Everything to Know About Trip and Fall Cases in New York
Trip and fall accidents are as common as they are dangerous. When you trip over a hazardous condition on someone else’s property and you are hurt as a result, you have the right to seek compensation. Below, we discuss trip and fall claims and how you can hold the right parties liable for your injuries. For help recovering compensation after any type of accident, talk to a dedicated NYC premises liability attorney at the law office of Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C.
What Is a Trip and Fall?
A trip and fall refers to an incident when a person catches their foot on an object while walking forward and is unable to get their other foot out in front of them fast enough to prevent a fall. The victim might trip over a discarded object such as a loose wire or piece of equipment, or they could trip over uneven flooring, uneven steps, a cracked sidewalk, or any other hazard. A trip and fall can lead to any number of painful, debilitating injuries.
What Are Common Trip and Fall Injuries?
If you trip over a broken sidewalk, a loose wire, or uneven flooring, you are likely to fall forward. When you fall forward, you’re more likely to throw your hands out in front of you to catch the fall. If the trip is very quick or unexpected, you could land face-first before getting your hands out.
These factors contribute to the injuries most common to trip and falls, including:
- Broken, strained, or torn wrists and hands
- Broken fingers
- Shoulder injury
- Broken nose
- Ocular damage
- Broken elbows or other arm bones
- Damage to the eye socket
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neck injury
Who Is Liable for a Trip and Fall Accident?
If you trip and fall on someone else’s property, then the person who owns or operates that property may be held liable. The owner or operator is liable when you tripped over a hazard that the owner either created, knew about or should have known about. The hazard may be a discarded object left by an employee, a hazardous object left by a guest that the owners should have discovered, or a fixture of the building itself. If a reasonable premises owner would have discovered and remedied the situation, and that hazardous situation led to the victim’s fall, the owner is responsible.
Common hazards that lead to trip and fall claims include:
- Uneven flooring
- Inadequate lighting
- Uneven steps
- Loose carpeting
- Discarded equipment (brooms, ropes, construction equipment), boxes, or building materials
- Exposed or loose wires
Any item left on the floor in a position that may be difficult to see and which may have enough grip to catch someone’s foot is a hazard that could lead to a trip and fall.
Who Is Liable for a Sidewalk Trip and Fall?
Sidewalk trip and fall accidents carry their own specific issues. If you were hurt because of an uneven sidewalk, a broken sidewalk, a cracked sidewalk, or other sidewalk defects, you have the right to seek compensation. The question of who to hold responsible may be a bit more complicated than other premises liability claims.
In New York, most of the time, it’s up to the owner of the building abutting the sidewalk to keep the sidewalk safe. There’s an exception to the general rule, however: If the sidewalk abuts an owner-occupied residence, which constitutes a one-, two-, or three-family home, then the city takes responsibility for sidewalk maintenance. Additionally, if the sidewalk is on city or state property with no commercial building nearby, then the city or state may be responsible.
Whoever is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk can be held liable for sidewalk defects. If you tripped over a crack in the sidewalk, uneven pavement, broken pavement, or other defective sidewalk hazards, talk to a knowledgeable sidewalk trip and fall attorney to find out how you can seek compensation.
Seasoned Advice and Representation for Your New York Trip and Fall Case
If you or someone you care about has been seriously hurt in a New York City trip and fall on someone else’s property, find out if you’re entitled to monetary damages for your injuries by contacting the thorough and professional New York premises liability lawyer Leandros A. Vrionedes for a free consultation at 212-889-9362.