Fall from Scaffold
An undocumented Mexican immigrant working on scaffolding at a construction site fell 30 feet onto the cement.Click to Read More
Bicycle Accident/Roadway Defect
A woman and her boyfriend rode into an unguarded excavation site in an area that was pitch-black underneath an overpass. Rhonda’s bike fell into a pit and her face was smashed into the roadway.Click to Read More
Fall thru Grate
A 53-year-old car service driver got out of his car to retrieve money dropped by another driver in the drive-thru lane of a Burger King. As he stepped out of his vehicle, he fell through a broken sewer grate into a 4-foot-deep opening.Click to Read More
Fall on Ice
A security guard fell on ice at a building owned by Metropolitan Life and sustained a fractured knee in the fall.Click to Read More
See More Case Results
Over half a billion won for our clients. Click to view all our results.
Slip and fall, as well as trip and fall accidents, occur frequently in New York resulting in injuries to individuals across the five boroughs. From icy sidewalks to inadequate lighting, various factors can lead to unexpected falls.
In many cases, financial compensation for your injuries and losses may be available if the property owner or another responsible party failed to keep their premises free of hazards.
At Dansker & Aspromonte Associates LLP, our New York slip and fall accident attorneys have extensive experience in representing New Yorkers in personal injury claims and lawsuits based on preventable accidents such as these. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of clients through meticulous case preparation, skilled settlement negotiations, or compelling trial work in civil court.
If you have suffered injuries due to the negligence of others, we urge you to discuss your options with one of our team in a free no-risk no-obligation consultation today.
Slip & Fall Accidents in the United States
Unfortunately, slip and fall accidents are common throughout the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 36 million older adults fall every year resulting in over 32,000 deaths. Falls account for about three million emergency room visits for older adults while one in five of all falls result in an injury.
While older adults may be more at risk and more likely to slip and fall, these accidents can occur to anyone.
They are commonly caused by such hazards as:
- Wet, slippery floors
- Loose rugs, mats, and carpeting
- Uneven surfaces, such as sidewalks, walkways, and other paved areas
- Loose, broken, or uneven stairs
- Inadequate lighting in hallways, aisles, stairwells, pathways, and more
- Debris and clutter in aisles and walkways
- Broken steps and railings
- Ice and snow
- Unsafe ladders
- Loose wires and electrical cords
Liability in Slip & Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents and injuries fall under the legal area of premises liability. This means that the law imposes liability on property owners, tenants, managers, or other parties for injuries under the following conditions:
- The owner of the property or other responsible party was aware of the dangerous condition that caused your accident and failed to adequately correct it within a reasonable amount of time.
- The owner of the property or other responsible party caused a spill or dangerous condition that caused your accident.
- The owner of the property or other responsible party should have known that a dangerous condition existed on the property if they had conducted a reasonable inspection.
If a property owner or other responsible party had been careful about keeping the property safe, they would likely be able to show “reasonable” care. An investigation into the matter can determine liability based on such factors as whether previous accidents have occurred on the property, whether the property is regularly inspected, cleaned, maintained, and repaired, whether barriers or signs were put up to warn about the safety risk, and more.
This applies to all property owners, both public and private. Thus, slip and fall accident claims can be brought against homeowners as well as the owners of retail stores, grocery stores, malls, restaurants, bars, office buildings, schools, universities, amusement parks, apartment buildings, sports arenas, entertainment venues, government buildings, and more.
What Injuries Can You Get From Falling?
Serious injuries can result from a fall. These accidents can result in injuries ranging from sprains, torn ligaments, cuts, and bruises to broken bones, internal injuries, back, hip, knee, and ankle injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and even spinal cord damage. Slip and fall accident victims may suffer temporary or even permanent disability, chronic pain or discomfort, the need for long-term or lifelong medical care, work/earning incapacity, emotional trauma, and more.
