If you’ve read the stories about slip and fall lawsuits, you may be under the impression that if you take a tumble in a store, restaurant or other business, the establishment will have to pay up for your injuries. In reality, it is far from being that simple. In fact, New York slip and fall cases are difficult to win. It takes more than proving that you fell on the property and that you were seriously injured. You must prove that the property or business owner is liable, which isn’t always the case. To recover compensation for your slip and fall injuries, you need the help of an experienced and highly skilled New York slip and fall attorney.
What is Premises Liability?
Under premises liability, a property or business owner has a legal duty to maintain a safe environment. This includes keeping the property free of hazards that could cause a slip and fall or trip and fall accident. But here’s where things get tricky for slip and fall victims. You must prove that the property or business owner knew, or should have known, about the hazardous condition and failed to correct it in a timely manner or failed to make a reasonable effort to correct it.
For many of the hazards that lead to a slip and fall accident, this can be difficult to prove. For instance, if you slipped on a spilled drink, it can be very difficult to prove that the drink wasn’t spilled just prior to your fall and before anyone had a chance to notice or take care of it. On the other hand, if you slipped on liquid from a leaky air conditioner or refrigeration unit, the owner may claim to not have known, but there may be evidence to the contrary such as an appointment for repair or mold overgrowth leading to serious infection proving that the problem had existed for some time before your accident.
Slip and Fall Hazards
Hazards that can lead to a slip/trip and fall accident include:
- Spills that are not cleaned up in a timely manner
- Floors wet from cleaning that are not properly marked or blocked off
- Floors that are slick from cleaning product residues
- Damaged flooring
- Uneven flooring
- Loose carpeting or rugs
- Missing or damaged handrails
- Damaged stairs
- Uneven stairs
- Unmarked step up or step down
- Slick flooring materials
- Leaking air conditioner or refrigeration units
- Improper snow and ice removal
- Inadequate lighting
- “Low” obstacles, such as open cabinets or drawers or messes in walkways
- Cords strung across walkways
- Damaged sidewalks
- Damaged parking lot or parking structure surfaces
- Construction or repairs in progress not properly marked or blocked off
Serious Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall injuries can be serious and some are fatal. If you have suffered serious slip and fall injuries, you need full and fair compensation to pay for your medical expenses, lost income and you pain and suffering. This includes the future expenses and losses that come with serious injuries and can be ongoing for the rest of your life. Slip and fall injuries can include:
- Brain injury
- Facial injuries
- Dental injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Back injuries
- Chemical burns
- Serious infections and sepsis from filthy conditions
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a New York slip and fall accident, McPhillips Fitzgerald & Cullum, LLP, can help. Please call or email us today to schedule your free initial consultation.