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Slip and Fall Lawyers

Whether you’re at work, shopping or simply walking down the street, slip and fall injuries are a persistent risk. According to U.S. government statistics, slip and falls account for five-percent of all workplace fatalities for women, and 11-percent of all fatalities for men. Falls are also the leading cause for all emergency room visits in the United States, accounting for more than eight million such trips annually. Slip and falls are also the primary cause of missed time from work.

The risk from these injuries is particularly acute for older people, as hip fractures are a common outcome. Such falls can be permanently disabling, lowering the victim’s quality of life and impacting earning power.

If you’ve suffered a slip and fall injury, it’s important to understand the best course of action to take. Doing so can help ensure that any legal claim you choose to pursue is on solid ground.

What to do if you’ve been the victim of a slip and fall injury

Slip and falls can arise from a variety of circumstances. Common causes include poor lighting, damaged flooring, cracked or broken sidewalks or stairs, torn carpeting and liquid spills. Legal liability in these cases arises when a property owner negligently allows dangerous conditions to exist. These conditions present a risk to the public.

Generally speaking, liability exists when a property owner creates or permits a dangerous condition to persist and unreasonably fails to remedy these risks. Liability may be assigned if the conditions existed for a long enough period that the owner should have identified and remedied the issue or actually knew of the existence of the condition. At times there may be direct evidence of such awareness on the part of the property owner or manager. Often circumstantial evidence may be used to prove such notice of the condition or the length of time that it was present without remedy. The awareness of a condition by an employee of an owner or manager such as a maintenance employee or superintendent may be imputed to his employer under the law.

If you’ve been the victim of a slip, or trip and fall injury, of course the first thing you should do is seek immediate medical attention. Injuries from a fall can cause trauma which may be much worse than it initially appears. Seek a medical evaluation immediately.

It is important that witnesses be assembled as soon as possible after the event. This includes witnesses to the fall and traumatic impact as well as people who may have knowledge of how long the condition that caused the fall was present and not corrected.

If the superintendent had a routine of inspecting hallways and stairwells, it is important to assemble witnesses to such fact and determine if such inspections were performed on the day of the fall and whether the condition which caused the fall was present and subject to correction by the employee. The failure to correct the condition may be evidence of negligence. Such witnesses ordinarily will recall events shortly after an accident and must be located and interviewed immediately.

There are many scenarios which may exist in a given case and each case is unique on the facts. But a common element in all situations involving a trip or slip and fall is the need to immediately assemble evidence and witnesses that will be required to prove your prospective claim.

It’s also important to document the environment in which the fall occurred. Take note as to whether there may be a surveillance camera in the area of the accident. If so, immediate steps should be taken to ensure that such evidence is preserved. The camera may also have recorded the period of time before the accident and reveal the duration of time that the offending condition existed. An attorney may be able to take necessary steps to put a prospective defendant on notice that they must preserve such evidence. Take photos or videos of any dangerous conditions, as such visual documentation can be key in establishing liability.

If witnesses are present, ask them for statements or contact information. You should also take care to document any expenses that arise as a result of your injury. This includes medical bills, lost wages and any expenses you incur from being unable to pursue your normal lifestyle and day-to-day activities (home modifications, transportation, in-home services, etc.).

You should also save the clothing and shoes that were worn when the injury occurred and avoid making statements to others particularly insurance companies.

The Frankel Law Firm has many years of experience in handling trip and slip and fall cases. If you or a loved one has been involved in such an accident, it is important to promptly seek legal advice and counsel.

Slip & Falls FAQs

Who is legally responsible to maintain New York City sidewalks?

When is the City of New York responsible to maintain a sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition?

I fell on a sidewalk in front of an owner occupied three family home that is used solely for residential purposes. Who can I sue?

What requirements must be met in order to prevail in a law suit against the City of New York when the defective sidewalk is abutting a one-two or three family owner occupied private residential building?

I fell because of a defective sidewalk in front of a two-family residence which is owner occupied. The house has a store on the ground floor used by a business. Who is legally responsible for the negligent condition?

I live in an apartment building which has 60 separate apartments. I fell on a sidewalk defect in front of the building which was caused by the roots of a tree which lifted the sidewalk flag leaving the sidewalk uneven. Who is legally responsible for this defect which caused me to fall?

The City of New York removed a fire hydrant leaving a hole in the sidewalk in front of my apartment building (the building contains more than three (3) apartments). Someone was injured when they stepped into the open hole. Who should be sued for this defect, the property owner or the City of New York.

I was injured when I tripped on a tree root in a tree-well which I did not see and which had giant roots protruding upward within the tree well. Who is legally responsible for this defective condition?

Does an owner occupied three family condominium qualify for the statutory exemption from liability for defects on the abutting sidewalk?

If the abutting property owner negligently repairs a tree well area within the City of New York, do they then become legally responsible to someone for injuries caused by such repairs?

Who is responsible in the City of New York, if a pedestrian ramp is too steep and thereby causes a pedestrian to stumble and fall?

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