Case Be Worth?

In New York City, the value of a slip and fall lawsuit is determined by several variables, including the severity of the injuries, medical bills, lost earnings, and the impact on the victim’s quality of life.

While providing a precise sum without examining the circumstances of your case is difficult, some slip-and-fall instances have resulted in considerable settlements or judgments.

In the state of New York, the average compensation for a slip and fall lawsuit is slightly under $790,000.

Working with an experienced attorney can help you determine the potential worth of your case based on the facts and legal precedents available.

Identifying the Party Liable for a Slip and Fall Accident in New York City
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Do You Need a Lawyer for a Slip and Fall Claim?

While it is possible to pursue a slip-and-fall claim without legal counsel, having a lawyer on your side can dramatically increase your chances of success. A personal injury lawyer with experience can:

  • Assess the strength of your case and collect evidence to back up your claim.
  • Handle contact and negotiation on your behalf with insurance companies or opposing parties.
  • Ensure that all legal deadlines are met and that all required paperwork is filed.
  • If the matter goes to trial, represent your interests in court.

Greenberg & Stein P.C. is a New York-based law firm where you can find some of the best slip-and-fall accident attorneys. Our attorneys have several years of experience handling all kinds of slip-and-fall incidents. Our goal is to help you get the compensation you deserve.

We understand the great impact that a slip and accident can have on one’s life. For that reason, we are committed to helping our clients in every possible way. Contact us today for a free consultation. Call us at 212-681-2535