Slip and fall accidents in the New York City area including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, and nearby areas happen due to a variety of reasons. A person can slip and fall because of a dangerous condition on the floor that a property owner failed to fix. This can include water, oil, ice, or any dangerous or hazardous substance that could cause someone to fall. Loose cables, debris, garbage, or wires can be a leading cause of falls. A Slip & Fall lawyer helps identify the causes of falls by investigating the facts and circumstances of the traumatic event and working with experts such as safety engineers, accident reconstruction specialists, and others.
How do I win my slip & fall lawsuit?
To prevail in your personal injury case and win your slip & fall injury lawsuit in New York, you will need to prove that the defendant you are suing was negligent. Negligence is a failure to use reasonable care. Often times if you can prove the person or company you are suing failed to be safe, you can also show they were negligent. One legal requirement in slip & fall cases is the concept of notice. You will need to show you or someone else actually notified the defendant of the condition that caused you to fall. You can also show the defendant should have found and fixed the condition because it existed for a long time and was very visible. Lastly, if you can show the defendant created the condition, such as a soapy puddle, that caused your fall then this also satisfies the notice requirement. Finally, you will need to show the damages or injuries sustained as a result of the fall. This must be proven via medical testimony of doctors as well as by ordering all of the medical records and moving them into evidence at trial. A New York Slip and Fall attorney experienced in all aspects of these fall lawsuits will be an important resource in maximizing your compensation.
What are the leading causes of slip and fall accidents in the United States?
Statistics show that services industries, trade industries, and work accidents account for up to 60% of all slip and falls. Slip and fall injuries are the most common work accident in the United States.
What will a slip and fall accident lawyer do after I get hurt?
-conducting a comprehensive investigation
-send a letter to the insurance company and the defendant
-hire experts to help prove liability
-coordinate your medical care with the appropriate doctors and specialists
-explore all aspects of your damages including pain and suffering, lost earnings, medical bills, etc
-litigate your case in court
How Do I file a slip & fall claim in New York?
Usually, you can file a claim by notifying the defendant property owner and manager whether it is an apartment building, a store, a condo, a private house landlord, or other responsible entities. An insurance claim should also be made as soon as possible. The insurance company will insure their policyholder defendant property owner or manager and most likely the insurance company will be the one deciding whether to pay a plaintiff and how much to pay. Slip and fall cases fall under the legal heading of premises liability. A letter notifying the defendant’s insurance company of the injury claim should be sent to the defendant’s insurance company. To file a lawsuit, you just draft a summons and complaint, pay the filing fee, and submit the document. In some cases, small claims court can be appropriate or someone can file on their own known as pro se in Civil Court. Most cases are filed by your personal injury attorney in the Supreme Court which has no limit on the amount of recovery. A lawsuit must be filed within the applicable statute of limitations which varies. These different time deadlines are yet another reason why a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer should be used.
What is the statute of limitations for a slip & fall in New York?
Against a private defendant, the statute of limitations in New York State is three years. Civil Practice Law Rules (CPLR) Section 214. However, for lawsuits against the City of New York or any city agency such as the NYC Transit Authority, there is a requirement to file a Notice of Claim within 90 days and a lawsuit within one year and 90 days. There exist similar other shorter statutes of limitation if you are suing other municipal entities. Because of these time limits, it is very important to consult an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible.
What are some of the most common injuries after a slip and fall ?
While a plaintiff can suffer any injury from a slip & fall, the most common include:
What are the lawsuit values of a slip & fall case in NYC?
Slip & Fall cases run the gamut. Our law firm has settled serious slip & fall matters involving spinal surgery for $1.4 million and another case involving multiple arm surgeries for $1.8 million. A slip and fall on ice involving a leg fracture with surgery settled during trial for over half a million. Another slip and fall in a parking lot with a shoulder injury settled for nearly $400,000. Some slip & falls like any case settle for less money as well. A slip and fall in a motel with no clear liability and limited injury settled for $30,000 while a fall on a NYC sidewalk due to a small chip defect settled for $25,000.
