Have you or someone you know been injured in a slip, trip or fall? Our expert team at Dansker&Aspromonte have ample experience in this area and have successfully sought compensation of more than $100 million for our clients.
What You Need to Know About Slips, Trips, and Falls
Falls usually result when you trip or slip and are the most common kinds of accidents that cause injuries. There are several types of slip and fall accidents, including:
- Stairway accidents
- Slippery surface falls
- Parking ramp falls
- Shower falls
- Falling from a balcony or terrace
- Sidewalk falls
Property owners are obliged to ensure their property is in a safe condition for all who visit. If you have been injured in a fall and it can be proven that the property owner was negligent and was aware of dangerous conditions, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.
The Most Common Slip and Fall Accidents
- Falling on Snow and Ice
Property owners are obliged to avoid any possible safety hazards, and that includes ensuring that snow and ice is removed from sidewalks and parking lots. If it can be proven that conditions on a property resulted in a build-up of snow or ice, the property owner may be held liable for an accident. For instance:
- If the parking lot caused melting ice to accumulate in puddles and then refreeze
- If ice built up on the roof and them melted, dripping off and refreezing on the ground
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident due to snow or ice, we will have to prove:
- If the owner used common sense
- If there was something the owner should have known about that was dangerous
- If the property owner used reasonable care to keep the property safe
If a property owner has been careful about keeping the property safe, they will likely show “reasonable” care. Some questions we ask to determine if the owner is liable for your injuries include:
- Has an accident happened on the property previously?
- Was there a safer place the object you tripped over could have been kept?
- Did broken or poor lighting contribute to the accident?
- Did you trip over an uneven area of flooring or slip on a wet floor? Should the owner have known about the area?
- Could a barrier have been created to warn visitors of the danger?
- Has the property owner implemented a schedule for regular cleaning, maintenance, and repairs of the property overall? What proof does he/she have of this?
- If you slipped on or tripped over something that was left on the ground, was there a reason the object was there? If there is a good reason, could the object have been moved to a safer space anyway?
If the answers to these questions are in your favor, our experienced team can help you claim for compensation for your injuries.
How to Gather Evidence
If you have endured a slip or fall, follow this advice:
- Take photos of the scene of your accident, your shoes, and clothing as well as any scrapes, wounds, and cuts.
- Save the item that caused your fall and place it in a plastic bag. If it was a food item, such as a vegetable or fruit, freeze it. Place the shoes you were wearing at the time of the accident in a plastic bag and seal it well.
- If anybody witnessed your accident, be sure to get their name and contact details so that they may act as a witness for your case.
- File an accident report. If you have suffered injuries in a grocery or department store, for example, be sure to file an accident report. Ask to speak to the manager who will document your version of events. An accident report is critical in seeking compensation for your injuries. Be sure to get a copy of the report before leaving the store.
If you are unable to gather the above information at the scene of your accident, our team at Dansker&Aspromonte will try to gather as much information as we can. It’s important to keep in mind that obtaining information even days, let alone weeks and months, after your accident scene has been cleared can be tricky. While your medical records do document any injuries, you incurred, statements and photos are extremely valuable should your case go to trial.
- Falling Down Stairs
We have experience with accidents that have occurred due to broken or defective stairs. It is up to property owners – be it commercial or residential property – to ensure that all the steps on the premises have the same depth and rise and that they have visible edges. Stairs should always be kept free of obstacles and debris that could lead to an accident.
It is also up to property owners to make sure than any stairwells are properly lit and that there are study handrails on either side of the stairs. While we all need to be careful and watch where we are walking, property owners have an obligation to show reasonable care.
Who Is at Fault?
If a property owner is to be held liable for your injuries due to a slip or fall on his/her premises, any of the following must be true:
- The owner of the property, or employees, must have been aware of the dangerous condition and failed to adequately correct it
- The owner of the property, or employees, have to have caused a spill or dangerous condition
- The owner of the property, or employees, should have known that there was a dangerous condition on the property
- Falling on the Sidewalk
One of the most common kinds of falls in the city involves sidewalks. Prior to 1980, any person who tripped and fell on a broken sidewalk was eligible to sue the city just be showing the hole or crack and that person would win their case.
However, things changed in 1980 when the city implemented the “pothole law.” This law states that to be able to sue the city for potholes, cracked, raised or broken sidewalks, the city has to have received written notice at least 15 days before the accident so that they have the opportunity to fix it.
This did prove to be an obstacle for injury lawyers in New York City, but our team of experts at Dansker&Aspromonte, along with the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, hired a surveying company to inspect all five borough’s sidewalks and crosswalks to mark out defects on maps. Those maps were served on the city and were regarded as prior written notice of defects. This allowed people to sue the city despite the city trying to prevent legal cases.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you have been injured in a slip and fall, give us a call today. We have a 95% trial success rate and won’t charge you until we win or settle your case for compensation.