You’re finishing up your workout after a long day of work. You still have to swing by the grocery store, and finish the final touches on that project your boss has you working on. All of this is going through your mind when, BAM! Someone doesn’t mop a puddle of water and you fall, injuring yourself and burying yourself in a pile of medical bills. Now it seems that everything is falling apart, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
Potential Dangers In New York City’s Gyms
According to the National Safety Council, falls are a leading cause of unintentional injuries nationally, and are quite common in New York City. Gyms, health clubs and spas are supposed to be places where you can go to relax and better yourself. Unfortunately, there are many hazards in these locations that can severely harm you and rob you of your quality of life.
Some of the most common hazards are:
- Floors in bad condition (loose carpet, broken tiles)
- Wet floors in the showers, by the pool or hot tub, and in the gym area
- Broken equipment
- Electrical wires or cables causing a trip hazard
These hazards can lead to life-altering injuries, such as: brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, back problems, etc.
Can I Be Compensated For My Injuries?
It is common practice for gyms and other health related clubs to require members to sign liability waivers before being able to use their facility. If you have not signed this document, you have the right to seek compensation for your injury. If you are not sure what a liability waiver looks like see here.
If you have signed this document, you may still qualify for compensation if the wording in the waiver is unclear or ambiguous, or if the gym staff was grossly negligent.
If you believe the gym has been grossly negligent, it is important that you take pictures of the situation (pile of cords in hazardous location lying across the floor, water left on floor tiles, etc.) If there are any witnesses to the scene or incident, it is a good idea to get statements from them regarding what they saw, if they have complained about the incident themselves, etc.
Filing A Slip & Fall Lawsuit In NYC
The first, and most important thing you must do is hire a qualified attorney. The attorney should be familiar and have experience with “slip, trip, and fall” cases. Some areas you may want to cover with the attorney include:
- Case Assessment: what does the attorney feel is a realistic judgment or settlement and how long should the case take to settle?
- Case Management: how will communication work between the two of you? How often should you expect to hear from them?
- Legal Fees: what will you be charged if you win the case vs. if you lose it? Are there hourly fees?
The Lawsuit Process
Once you hire an attorney, the lawsuit may be filed and the process will move along as follows:
Step 1: File the complaint. Collaborate with your attorney to make sure all required information is included in the complaint filed against the defendant.
Step 2: Answer complaint: The defendant has a specific time period in which he / she must file an answer, addressing the allegations in the complaint.
Step 3: Discovery: Both parties are asked to respond to questions and provide relevant documents.
Step 4: Failing to respond to discovery: failing to respond to Discovery within the specified amount of time can lead to a multitude of legal repercussions which take place in this step.
Step 5: Conclusions: Most lawsuits then continue to mediation where the settlement is reached between both parties.
Take charge of your life and your injury, it is your obligation to reach out to the most capable legal resources to get the compensation that you are due. Contact Banville Law for more details if you have had a gym or health club trip or fall.