A slip and fall accident is at best, embarrassing, and at worst, debilitating. Falling is one of the top reasons people visit emergency rooms, and one of the leading causes of injury on job sites.
Slipping and falling anywhere leads to injuries that can keep you out of work for months or lead to permanent disability. In many cases, a slip and fall accident is caused by someone’s negligence.
Suing For A Slip And Fall Injury
Medical attention is your first priority. Then speak with a slip and fall lawyer who will review your case and discuss your options.
- Gather evidence for your attorney.
- Take pictures of the place where you were injured and your injuries.
- Talk to witnesses and ask them for contact information.
- Keep this information private.
- Don’t discuss the accident with anyone else or post it on social media.
A successful lawsuit requires you to prove the owner, manager, or even an employee’s negligence in keeping the premises safe for all visitors. If they breach that duty of care, they can be held responsible for anything resulting from negligence. For this you must show:
- The property was owned by the defendant at the time of the accident
- That you were lawfully on the property, whether a visitor or a vendor, that is open to the public
- There were one or more hazards present at the time
- The owner, manager, or other responsible party was negligent in dealing with the hazardous condition
- They knew or should have known that the conditions existed and failed to take any corrective action
- The uncorrected hazardous condition(s) was the cause of your injuries
Corrective action is different in each case. For instance, a grocery store that fails to clean up a slick area after being notified of the problem may be held negligent. The employees should put up a sign or safety device (such as an orange cone) showing the hazard and telling visitors to avoid the area until they can clear it.
Can I Sue My Landlord for a Slip and Fall?
If you reported a problem or hazard that was not remedied, and you were injured as a result, you can sue a landlord for premises liability. You still need to show that you notified your landlord, they failed to take remedial action, and that negligence caused your injuries, such as:
- Damaged sidewalks
- Damaged stairways or missing handrails
- Falling objects
- Wall/ceiling collapses
- Plumbing problems leading to mold and other damage
- Insufficient lighting and security
- Inadequate fire safety measures (i.e., smoke alarms)
- Other hazardous conditions
The exception would be if you were responsible for the problem or for its remedy.
Can I Sue My Employer for a Slip and Fall?
If you slip and fall at work, you are eligible for Workers’ Compensation. You’ll need to discuss this with your company’s HR representative. There are times when an employer may dispute your right to file for Workers’ Compensation. New York law protects most employers from a lawsuit for a workplace accident.
However, if your injuries are caused by someone other than your employer, you may be able to sue them for compensation. Subcontractors, equipment manufacturers, maintenance companies, and even cleaning companies may be responsible for a slip and fall accident at a workplace. This scenario is common on construction sites with multiple companies working on a project.
If you fall at work:
- Get medical attention immediately
- Notify your supervisor, manager, or HR department that you’ve suffered an injury on the job
- Take pictures of the accident site if possible (or ask a coworker to help)
- Keep all receipts and records from your accident, from medical records to prescriptions and other expenses
New York’s Statute Of Limitations for Slip and Fall Accidents
This is the time limit you have for filing your claim after a slip and fall, which depends on where the accident occurred.
- If your accident occurred on private property, such as a retail store, private residence, office, etc., you have three years from the date of your accident to file a claim.
- However, if your accident occurred on public property, such as a city- or state-owned government building, or other government-owned entity, there are strict time limits that must be followed–and are different depending on which governmental entity is involved. This includes the time to file a Notice of Claim prior to filing your lawsuit.
If you miss the deadline for filing, your claim will be dismissed, and you will lose any compensation you would have received.
Why Should You Hire A Lawyer?
Chances are you’ll be contacted by an insurance company right after your accident. The friendly voice asks about you and wants to ask a few questions. That friendliness masks the purpose of their call: to get information from you to get your case dismissed or minimize the seriousness of your injuries. Decline and refer them to your attorney, say “thank you” and hang up.
Your attorney is the best person to speak to them, and the only person you should speak to about your accident.
An attorney will establish fault for your slip and fall accident and act as a go-between for you with the insurer. They can prove that your injuries were caused by an accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence.
If you’re considering handling your own claim, you won’t receive the settlement that you could. You also won’t know all the laws surrounding New York premises liability cases. Insurance companies know this and will not take you seriously. They’ll make sure your settlement will be as little as possible or dispute your claim to pay you nothing.
Get Help From a Long Island Slip and Fall Law Firm
Slip and fall accidents can leave you with painful, debilitating injuries that may take months to heal. Long-term injuries can be expensive and may also leave you unable to work. Meantime, the bills don’t stop, and you need to pay for your rehabilitative care.