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If you trip and fall on someone else’s property because they failed to keep their property safe for guests, you have the right to recover compensation for your injuries. Recovering damages after a slip and fall or trip and fall accident can be tricky, however. Continue reading to learn how to maximize your recovery after a trip and fall accident, and call a seasoned New York slip, trip and fall lawyer if you or someone you care about has been injured on someone else’s premises in New York City.
See a doctor as soon after your trip and fall as possible. If you are seriously injured, you (or someone else) should call 9-1-1 and get you an ambulance. If you are able to leave under your own power, you should still see a doctor as soon as you can. Even if you feel relatively uninjured, you might have a difficult-to-detect injury such as a concussion, a sprain, or internal bleeding.
Seeing a doctor immediately ensures the strongest connection between your fall and your injuries. If you wait to get diagnosed, a defense lawyer or insurance company might try to claim you were injured after your fall in a separate incident.
In order to maximize your trip and fall damages, you need to demonstrate that the premises owner was negligent and that their negligence contributed to your injury. Look around the scene for what caused your fall, and what other factors may have contributed. Are there loose power cords or uneven floor surfaces? Is there inadequate lighting? Is a display placed in a hidden location that renders it easy to trip over? Was there water on the floor? Were there too many people let into the store for a special event?
If you are able, take photos of the scene to document the hazards before the owner has a chance to fix them. If you are seriously injured and sent straight to the hospital, consider sending a friend or family member to take photos for you. If you don’t have anyone to send, you can go back to the scene after getting medical treatment, although the longer it takes the more likely evidence of the hazard will have been cleaned up. You should still pursue your claim, but you will have missed some helpful evidence.
After your fall, look around for anyone who might have seen what happened. If you are at a business such as a grocery store, other customers could end up being your strongest source of evidence. Ask for their contact information (phone, address, email) so you or your attorney can reach out to them later. You may even want to ask them to briefly tell you what they saw. Having witnesses on your side prevents the defense from denying your version of events.
Every document generated in connection with your accident and injury is important. Police reports, accident reports from the premises owner, medical bills, medical reports, communications with your employer (e.g., about missing days at work or limited capacity to work), and communications with the premises all may contribute to your claim. When you retain your personal injury lawyer, you will make their job much easier if you already have a folder of evidence ready to go.
Proving premises liability after a trip and fall accident can be difficult. You will need to show that there was a hazard, that the owner or operator of the premises either knew or should have known that the hazard existed, that they had the capacity to put up a warning or remedy the hazard, that you were injured as a result, as well as following all other legal requirements and procedural details. These things are far from easy, and they require knowledge and experience. Moreover, you will likely be dealing with the fallout from your accident–medical expenses, recovering from your injury, etc.
Remember: This is your first premises liability claim, but your attorney has been through this many times. The sooner you get a seasoned personal injury lawyer on your team, the stronger your claim will be, and the more potential damages you will recover.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trip and fall accident in a New York building, get help seeking damages from an experienced professional by contacting NYC premises liability lawyer Leandros A. Vrionedes for a free consultation at 212-889-9362, or in Queens at 718-777-5895.