When such injuries are caused by someone else’s negligence, getting the compensation you need to recover as fully as possible is essential. Fortunately, laws have been put into effect for accident victims who have been harmed in this way that allow you to pursue that compensation for your damages and losses.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), one of the leading types of injuries from a fall is a head injury. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is especially devastating due to its impact on normal brain function. If a loved one suffered a TBI in a tragic fall, they may need more assistance than you can provide. Placing them in a skilled living facility is expensive.
In addition to a TBI, other types of serious injuries from a fall can include:
- Broken or fractured bones including hips, wrists and ankles: Many slip and fall accident victims suffer broken wrists as they try to stop their fall, as Mayo Clinic discusses, or broken ankles when they twist or land on their ankles.
- Spinal cord injury: This catastrophic injury can leave a victim paralyzed and in need of home modifications and other expensive adjustments. These injuries may also leave the victim with chronic pain requiring extensive physical therapy, pain management and surgery.
- Tears of tendons, ligaments or cartilage of joints: These types of injuries often affect the knee, shoulder, and ankles and may require surgical repair and physical therapy and rehabilitation.
This is not a complete list of injuries that can result from a serious fall. An especially violent fall can result in more than one injury, longstanding pain and suffering and extensive medical costs.
Call (646) 692-0204 for a free legal consultation.
How Can You Prove Negligence in a Slip or Trip and Fall Accident?
Negligence means that someone else’s actions or inactions were the cause of your accident. For instance, a property owner could be deemed negligent if they didn’t fix a broken step and you were caused to fall and be injured because of it.
To prove that a property owner was negligent, you must show:
- They owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty of care
- You were injured as a result
- You suffered losses
Under most circumstances, a property owner must keep their premises safe and free from defects. You may be owed a duty of care by:
- A restaurant owner, a hotel owner
- A local government entity responsible for sidewalk maintenance
- Property owners and other parties
You will have to show that the at-fault party caused or created the defective condition or knew or should have known of the dangerous condition and failed to repair or otherwise make the area safe and those actions or inactions led to your fall. Dangerous conditions on a premises may include:
- A spilled drink left on a restaurant floor
- Melting ice pooling by a retail store’s door
- A pallet left in a grocery store’s aisle
- A recently mopped floor without proper warning signage
- Debris left by a maintenance crew
- Icy sidewalks left unsalted or uncleared
- And more
It will be key to prove that the dangerous condition caused your injuries. We can help you prove your injuries through:
- Medical records
- Doctor’s testimony
- Eyewitness statements
- Accident reports
- Business camera footage
- And more
It’s not enough to simply say that you slipped and fell on a wet floor. To seek compensation, you must show that you were injured and you suffered losses, such as:
- Medical care costs
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost income
- A reduced ability to work at your former capacity
- Pain and Suffering
- Permanent Injuries
I was injured at a family member’s home, but I don’t want to sue them. What should I do to have my costs covered?You should remember that you probably won’t be suing your family member or friend if you slip and fall at their home. You will be filing a claim against the policy provided by their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance provider. Such insurance policies exist for this exact reason, so you shouldn’t feel guilty for using them. If you don’t want to start a claim, then you might have no other way to have your costs covered.
Renters are just as responsible for protecting visitors from unreasonable hazards as homeowners. If you slipped and fell on a rental property, then you could file against a renter’s insurance policy.
You might be able to file a claim against a municipal agency if you slipped and fell on public property like a park or a sidewalk away from any private property. Claims against a municipal or government defendant are often restricted by a brief statute of limitations, so you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
There was a hazardous condition, but I think the accident was partially my fault. Can I still recover damages?
New York uses pure comparative negligence rules when considering liability for slip and fall accidents. Under this rule, you can seek compensation from any involved party with a liability percentage of 1% or greater.
It might be possible to hold the city liable for a slip-and-fall accident caused by unsafe sidewalks, but it is unlikely. New York City and many other cities throughout the state places the responsibility of sidewalk maintenance on the owners of adjacent properties, including both residential and commercial properties.
