New York City, NY , 03/18/2021 / New York Injury News /
You might have sustained a slip, trip, or fall accident at some point in your life where you got right back up without any harm or damage done. However, many of us may one day take a very serious tumble either from a slip, a trip or fall that can become very dangerous, resulting in a serious and debilitating injury like a broken back a fractured ankle or a shattered hip, which for some can turn out to be very harmful, painful and could result in a fatality. Who would have thought that a simple walk or stair climb could be so treacherous.
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of emergency room treatment visits.
The major issue of concern with any fall, causing bodily harm and injury is when the fault or responsibility is that of a third party and not the individual who has fallen.. The important point is that it occurred by falling at someone else’s property or premise. The fall may initially appear minor, but it doesn’t matter how big or small your injury is, it will take time to understand the full extent of the bodily harm and how well the body recovers. Children who slip and fall are like little rubber balls, they bounce right back up in many instances. As we get older, stiffness starts setting in, we become more rigid and brittle, because of the aging process. “The older they are the harder they fall:” (1) Data has shown that the older you are the less well you fare when hitting the ground due to falling. So, knowing the immediate steps to follow after a slip and fall accident or trip that has befallen you is important.
Initially, the fall may not appear as severe, this often can be attributed to the shock of the event, but injuries sustained can be excruciatingly painful later on producing long-lasting consequences. A fall may lead to a major hip, wrist, or arm fracture, sprains and strains, brain injuries, or severe bruises. The severity of the injury may take months and years to assess. What are the real life activities that are no longer part of one’s daily pleasures? The body is a marvelous work of nature, but it’s ability to recover at 100% is not always possible and only time will tell us to what point it will recover and heal.
So, let’s start with the basic steps you need to know:
What steps to take after a slip and fall accident?
First, nothing should come before your personal safety, so if you are seriously injured, your primary concern should be to seek medical attention by getting the necessary first aid. Secondly, if possible, gather all available evidence and preserve it. Here are some of the immediate steps that you should follow:
Rush to a health care facility near you for medical care.
Consult a medical professional immediately after your fall. This will help the attending physician understand which type of medical treatment you may require. Your injury may require x-rays or an MRI scan performed for diagnostic purposes of the injured part of your body. It’s difficult to recognize and diagnose an impinged nerve or compressed disc, both examples of soft tissue injuries that are not readily visible, compared to a broken bone injury that can often be recognized on the spot. It’s important to obtain documentation of your slip and fall injury, that provides a clear diagnosis, immediate treatment given, possible surgical interventions and any future treatment and rehabilitation prescriptions provided by medical professionals. These medical documents provide certification that can only be provided by a doctors attestation written in your medical record.
Find the cause of the fall
Trying to figure out the root cause of your fall is the next most important step, was it an object, some material, or maybe a fault in the physical layout of the premises. Maybe there was snow or ice that had not been cleared or salted enough to make the walk a walk and not a fall. Snow, ice, water or liquid spills are notorious for a slip and fall, more than the infamous banana peel that has been vilified in many comic reenactments.
Other times there are extenuating circumstances that are not clear to the untrained eye, building codes that have not been respected or adopted. For example when ascending or descending steps there should always be some form of handrail to protect and guide the individual safely. Another factor sometimes less understood is the height and width of stairs, what are the accepted standards. “Sadly, a majority of stairway accidents are completely preventable. Although New York has very strict building codes, contractors and building owners sometimes choose to create stairways prone to accidents. Building owners may be aware of broken stairs and choose not to repair them, leaving danger for a serious trip and fall. Unnecessary danger to the public is unacceptable,” states Nicholas Timko. In older cities like New York where urbanization is in a constant flux, there is an ongoing merger between the old and new. The transformation is not always ideal.
New Yorkers are continuously travelling in a seemingly safe environment that at any moment poses a clear and present danger to the walking public at large. “Specifically, under New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules section 214, anyone who was injured in a slip and fall on someone else’s property must get their lawsuit filed against the property owner within three years. The clock starts running on the date of the incident that caused the injury.” (2)(3)
Investigation and documentation of the scene
How do New York State laws and statutes decide who is liable, the individual who fell, the owner or another third party? it is important to know who is at fault whether fault and responsibility can be placed on the owner or third party of the premises where the incident happened. It is important to determine fault and responsibility as all future claims and recoveries for pain and suffering, economic damages, loss wages and medical bills will require payment in some form. If the premises are determined to be unsafe, dangerous and not up to standard, then the owner or third party will most likely be found by a jury and judge to be liable and at fault for negligence, improper upkeep, not adhering to the new york city building and construction codes.
