Property owners owe a duty to lawful visitors to keep their premises safe. A failure to affirmatively look out for potential problems can result in serious injuries, including broken bones, soft tissue injuries, spinal cord damage, and concussions. Property owners are required to maintain a safe environment for people on their property. If you suffer injuries in a slip and fall on a sidewalk or in another situation, you should retain a New York City slip and fall lawyer. At Newman, Anzalone & Newman, our knowledgeable litigators understand the nuances of slip and fall lawsuits, and we can provide victims with aggressive legal representation.
Slip and Fall Accidents Cause Serious Injuries
Slip and fall accidents can happen in many different ways. Often, these accidents occur due to a temporary condition such as spilled liquid, snow, or inadequate lighting in a parking lot. In other cases, a fall happens due to a defect in the property that creates a tripping or slipping hazard. Sometimes a building code violation causes a fall.
To establish a property owner or occupier's liability for a slip and fall accident, you will need to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the property owner knew or should have known about a dangerous condition, but they did not do anything to repair the condition or offer warnings, and the dangerous condition caused your injuries. The preponderance of the evidence is a standard of proof that requires you to show that your version of events is more likely to be true than not.
However, in many cases, constructive notice is all that can be proven because there is no documentation about actual notice. A slip and fall attorney in New York City may be able to show constructive notice when a dangerous condition, such as an uneven surface or a spilled liquid, existed long enough that a reasonable property owner would have noticed it and fixed the problem or put up a warning sign. For example, if milk was spilled on the floor of a grocery store, and a puddle existed for 24 hours, it is likely that a reasonable grocery store employee would have mopped it up. However, if the milk was only there for an hour or less, it can be more challenging to show that somebody should have noticed it.
In some cases, you can establish your case through surveillance footage that shows how long a defect was present. However, in retail settings, the same videotape may be used over and over, so it is important to retain a New York City slip and fall attorney immediately after the accident. Your attorney can notify the store about its duty not to record or otherwise damage the tape, due to pending litigation. You should also take a photograph of the condition that you believe caused your fall, and you should take down the names of any witnesses, including employees, who were in the area of your fall.
Slip and fall cases can be challenging to win. Often, a property owner will try to show that an accident victim was partially or fully to blame for the accident. For example, if you were walking in a section of the store that was being remodeled, and you were looking at the work being done as you tripped down the stairs, you might be partially to blame for your fall. In this case, the judge will instruct the jury on comparative negligence and ask it to decide each party's percentage of fault. Your damages will be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault.
You may be able to recover compensatory damages after establishing liability for a slip and fall. Compensatory damages are damages that make you "whole" or put you back into the position in which you would have been had you not fallen. These damages can be both economic and noneconomic. They may include past and future medical bills, past and future wage loss, out-of-pocket expenses, household services, lost earning capacity, mental anguish, and pain and suffering. In some cases, your spouse may be able to bring a claim for loss of consortium.
Seek Assistance from Newman, Anzalone & Newman Accident Litigation Firm
Slip and fall accidents may seem minor, but they often result in serious injuries. A property owner should be held accountable for injuries that arise due to their negligence. Newman, Anzalone & Newman has provided effective legal representation to slip and fall accident victims in New York City since 1978. We represent people in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Call us at 718-896-2700 or submit our online form.