New York Slip and Fall Lawyer
While walking through a busy and chaotic place like New York City, minor slips or trips occur every day. Sometimes, these falls can have serious consequences for victims, in rare cases leading to wrongful death. In many instances, slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents could have been prevented entirely through regular inspection and maintenance by the owners and managers of the property where the accident happened. Victims of these accidents may therefore have a right to compensation for their injuries resulting from a slip-and-fall. A seasoned New York personal injury attorney can assess your claim and help you understand your rights after an accident. Contact the offices of the knowledgeable and professional Manhattan slip-and-fall lawyer Leandros A. Vrionedes for an evaluation of your claim.
Why do slip-and-falls happen?
Research shows that slips and falls are behind about one million emergency visits every year in the US. New Yorkers are particularly vulnerable to becoming the victim of a slip-and-fall due to how heavily-trafficked public spaces tend to be, how much residents use public transportation to get from place to place, and how the city’s precipitation can make floors and sidewalks dangerously slippery. Some of the most common reasons that Manhattan and Queens residents experience slipping or tripping accidents are:
- Slippery, cracked, uneven or obstructed sidewalks
- Broken steps and stairs
- Broken or missing handrails
- Slippery floors due to spills or water tracked in during inclement weather
- Unmarked steps or ramps between “split-level” areas in stores
- Obstructions on the floor or in the aisle of a store
- Carpet defects, such as tears or bumps
When are New York slip-and-fall victims entitled to money damages?
In many cases, slip-and-fall injuries can be prevented by the owners of the property or managers of the business where the fall happened. When these accidents could have been prevented, property owners may be held responsible for the costs of the victim’s injuries. Whether an owner is legally responsible for a victim’s injuries comes down to whether there was a Duty on behalf of the owner, a Breach of that duty, and an Injury or injuries caused by that breach.
Duty: Property or business owners who invite customers or other members of the public have a duty to ensure that the premises are reasonably safe for visitors. This means that owners need to regularly inspect the premises for hazards that may have developed, such as stair steps that have become weak, patches of carpet that have become loose or raised, or puddles of liquid that have formed.
Breach of duty: If a property owner doesn’t conduct these regular inspections of their property, or doesn’t repair tripping or slipping hazards that they knew or should have known about within a reasonable timeframe, then the owner will have breached their legal duty to maintain a safe premises for visitors.
Injury: Visitors to a business or guests in another person’s home have a right to expect the premises to be safe and free from hidden tripping or slipping hazards. Visitors who sustain a serious injury due to the owner’s breach of their duty to maintain a safe premises have a right to be compensated for the costs of their injuries.
When a victim cannot prove one of these elements, then they won’t be entitled to receive money damages. In many cases, this means that there was an injury caused by a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, but the dangerous condition wasn’t caused by a breach of duty. For example, some hazards may arise and result in an accident before the property owner has a reasonable amount of time to remove the hazard, such as when one customer spills their drink and another customer slips in the resulting puddle moments later.
Property owners will typically claim that they had no way to know about or repair the hazard before the accident occurred, or that the hazard was so obvious that the victim should have been able to avoid getting hurt. A skilled slip-and-fall lawyer can help you fight for the damages you deserve when a property owner was, in fact, responsible for your accident. Manhattan premises liability lawyer Leandros A. Vrionedes can help you gather and present evidence to counter these defenses, such as photos of the accident site, security camera footage, eyewitness accounts, and expert witness testimony. Our team has fought for hundreds of fall victims over our decades of practice and can help you get the compensation you need after a slip-and-fall in New York City.
What types of injuries can result from a slip-and-fall accident?
- Sprains and strains: Fall victims often suffer sprains or strains to muscles and ligaments, especially those in the ankle, wrist, knee, or neck.
- Contusions and abrasions: Cuts and scrapes to the skin leave victims vulnerable to infection or disfiguring scars, especially when these cuts occur on the face or other highly visible parts of the body
- Fractures: The most common breaks in a fall are ankle, wrist, arm and hip fractures. Fractures must be treated early and set correctly for proper healing and to prevent life-threatening infections in the case of compound fractures. Hip fractures can be especially dangerous for the elderly or frail.
- Neck and back injuries: In severe falls, such as hard falls on ice or slippery surfaces or falls down stairs, victims may suffer from damage to the discs in their neck and back, or they may injure the muscles in their back, making it painful to do their jobs or even to move or walk.
- Traumatic brain injuries: Fall victims who hit their heads on a hard surface such as a marble floor or concrete curb can suffer lifelong injuries and impairments. Even a concussion, the mildest form of traumatic brain injury, may have permanent effects for some victims.
Slips and falls on public property
Claims for falls that occur on public property can be even more challenging to pursue than those against private property owners. Claims for injury accidents against government entities, such as departments of the New York City government, are subject to strict filing deadlines and pleading requirements. Victims who skip procedural steps they didn’t understand or knew existed can be prevented from ever receiving compensation for their injuries. This makes it critical that victims of falls on public transportation, in subway stops, or in government buildings speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after a fall to ensure that their claim doesn’t get lost forever. Leandros A. Vrionedes understands the complexities of filing and winning a claim for personal injury damages against the City of New York or other governmental entities. Contact his Manhattan offices today for an assessment of your slip-and-fall claim.
Legal Help after a New York Slip & Fall Accident
For help after a slip and fall accident in New York, contact personal injury attorney Leandros A. Vrionedes for a free consultation.