If you have been taken to the hospital or nearest emergency room for medical treatment after being a victim and suffering injuries for a slip, trip and fall incident without being able to assess the circumstances that surrounded your trip, slip and fall, make sure to have a friend or loved one return as quickly as possible to survey the scene of your fall.
It is imperative that you take photographs and videos of the scene or any relevant objects or materials that may have caused you to slip and fall resulting in you suffering bodily injury. In addition, make a request to the management of the premises to acquire any of their recorded video footage. The investigation and your recordings of the premises where the slip and fall occurred is what will make it possible to evaluate whether or not the premises were unsafe, dangerous and responsible for producing the trip and fall event.
Who was tasked for the upkeep, maintenance and management of the environment in which your injury happened? Who is potentially negligent and responsible for the personal injury? Answering these questions will be key in determining whether the owner or a third party should be held responsible for the fall. NYC has many excellent New York slip and fall lawyers who can help you find the answer to these questions, how to select the right one for your personal injury claim will be discussed below.
The sooner this is accomplished and documented the better it will be as it will be time stamped and recorded in the event there is a civil claim or lawsuit that requires filing on behalf of the injured party. Pictures and videos recorded will act as a comparison in the event of a future renovation completed that improves and makes the premises safe. New Yorkers should have a reasonable expectation that their walks or stair climbs are conducted in a safe and protected environment. All socially responsible companies and corporations should always work towards correcting any known unsafe or dangerous conditions, in order to protect the public and consumers who come to their places of business. This is simply the right thing to do.
Collect all witnesses information
It can be difficult to maintain your awareness when you are in unfamiliar surroundings compounded by a fall, dealing with excruciating pain and a possible serious personal injury. The pain may not allow you to maintain the presence of mind to ask for numbers of possible witnesses, regarding your slip and fall. If circumstances permit, have a friend collect contact information of potential witnesses because you or your New York slip & fall lawyers will want to speak with them later about what they observed before, during and after your fall. These witnesses will be needed later to strengthen your potential claim and corroborate the slip and fall incident helping support your future lawsuit of negligence against the owner or third party. Unlike a car crash where a law enforcement officer is often dispatched to the scene to investigate and write a police report, new york slip and fall injury events are left up to the individual to investigate and file their own incident report. Then a qualified and experienced New York slip & fall lawyer can review and decide the merits of your case and whether you are entitled to fair and just compensation under New York State civil practice laws and rules 214 and statutes.
Filing a slip and fall incident report
After having been treated by a qualified medical professional regarding your personal injury sustained from the slip and fall incident, it is important to contact law enforcement. Filing an incident report is necessary to confirm your trip, slip and fall event. Providing law enforcement with your witnesses so they can follow up will legitimize your personal injury case. Some people are apprehensive to file an incident report because they are unfamiliar with the procedure, uncomfortable with law enforcement, they are unaware that it’s necessary, or won’t because they are embarrassed that they hurt themselves in the fall. You should file a report for your slip and fall claim to be successful.
You may consider that different premises have different reporting protocols and procedures. For example, if you fell at a theme park, a casino, hotel, shopping mall, department store or sporting venue, each one may have a different on-site reporting procedure in place. Ask questions so you can make an informed decision. It can be a maze navigating the New York civil justice system for a personal injury suffered in a slip and fall when it comes to where it occurred. Municipalities, private open places or public opened properties all have different codes, standards and legal statutes governing them.
Memorialize, write or type everything as soon as possible
Try to document everything that you observed, what happened exactly at the time you fell. You can draw a picture to illustrate your recollection. Although these reproductions are not perfect, they may be admissible in court. Make sure you include everything you remember, how the injury occurred, even the statements that employees made on the premises at the time of the event.
What Leads to a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
The person who gets injured in a trip, slip and fall accident due to someone else’s negligence is entitled to receive compensation for pain and suffering, loss wages, medical bills and economic damages. In such an instance the negligent person or party is liable and responsible to make restitution to the injured person. In that context, and under the seventh amendment found in the Constitution of the United States of America you have the right to file a grievance in the form of a lawsuit in a US court. Filing a lawsuit begins with sending out a complaint or a summons and registering the filing with a New York State Court. This is a public process, which will state an overview of the facts surrounding the personal injury. There are a couple of different approaches utilized by New York slip and fall lawyers or an experienced civil justice trial lawyer. The first is pre-litigation, which would consist of sending a demand letter, this is a way of kicking off the process of suing the person or third party for money damages. Some attorneys may avoid filing a suit on your behalf initially to avoid expenses, believing they can negotiate and settle before filing a public suit, this is what we call pre-suit negotiations.
