Common Slip And Fall Accidents
Given New York’s vast size, there is no shortage of locations for slip and fall accidents to occur, and many factors that can cause a fall. Some common examples include:
- Ice & Snow
- Broken & Uneven Sidewalk
- Restaurants, Bars & Nightclubs
- City & State Property
- Defective Escalators & Elevators
- MTA & Public Transport
- Apartments & Condos
- Malls, Stores & Supermarkets
- Office Buildings
- Hospitals & Nursing Homes
- Health Clubs, Spas & Gyms
- Broken & Uneven Stairs
- Parking Lots
Don’t see the location or cause of your slip and fall accident above? The lawyers at Banville Law have handled many cases that did not fit easily into any of those categories. We can still help you; call our attorneys today to review your case.
Common Fall Down Injuries
In decades of distinguished legal experience, the lawyers at Banville Law have seen many accidents result in injury, both minor and serious. Some of the most common injuries caused by slip and fall or trip and fall accidents include:
- Severe brain and/or head injuries
- The human brain is remarkable, and remarkably important. That’s why it’s protected by a strong shell of bone, your skull, and several soft layers of membrane called meninges. But even with all that added protection, the brain is intensely delicate. Any bump or jolt to the head can lead to cognitive impairment and numerous other serious problems.According to the Brain Injury Institute, hitting your head is the most serious risk presented by a slip and fall accident and “approximately 35% of brain injuries are caused by falls.”
What Is Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a catch-all term for any injury in which sudden force to the head causes brain damage. Slip and fall accidents that result in TBI generally involve one of the two following mechanisms:
- Pieces of the bone break off and penetrate the skull
- Your brain bumps against the skull, potentially bruising the organ
A brain injury’s severity is determined by the length and depth of unconsciousness directly following an accident. The longer, or deeper, you’re “out,” the greater the damage to your brain. TBI comes in numerous forms; some present clear symptoms, while others are less obvious.
The National Institutes of Health has a comprehensive list of TBI symptoms, which can be various, seemingly unconnected, and devastating. Some of the most common include:
- Tinnitus (a prolonged ringing in the ears)
- Mood Disturbances
- Cognitive Impairment
- Sensitivity To Light
- Neck pain
- Lacerations and scarring
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones and ligaments
- Commonly known as a “break,” bone fractures come in all shapes, sizes, and severity. And while fractures are extremely common (WebMD estimates that the average person will experience two broken bones during their lifetime), they can have life-long consequences. For one, a broken bone can damage surrounding tissue, and weakened muscles often require a period of physical therapy.
Why Do Bone Fractures Happen?
It’s a simple physical principle:
Each bone in your body is strong to a certain degree. Some bones are relatively strong, like leg bones, and others are comparatively weak, like the bones in your ear, which are extremely small. When force is applied to a particular bone, and that force is stronger than the bone’s strength, it will break.
Obviously, medical conditions that weaken bones, like osteoporosis, increase the likelihood of suffering a bone fracture. Among the elderly, for whom slip and fall accidents are particularly damaging, hip fractures can have devastating effects.
Types Of Bone Fracture
The most commonly broken bones? Wrists, ankles and hips. Wrist breaks are commonly associated with slip and fall accidents, as falling people often reach out, in an attempt to “catch” themselves. That’s probably not a great idea, and we’ll find out why below. For now, let’s cover the most common types of fracture.
- Simple fracture – A clean break that does not pierce the skin
- Compound fracture – A break where one, or both, portions of a bone break through the skin.
- Comminuted fracture – A break in which the bone splits into more than two pieces.
- Stress fracture – Not a full break, but a crack that runs along the length of a bone.
- Impacted fracture – A break in which the two portions of a broken bone are smashed into one another.
Simple fractures are fairly easy to treat: reset the bone, apply a cast, and wait. Compound, comminuted, and impacted fractures often require orthopedic surgery and longer periods of recovery. Left untreated, broken bones can damage surrounding tissues, like blood vessels, and may be at risk of infection.
- Back problems
Each case is unique, and there’s no way to predict what type of injury may occur. While some injuries are visible immediately, others become apparent only over time. Failing to acknowledge the severity of a fall down injury may lead to long-term medical issues. Many accident victims in New York have only learned too late that their injuries could have justified a slip and fall lawsuit or claim.
Nearly 30% of all people who slip and fall will suffer some sort of injury. Many walk away with only minor lacerations and transient pain. But just because most falls only involve the weight of your body and a floor, doesn’t mean they can’t cause severe injury. Floors, after all, are particularly inflexible and unforgiving.
Unfortunately, many common injuries only present symptoms long after the incident that caused them. It’s especially important to listen to your body, take note of any aches and pains, and remain in contact with your doctor throughout a recovery.
Is A Slip And Fall Lawsuit Right For You?
Hurt in a slip and fall accident? You may not have to pay for medical expenses and lost wages out of pocket. Instead, consider pursuing justice in a lawsuit.
Contact the experienced attorneys at Banville Law today to schedule a free consultation. If we can help you, our lawyers will do everything in our power to build a successful case. We always provide our legal services on a contingency-fee basis, which means that you owe us nothing unless we return a favorable verdict or settlement in your case. To review your legal options, call Banville Law.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a list of the most frequently asked questions we receive about slip and fall cases:
Can you sue for slip and fall?
If someone’s negligence or omission was the proximate cause of your fall and subsequent injuries, then you are entitled to file a civil claim so long as that claim is brought within the applicable statute of limitations. If the defendant is the city of New York, a government agency, or some public entity, there are strict timelines for filing a “notice of claim” to put that entity on notice that you intend to file a lawsuit. Providing the statute has not expired, there was a negligent act or omission by another that caused your fall, and you suffered an injury, then you can sue for a slip and fall.
