Smithtown Slip And Fall Lawyer
Updated: Mar 31, 2022
Falls are among the leading causes of spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury, so they must be taken seriously. Parties who own or possess property must keep it safe for all potential visitors. If you were hurt because of a hazardous condition on someone else’s property, the property owner might be liable to pay you damages.
A Smithtown slip and fall lawyer could evaluate your situation and determine whether a negligence claim might provide you with a reasonable settlement for your injuries. The best time to consult a seasoned Long Island slip and fall attorney is immediately after your accident.
Common Causes of Slipping Accidents
Slipping accidents can occur for reasons beyond wet floors. Some of the most common accidents are:
Broken or hazardous curbs, sidewalks, or driveways
Construction site debris or improper signage warning of dangers
Missing or broken handrails
Poorly designed or broken steps
Slippery walkways due to uncleared water or icy or snow-covered surfaces
A lawyer could investigate any of these potential scenarios and determine if the property owner had a duty to address it.
Statute of Limitations for an Accident in Smithtown
Laws that establish a time limit on someone’s right to bring a lawsuit are called statutes of limitation. New York Civil Practice Law and Rules § 214 sets the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit at three years.
However, people who fall on property owned or managed by a local government must take swift action to preserve their rights. When someone seeks damages from the State of New York or a county, city, or town within the State, there are special notice rules. The injured person must file a notice of claim with the appropriate government office within 90 days of the injury.
A failure to adhere to these statutory timelines could prevent someone from taking their case to court. Just as importantly, a threat of a lawsuit could motivate an insurance company to offer a reasonable settlement to avoid ending up in court. When the statute of limitations bars a lawsuit, the negligent parties and their insurers have no incentive to settle for a reasonable sum. A Smithtown slip and fall attorney could ensure that an injured person meets all applicable deadlines and maintains their option to sue if negotiations fail.
Proving Negligence Caused a Slip and Fall
In New York, anyone who owns or manages property must ensure that it is reasonably safe for customers, guests, and anyone else whose entry could be anticipated. Failure to do so is negligence. The responsible parties could be property owners, lessees, promoters of a public event, and others who possess or control access to the property. A slip and fall lawyer in Smithtown must prove negligence by demonstrating that the:
Defendant had possession of the property
Plaintiff was not trespassing
Injury resulted from an unreasonably hazardous condition on the property
Defendant failed to fix or warn of the unreasonably dangerous condition
Plaintiff suffered documentable losses because of that failure
Defense attorneys might assert that the condition was open and obvious. If a hazard would be evident to a person who is paying attention to their surroundings, property owners and possessors do not have a strict requirement to warn of it. Similarly, a defendant might argue that the hazardous condition was unknown or hidden. Possessors have no obligation to inspect premises to find and correct hidden hazards or dangerous conditions they had no reason to anticipate.
A skilled attorney could anticipate these arguments and present evidence to counter them. Such evidence could include witness testimony, surveillance video, photographs, maintenance records, and other documentation that could show that an unreasonably dangerous condition existed, and the possessor would have been aware of it had they taken reasonable care.
Other Smithtown Practice Areas
Retain the Services of a Smithtown Slip and Fall Attorney
If you have been injured because someone failed to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition, you deserve compensation. You might have medical expenses, a loss of income, and other losses to account for.
A Smithtown slip and fall lawyer will not be intimidated by aggressive defense attorneys and could stand up for you until you receive fair compensation for all you have endured. Schedule an appointment to speak with us today.