“New York, while being the greatest city in the world, can, at times, be a challenging place to walk around because of the condition of many of our streets and sidewalks. Raised sidewalk flags, defective street hardware, cracked cement and other hazards can often make our City more dangerous than it should be. Also, many property owners, both business and residential, do not properly inspect their premises for dangerous conditions that can cause injuries. Holding property owners, including The City of New York, accountable for conditions that can cause injuries is one of the most effective ways of preventing future injuries. That is, having to compensate an injury victim provides the property owner with the best incentive there is to correct the condition,” explains Glenn A. Herman New York City slip and fall accident lawyer.
The best New York slip and fall lawyers are the ones that will move cases along quickly and filling a lawsuit demonstrates to the other side that your personal injury attorney means business. Preparing a lawsuit for trial is always the best policy but it means your attorney has to invest in the case. Most personal injury lawyers in NYC handle cases on contingency. “A contingency fee is one that is only paid when a certain event occurs. When a lawyer works on a contingent basis in a personal injury case, you don’t pay the lawyer upfront or on an hourly basis for their services—payment is contingent on you recovering for your injuries. In such cases, your lawyer works in exchange for a percentage that will be deducted from the recovery after the lawyer deducts certain “fees and disbursements” from the recovery.” (4) This means that your personal injury lawyer will cover in most circumstances the costs and expenses of litigation and he will only succeed if he settles or secures a favorable verdict at trial. However, you will be required to prove the following if you are to be successful filing a slip and fall lawsuit in a civil action in New York State. You may need to prove it in front of a New York Civil Court Magistrate and a jury of your peers:
The trip or fall was caused due to slippery substances such as water, oil, soap, snow or ice, which are dangerous if found on walking surfaces like sidewalks and floors. The stairwell fall was caused by a bad design or a flaw in the stairs or steps when you ascended or descended the stairway. You need to prove the intensity of the event and the cause, like a hole or a crack that was barely visible can be very dangerous and the reason for the injury and fall.
The property owner must know or have known about the defects and dangerous substances to be able to prove your case. Ignorance of the law is not a defense in a New York State Civil Court.
The owner failed to get the area clean or fix the defective condition or did so in such a way that it’s still dangerous or getting even worse.
The owner failed to alert or warn others about the danger with help of a sign, rope, or other alerting indicators.
You were injured on the property and it was damaged due to the occurrence of the slip and fall accident event, due to the defective or dangerous conditions found on the premises.
Consult an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney in New York City to Increase Your Chance of Receiving Just Compensation
Being awarded money or a settlement for your personal injury lawsuit can be very challenging and it’s not a cakewalk. When it comes to receiving compensation from a successful personal injury claim, it is essential that you have the right attorney representing you. The process to a favorable award or settlement is complicated and confusing, especially when you are unfamiliar with the many steps to file a fruitful lawsuit for your slip and fall injury. The initial trial strategy once evidence has been reviewed can mean the difference between success and failure. Making an informed decision about the qualifications of your attorney becomes the most important and critical step in this foreign litigation arena for non-lawyers. In this case, selecting from the 5000+ personal injury lawyers in New York State can be very daunting. Who are some of the most experienced NYC slip and fall lawyers? While others fall into the category of a NYC superb lawyer or one of the best New York City slip and fall attorneys. Knowing how to select the best lawyer for your slip and fall lawsuit will become one of the most important choices you will ever have to make. The difference between a fair and just award and having the necessary time to heal and recover versus no award, unpaid medical bills, loss wages, possible bankruptcy and the catastrophic consequences that come from pain and suffering.
Finding and selecting your top personal injury lawyer in New York City will boost your morale and confidence. You can relax in the knowledge and forego the need to worry as you no longer will be alone in the battle of making timely and effective negotiations with insurance claim adjusters and getting court paperwork filed. Your New York City Slip and fall attorney will help you at every step of the way. They will make sure to prepare your corroborating witnesses and will work towards making the best possible argument on your behalf in all future court proceedings. The right new york city slip and fall lawyer will handle your case as your personal advocate or champion, as if you were part of their own family. They will do the legal part for you, because they have the experience, expert training and have successfully attained the designation of attorney at law with a license to practice in state and federal courts. Now you can take care of healing your body by treating your injuries following medical advice that focuses on recovering from your injury. We hope this was a useful read. Stay tuned for more legal resource stories on personal injury law.