When you are invited to someone’s home, they should make reasonable attempts to protect you from hazards there. They might not be legally obligated to clear those hazards, but they can’t let you wander into them unknowingly without the risk of legal ramifications. For example, if a bathroom sink has been leaking and making a puddle for a while, then the homeowner or renter should tell you about it so you can be cautious.
Commercial properties like retail stores, grocers, and bodegas owe patrons and shoppers a safe space free of slip and trip hazards. If you slipped and fell in a store in New York, then you could demand compensation from the store, which could mean going up against a major corporation in some cases.
New York City law requires anyone who owns, rents, or leases a property to take reasonable steps to clear the sidewalk of snow and ice, as long as it is not currently snowing. The amount of time you have to clear the snow or ice before you can be found neglectful of this duty depends on when the snowfall stops. In some cases, a property only could have only four hours to clear the property of these slip and fall hazards.
Is the fact that someone warned an employee about a spill important in proving a slip and fall case?
Notification about a spill in a grocery store could help prove the store’s negligence if someone slipped in it later and was injured. One of the only defenses that a grocer can use in a slip and fall accident case is that the staff reasonably did not have any knowledge of the spill and couldn’t have cleaned it before the plaintiff was injured. If there is evidence that the spill had been reported to a staff member, though, then that argument is weakened considerably. Working with an attorney can make it simpler to find and talk to potential eyewitnesses, such as a shopper who reported a spill.
Every slip and fall case has a unique worth because every case and its many elements are unique. No law firm can promise that your case is worth one amount or another. What is more important is that you work with a law firm that knows how to maximize the value of the case, whatever that value might be.
Accident reports are not strictly necessary for slip-and-fall accidents on commercial or public property—but they are incredibly useful. An official accident report will make it much more difficult for the property owner to deny that the accident happened.
Can a building owner’s violation of a building code ever be used to help a plaintiff win a slip-and-fall case?
A building code violation could be the most useful piece of evidence to use in your slip and fall case. Safety inspectors, judges, and juries all take building codes seriously. A proprietor that ignores these codes and makes trip or slip hazards due to that negligence could be pinned with most or all the liability if a tenant, guest, or visitor is hurt by it. Talk to your attorney right away if you think a building code violation occurred, so they can investigate it further, such as working with building code inspectors.
If I am injured in a slip-and-fall accident while trespassing on someone’s property, can I receive compensation?
In New York, trespassers are not automatically disqualified from seeking compensation after slipping and getting hurt on someone else's property. The details in such a case are crucial, such as the severity of the hazard, where it was located, and how difficult it was for the trespasser to encounter it. Don’t write your case off before it begins just because you were unlawfully or knowingly trespassing when you were hurt. Talk to a New York slip-and-fall attorney.
What are the differences between permanent and temporary hazardous conditions and who's responsible?
A permanent hazardous condition is a hazard that is intrinsic or built into the design of a property, which are fairly uncommon outside of industrial properties. A temporary hazardous condition is a hazard that has occurred due to a defect or situation that can be reasonably remedied. Most slip and fall hazards are temporary hazardous conditions, such as a spill that can be cleaned up or a staircase without a handrail, which could be installed with a bit of manual labor. Property owners can be held liable for falls caused by either type of hazard.
For most slip-and-fall accident cases in New York, the state imposes a three-year statute of limitations that begins on the date of the accident. A briefer statute of limitations may exist depending on where you slipped, though. For example, slip and fall accidents on government property might be held to a brief 30-to-90-day statute. Don’t risk missing your window of opportunity. Call a New York slip and fall accident as soon as possible.
The owner of the parking lot could be liable for your injuries if you fell due to inadequate lighting. Oftentimes, liability in these cases does not fall on businesses with shops in that parking lot because they aren’t responsible for maintaining the outdoor lights, just adjacent sidewalks.