What factors determine if a slip and fall lawsuit will result in a large or small personal injury settlement?
Usually, the determining factors to value injury cases include issues such as liability. If we can easily show the person or company we are suing was at fault, did not follow safety rules, and was negligent that helps prove liability. Whether there is a dangerous or hazardous condition also influences the settlement. On the one hand, a defendant will pay more if it allows a hazardous condition to exist on its property. But on the other hand, if a condition is open and obvious, the defense can argue the plaintiff was at fault for not seeing it. Notice is an essential element as described above. The amount rises or falls based on the damages sustained by the injured party since the recovery is legally meant to compensate the injured plaintiff and put them back in the same place they were before the trauma.
Elements of damages include: pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, medical expenses, and others. Usually, more medical treatment by a plaintiff increases the ultimate compensation.
Additional factors include:
-whether the plaintiff obtained medical attention immediately. Did an ambulance come to the scene and take the plaintiff to a hospital emergency room?
-the extent of the medical treatment. Did the person have physical therapy, consult with specialists, undergo surgery? Was the injury permanent?
-whether the fall happened on private property or on a public sidewalk or roadway?
What damages can be recovered in a slip and fall case lawsuit?
Recoverable damages that make up a slip and fall settlement or jury damages award include
-pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life
-lost income, value of household services, and lost fringe job benefits like overtime or union benefits. Collectively these are known as economic damages or a plaintiff’s economic loss calculation.
-cost of past and future medical treatment, medical expenses, and reimbursement for out of pocket costs.
-and other types of damages such as property damage
What are the different types of notice?
Notice is a notification to the defendant property owner that they need to remedy a dangerous condition. If a plaintiff cannot prove notice, the defendant will likely argue there should be no recovery because of the safe condition of its premises. Notice is usually proven in one of three ways. Sometimes a plaintiff suing can show notice in more than one way
1. Actual notice: when someone actually tells the defendant property owner or manager that there is a dangerous condition that needs to be fixed and the defendant does not remedy the hazard before the injury despite having enough time to do so
2. Constructive notice: when a dangerous condition is visible and apparent, the law presumes that any defendant using reasonable care should have found it and fixed it because is existed for a long time. Not fixing it, choosing to ignore it, or not even finding it would all be examples of being negligent. An issue that comes up as to constructive notice is when the location of the fall was last inspected or visited by the defendant or its agents prior to the injury
3. Caused and created: this is when the defendant’s own actions cause and create a dangerous condition. An example would be negligent mopping of the floor leaving a soapy puddle without blocking off the area. If a plaintiff proves the defendant caused and created the dangerous condition there is no need to also prove notice.
What are some examples of actual slip and fall lawsuit values?
One case involved a slip and fall inside a school staircase on a rainy day. Despite difficult liability, our personal injury lawyers were able to secure a $1,400,000.00 settlement for a plaintiff mother who fell seriously injuring her back. She required a spinal cord stimulator as well as a spinal fusion surgery. We litigated the case against the City of New York as a property owner and the NYC Department of Education as an active day to day manager of the property.
In that Brooklyn jury trial, we focused on what the school janitors and custodians failed to do:
Another case involved a fall in an apartment building outdoor walkway in Manhattan. Our client suffered a severe elbow fracture that required multiple surgeries. That matter settled before trial for $1,800,000.00.
Often times people fall due to snow and ice. One young man slipped on ice on a Brooklyn sidewalk on his way to work fracturing his leg which required surgery. That case settled after the jury found the defendant was liable but before any damages evidence was presented for over $500,000.00 Another case involved a fall on ice by a driver who exited his vehicle in a small Brooklyn parking lot. He sustained a shoulder tear which required arthroscopic surgery. That matter settled in a mediation for nearly $400,000.00.
Of course, some cases settle for smaller amounts. A review of our settlement history shows our firm resolved a number of slip & fall cases in the six figures from $100,000 and up, and some for under six figures. The smaller settlements or verdicts are usually because the liability is not clear, hard to prove, or simply weighs against our client and the overall injuries have either resolved or were relatively small.