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Questions we can help you with:
What is the average settlement for a slip and fall accident
Should I get a lawyer for a slip and fall
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Do most slip and fall cases settle out of court
Can I sue for a slip and fall accident
What Will a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Do After I Get Hurt?
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While you might be entitled to compensation, you’ll face challenges every step of the way. Hiring an attorney gives you the time to focus on getting better. It also puts you in the best position to get all of the money you need and deserve.
When you turn to Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C. for help after a slip and fall, we will:
Stand up to insurance companies when they try to devalue or deny your claim
Carefully investigate the circumstances of your slip and fall accident to determine why it happened and who’s to blame
Seek compensation from anyone who contributed to your slip and fall accident
Protect you if and when property owners try to blame you for your slip and fall, and
Consult with leading injury experts in NYC to value your case.
Our NYC personal injury attorneys will build a persuasive case backed with strong evidence. When we sit down with property owners and/or insurers to negotiate your case, we’ll use expert-backed evidence and testimony to leverage a meaningful settlement. If you’re not happy with the offers you receive, our skilled trial attorneys won’t hesitate to take your dispute to court.
You’re much more likely to maximize the compensation you receive when you work with an attorney. Contact Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C. to discuss your case. Your first consultation is free, so call us now.
Can I Get Money If I’m Blamed For My NYC Slip and Fall Accident?
It’s possible. New York is a comparative negligence state. Simply put, you’re not automatically barred from recovering money just because you share fault for slip and fall accident. Liability is allocated to everyone who contributes.
When you are partly responsible, that will affect how much money you can ultimately recover. Your damages will be reduced by however much fault is allocated to you. If you’re allocated 20 percent of the blame, your damages will be reduced by 20 percent.
Don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer for help after your accident, especially if the property owner is trying to shift the blame to you. At Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C., we’ll do everything we can to minimize your role in the accident. The less fault allocated to you, the more money you can potentially recover.
Who’s Liable For My Injuries After I Slip and Fall in New York?
Property owners have a responsibility to keep their premises in a safe condition for guests and visitors. If they fail to correct an issue, they might be responsible for your injuries after a fall. The lengths to which they have to go depend on why you’re on their property.
If you visit a property for a business purpose, the owner has to inspect the premises regularly and fix any dangerous condition that could cause you to fall. If you visit a friend’s home, they don’t have to inspect their house or property on a regular basis. However, if they know of a hazardous condition or danger, they must tell you about it. Property owners can even be liable if you get hurt as a trespasser. However, the owner must have known, or should have known, that you were likely to get onto their property.
In addition to private property owners, you might be able to hold landlords and government agencies responsible if you trip, fall, and get hurt.
It’s important to identify everyone who might be responsible for your injuries. In New York, you can seek money from anyone who contributes to your injuries. The slip and fall lawyers at Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C. will thoroughly investigate your case, identify the cause(s), and determine who might be responsible.
When should you call a trusted personal injury attorney?
If you have suffered an injury that was the result of someone else’s negligence, you should consult a New York City slip and fall accident lawyer and personal injury attorney at the law firm of Herman & Herman PC. Our experienced professionals can help you decide if the injury you suffered has merit to be filed as a claim and potentially put into a lawsuit. As personal injury lawyers in NYC, we are familiar with the legal requirements to bring a case on your behalf. Additionally, all calls and consultations are free of charge. A fee is only charged if your case is accepted and a recovery is made on your behalf.
With the representation of a New York personal injury attorney, you may be able to receive a significant monetary award as fair compensation and recovery for your trip, slip and fall injuries. Including, but not restricted to pain and suffering, loss of wages if you cannot work and your hospital and medical bills covered that you have incurred and economic damages in career ending cases.
We can help you determine if you have a case. The New York personal injury lawyer and attorneys of Herman & Herman have successfully represented slip and fall incident cases in New York. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens, do not hesitate to find out how to stand up for your rights.
Our personal injury lawyers also offer a free initial consultation. Book your consultation online today to find more information or to get a free case evaluation. Get in touch with us at 718-590-5616; to find out how we can help you get the maximum injury compensation you’re entitled to!
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