According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) every year, more than two million elderly Americans seek emergency room care as a result of injuries caused by a slip and fall accident. And this figure continues to escalate alarmingly with each passing year. Another CDC report also cites that over a million Americans suffer injuries owing to a slip and fall accident and that over 17, 000 people in the U.S succumb to these injuries in the end. In addition, 15% of all job-related injuries are as a result of slip and fall accidents, which accounts for 12%-15% of all Workers’ Compensation expenses.
Causal Agents of a Slip and Fall Accident
A slip and fall accident comes to be when a person sustains injuries caused by a fall that was caused by hazardous conditions on a walking surface. There are numerous dangerous conditions that could cause a slip and fall accident including but not limited to:
- Slippery floor due to water or any other liquids
- Uneven Sidewalks
- Foreign objects on floor such as food
- Potholes on sidewalks, streets, walkways or grass
- Unmarked stairs, pathways or speed bumps
- Uneven floors
- Poorly light pathways
- Rippled or bumpy carpeting
- Obstacles on the ground or walkway
- Poorly maintained hand rails and stairways
Injuries suffered by slip and fall accident victims should never be under-estimated for they have the potential to cause long-term complications and discomfort, despite the accident only lasting a few seconds. Well, if you are a New Yorker and have in the recent past sustained injuries from such an accident, then it is of utmost importance that you consult a New York slip- and-fall lawyer to better understand your case and consequently your right to sue so as to recover damages. Winning a slip and fall lawsuit means that you get compensated for incurred medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income as well as other injury-related costs.
Who Is To Blame?
It is also referred to as premise liability. While it may seem pretty easy, a person slips, falls, gets injured and the owner of the premises becomes liable; it is usually not that simple. Premise liability is the indication that the owner of a facility should be answerable for any injury that an individual might suffer while there. While it might be true in some cases, it is not always applicable.
Unfortunately, following an increase in duplicitous claims from individuals looking to take advantage of the system with glibly law suits; harsher guidelines have been put in place for granting compensation to plaintiffs of slip and fall accidents. If you are truly injured and contemplating filing such a suit, be sure to consult with a skilled premises liability lawyer who has had experience with New York slip and fall injury cases, the earlier the better. It is very important as it gives you insight and an understanding of your legal options and how to win your presented claim.
Who Is The Owner Of The Premises Responsible For?
There are three types of visitors recognized by the law that the owner has to deal with at a certain point in time:
- The invitee – this is someone who has been precisely invited for business or commercial purposes
- The licensee – this is someone who has been precisely invited with the aim of commercial gain.
- The trespasser – this is a person who has not been invited at all.
The owner of the premises is responsible for all except the trespasser.
In New York, slip and fall injury cases are pretty common. They also fall under the category of most difficult to win cases for the plaintiff. In order to win such a case, the injured party must prove beyond any reasonable doubt that:
- the hazardous condition was created or caused by the defendant
- the defendant was actually aware or had actual notice of the dangerous condition
- evidence of “constructive notice” of the dangerous condition – the wetness was there for a long enough time
that the defendant could actually have known about it and done something in time
Lack of enough evidence could see your case dismissed no matter how fatal your injuries appear to be. It is crucial to gather evidence as soon as possible including photographs and witness statements.