Getting hurt as a result of slipping and falling on someone else’s property when you expected to be safe is unacceptable. Unfortunately, this sort of thing happens all the time, particularly during the winter months when the ground is often covered in ice and snow.
Here are five things you should know about slip and fall accidents in New York:
#1 - In order to have a viable case, the property owner must be negligent in some way.
You may not file a lawsuit against a property owner if you slip and fall on their property unless he or she acted negligently. New York operates under the rules of pure comparative negligence. This means that any damages you are awarded will be reduced by the percentage of your fault.
For instance, if you are determined to be 40% at fault for your slip and fall injuries, that is how much your compensation will be reduced.
For example, you may be determined partially responsible for the accident if an eye-witness states that you stepped across caution tape that had roped off a dangerous area. In this case, you may share partial responsibility for any ensuing injuries.
#2 - The statute of limitations for a slip and fall accident in New York is three years.
The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time the law allows for you to file a slip and fall lawsuit. If you wait to file your case until after the statute of limitations has expired, the courts will likely throw your case out.
That is why it is so important to begin working with an attorney right after you sustain injuries. The last thing you want is to be stuck with medical bills you can’t pay and the inability to work as a result of injuries from a slip and fall accident.
#3 - It’s wise to be prepared for the counter-arguments in a slip and fall case.
If you file a lawsuit for damages as a result of a slip and fall accident, the property owner may attempt to fight back and avoid paying you fair compensation for your injuries. It’s smart to have an idea of some of the counter-arguments the property owner could use in order to skirt some or all of the responsibility over to you. Here are some of the possible counter-arguments a property owner may use:
- You were in an area of the property where visitors shouldn’t be or are not anticipated to be.
- You weren’t concentrating on where you were going. (For example, you were looking down at your smartphone.)
- Your shoes were inadequate or dangerous for the conditions.
- The hazardous region was sectioned off through the use of cones and signs. (In other words, rational steps were taken to protect guests.)
- You should have noticed the unsafe environment.
#4 - There are several unsafe conditions that could lead to a slip and fall lawsuit.
The following are some unsafe conditions that can lead to an injury-sustaining slip and fall accident (but there are many more not listed here):
- Torn carpet
- Unexpected flooring changes
- Poor lighting
- Narrow stairs
- Wet floors
- Rainy, icy, or snowy ground
- Hidden hazards
#5 - It is possible to file a claim against the government for an unsafe condition on public property that leads to a slip and fall.
Some of the most common unsafe conditions that can lead to a slip and fall accident on public property include:
- Broken or cracked sidewalks
- Unsafe stairways
- Hazardous handrails
If you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall accident through no fault of your own, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. Don’t delay—reach out to our office right away with your questions.
Call The Odierno Law Firm today at (631) 250-4212 to speak with an attorney about your potential case.