How To Prove Fault When Injured After A Fall Down Accident?
In preparing your slip and fall case, our experienced lawyers will consider many factors to determine whether you are eligible to recover financial compensation from a negligent property owner, business, or governmental agency.
Our attorneys will work closely with your doctors and medical professionals to determine the exact extent of your injuries and pursue the maximum compensation to which you are entitled. With a team of professional accident investigators, we will return to the scene of your accident, evaluating all of the hazards that contributed to your fall. Medical records, building permits, and police reports; we’ll gather the evidence with an eye to detail to prepare your case for trial, even if your case never sees the inside of a New York court room.
How Much is a Slip and Fall Case Payout or Typical Settlement Amount? How much money do you get for a slip and fall?
The amount varies from case to case. It really depends on so many factors that there is no straight amount, or ballpark. There is not even a real range as the severity of injury, negligence involved, and healing time required after the accident is different for everyone. If it can be shown that a property owner behaved with negligence, you will likely receive compensation for one or more of the following:
Most damages awarded in these lawsuits are considered “compensatory,” which means that they are meant to make up for what was lost in the accident or injury. This process, known as “indemnification” or “making whole,” is meant to restore stability to a life that has been deeply affected by a traumatic event. Compensatory damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and loss of earning potential
- Property loss
- Pain, suffering, & emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In extreme cases, in which the court deems a defendant’s actions particularly negligent, punitive damages may be awarded in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant for their carelessness.
How long do you have to report a slip and fall?
Regardless of where the accident occurred, you should report the fall immediately. If it happens at work, you must report it to your employer. If you fall at a store, bar, restaurant, apartment complex, school, hospital, or anywhere else, you really should report it and get a copy of the report. If you are too injured to report it, have a witness or friend do so. If there is other evidence of the fall, such as CCTV, then you may not need to report it as there will be evidence that the fall actually happened. Best practice is to report the slip and fall as soon as possible.
How long do you have to go to a doctor after a slip and fall?
You should attend every single doctor appointment, physical therapy appointment and medical appointment related to your recovery so it can be documented for your case. More important than that, the medical care you get will hopefully relieve pain and the goal is to make you whole and restore you to a condition as close as possible as before the accident. On average, most slip and fall victims treat for approximately one year.
How long does it take to settle a slip and fall accident?
In general, litigation in New York takes time. Very few cases actually go to court for trial. Most settle out of court, however this is normally only done after a full investigation by both sides, treatment has completed or is at a stage where making you whole is foreseeable and quantifiable in terms of medical cost, and both sides have the ability to assess all the facts and the financial impact this has had on the victims life. Often this can take anywhere from 12 months to 36 months. There is no clear way to know how long it will take to settle a fall down case.
Do I need a lawyer for a slip and fall?
Surprising to some, the answer is no. Any individual can bring a lawsuit and represent themselves. This is called appearing pro se. However, the work that has to be done to prove the case, understand all the pitfalls and skillfully negotiate with the other side generally means an attorney may achieve a faster and better final settlement than an individual representing themselves.
How do I find a good slip and fall lawyer?
Our advice is to closely interview the firm you choose before signing any fee agreements. Ask for references. Ask for past results in similar cases. Ask who will work on your case. Ask what experience does that attorney have. Ask how many cases that attorney will handle while working on your lawsuit. Ask who will be your liaison at the firm. Google the firm’s name to see what people say about the firm. Do your homework and you will easily see if a firm has the competence and experience to handle your accident claim.
What percentage do slip and fall lawyers take?
In New York, most personal injury law firms work on a contingency fee basis. That means we front all the expenses of the litigation and you do not pay anything out of pocket for the duration of the litigation. If we recover compensation for you, then we recover our advanced expenses from the settlement plus our contingency fee. If we do not recovery compensation, you do not pay anything. In New York, law firms are not allowed to charge more than 331/3% as the contingency fee. Our law firm charges a contingency fee of 33.33% for slip and fall cases.
What Does “Reasonably Safe Conditions” Mean?
“Premises liability” law charges New York’s property owners to maintain “reasonably safe conditions” for their guests, visitors, and customers. If a property owner fails to do so, fails to adequately protect visitors from hazards on their property, they may be found guilty of negligence.
“Reasonable safety” is mainly a matter of common sense. Would a normal, reasonable person have recognized the property’s conditions as unsafe? Was there spilled liquid on the bodega floor where you fell? Should a manager or employer have noticed it and cleaned it up? If you tripped over an object in a supermarket, was there a reasonable explanation for its placement? Or was it carelessly left where it shouldn’t have been?
These are the kind of basic, logical questions that a personal injury lawyer will ask in deciding whether a property owner’s actions violated “premises liability.”
What do Lawyers do in a Fall Down Lawsuit?
If our lawyers advise you to seek compensation in a personal injury lawsuit, we will prepare your claim for trial even if we expect to settle. Preparing a slip and fall case for trial entails developing an air-tight proof of a property owner’s negligence and legal responsibility for your safety.
We will work closely with your trusted medical professionals to determine the extent of your injuries and pursue the maximum compensation for your pains, hardship, and loss of enjoyment of life. With a team of professional accident investigators, we will return to the scene of your accident and investigate the numerous factors that may have contributed to your slip and fall. If possible, we will speak with witnesses, police officers, and anyone else who may have valuable information for the development of your case.
But it is our expert knowledge of New York legal codes that will prove most valuable. “Premises liability” is a particularly nuanced complex of regulations and laws. Only an experienced attorneys can foresee potential setbacks and navigate the complicated world of New York law. We seek to choose the most effective legal avenues for our clients, while minimizing risk and increasing compensation.