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  • Writer's pictureAlex Maltese

How to File a Lawsuit for Slip and Fall in New York

The rules to file a slip-and-fall lawsuit depend on the state the victim is in. New York follows specific laws that affect the outcome of the case depending on how everything happened.


People who slip and fall on someone else's property and sustain damages may be entitled to compensation. If they can prove that the property owner didn't address the dangerous condition that led to the accident because of negligence, the victim could get money to cover their medical bills and other important things.


This page covers slip-and-fall accidents and how they work in the New York state.


How Does a Slip-and-Fall Accident Happen?

How Does a Slip-and-Fall Accident Happen?


Slip-and-fall cases are common when it comes to personal injury law. They can happen almost anywhere and for a wide variety of reasons, including:


  • Poor lighting

  • Potholes

  • Cluttered floors

  • Wet surfaces

  • Uneven flooring

  • Loose mats/rugs

  • Exposed wiring


With that being said, it's important to note that a slip and fall can happen in many locations like:


  • Restaurants

  • Shopping centers

  • Apartment buildings

  • Grocery stores

  • Swimming pools

  • Stadiums

  • Escalators


Fault will often fall on the property owners if they were negligent in addressing potential hazards. However, some cases are more complicated than that.


Which Injuries Can Someone Get After a Slip and Fall?


Not all slip-and-fall injuries will require extensive medical treatment. Unfortunately, it's hard to determine whether these accidents can lead to a major/minor injury since it depends on the person who fell.


Serious slip-and-fall cases may lead to the following injuries:


  • Soft tissue injuries

  • Traumatic brain injuries

  • Spinal cord injuries

  • Bone fractures

  • Sprained muscles

  • Joint dislocations


Victims must seek help immediately even if they think their injuries are minor. Some of these severe injuries take long to manifest, so it's always better to be safe than sorry.


How to File a Slip-and-Fall Claim in New York


Getting the defendant's insurance company to pay for medical expenses and other damages won't be easy. In New York, the property owner will likely make an effort to argue they weren't at fault for the accident, leading to lower compensation.


Whether it's a personal injury or premises liability case, it's crucial to act fast, seek help as soon as possible, and follow all necessary steps to increase the chances of a win.


Here's how to file a lawsuit for slip and fall in New York.


Get Medical Attention

Victims should get medical assistance as their main priority. As mentioned, it doesn't matter if the injuries seem minor; going to the doctor could help identify potential underlying injuries.


Some injuries like concussions or internal bleeding may not be noticeable right away, but the victim may address those by getting help.


Another benefit of getting medical help right away is that it allows the victim to establish a link between the accident and the injuries, which is crucial when proving negligence. Once the victim gets their treatment, they will also get a report detailing the nature of the injuries and the treatment needed to cover them.


Victims can use all of that as evidence later.


Ask for a Report on the Accident

It may seem difficult to "report" a slip-and-fall accident considering that it can happen in different places, including business establishments, public property, and private residences.


Regardless of where it happened, the victim should report the injury to the property owner or manager right away. Of course, if the injuries are severe, the victim should first seek emergency help and report the accident later.


On the other hand, if the injuries are minor, it helps to report the accident before seeking help. It helps establish the legitimacy of the claim. Moreover, if there were witnesses present, they could validate the information the victim is telling.


Gather Evidence

A crucial step that will lead to victory is to gather evidence. In other words, the victim should document the scene of the accident as thoroughly as possible. If possible, they should take pictures or videos of:


  • The place where they fell

  • Hazards that may have contributed to the accident

  • The condition of the floor or surface that caused the accident


What if the victim can't take pictures in their current state? They may ask someone else to document the injuries and the scene of the accident just in case. As with the medical records, victims can use these pieces of evidence later when building the case.


When it comes to evidence, keeping detailed records of everything related to the accident will also help. These records may include:


  • Medical bills

  • Lost wages

  • Incurred expenses because of the accident


Talk to Witnesses

Victims must talk to potential witnesses (if there were any). These are people who can vouch for them and verify that the accident happened the way the victim is explaining it.


Having enough documentation and witness testimony might make it easier for the victim to negotiate with the other party's insurance company. The more evidence there's available, the better.


Get in Touch with a New York Slip-and-Fall Lawyer

Navigating slip-and-fall claims alone isn't recommended. Usually, the property owner will have an insurance company or legal team behind them, so they'll be prepared to fight the victim's claim.


The best way to ensure the highest chance of winning the case is to talk to a slip-and-fall lawyer. They have a thorough understanding of the law in New York, allowing them to build a strong case that earns the victim the compensation they deserve.


It's important to talk to a lawyer quickly so that the victim doesn't miss the slip-and-fall statute of limitations. In New York, victims have three years from the date of the accident to file their claim.


Otherwise, the property owner could file a petition to dismiss the case, which will hurt the victim's chances of earning compensation.


How to Determine the Property Owner's Negligence in Slip-and-Fall Claims


Victims in New York must prove four elements with their claim:


  • The owner owed the victim a duty of care.

  • They breached the duty of care.

  • The breach led to the victim's accident and injuries.

  • The accident caused the victim to experience financial hardship.


Even if the accident is too obvious for the victim, they may not be able to recover damages unless they prove these four elements with tangible evidence.


Three additional elements can help prove the defendant's guilt:


  • The owner knew (or should have known) about the condition that caused the accident.

  • They didn't fix it promptly.

  • The owner's negligence created the dangerous condition that led to the accident.


It's crucial to talk to a professional attorney to address these elements of negligence. Thanks to their expertise, they can come up with a reliable plan to prove the other person's fault without any doubt. Long Island slip and fall attorneys may be able to help.


About New York's Pure Comparative Negligence Rule

New York works with a pure comparative negligence rule. In other words, the property owner has the right to argue that the victim shares some amount of blame for what happened. If they're successful in their argument, the victim could earn less money in compensation.


The rule establishes that the victim will get their compensation amount adjusted according to their percentage of fault. If the victim were to be 20% at fault for the accident, for example, and they get awarded $10,000 in compensation, the property owner would only have to pay $8,000.


It's possible to deal with this rule if the case goes to court. Even if it doesn't, insurance companies may use it to negotiate the settlement.


What Damages Can Victims Recover from Their Slip-and-Fall Accident Claim?


Victims can recover a wide range of damages depending on what happened. Some of them include:


  • Medical bills

  • Lost wages

  • Pain and suffering

  • Disability

  • Loss of enjoyment of life


Why Hiring a Slip-and-Fall Attorney Is the Victim's Best Choice

Why Hiring a Slip-and-Fall Attorney Is the Victim's Best Choice


Hiring an attorney ensures the victim gets the best hand available for help. They could get educated on how the law works in New York, as well as which steps to follow to ensure their victory. They can also advise on how to file a lawsuit for personal injury in New York.


Moreover, an attorney can be in every step of the lawsuit, including negotiations, gathering evidence, and even representation in court. When victims hire a legal professional, they can leave everything to them so that they can focus on their recovery.


Bottom Line


Slip-and-fall lawsuits involve different factors, making them confusing for some. Thankfully, the guide provided here will help most people go over their cases regardless of how it happened. Law Office of Carl Maltese also has guides on how to file a lawsuit for a dog bite in New York.


People interested in getting legal assistance can book a free consultation with the team at The Law Office of Carl Maltese. A slip-and-fall accident is often more dangerous than it seems, and victims deserve to get justice for what happened.


Getting help from these legal experts ensures the victim has a better chance of fighting insurance companies or property owners who may not be willing to settle right away.

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