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Leandros Vrionedes > Resources > How to Prove Negligence in a New York Trip and Fall Case

How to Prove Negligence in a New York Trip and Fall Case

Action of a construction worker is climbing on the platform ladder. An industrial working with unsafe action scene photo, close-up at the safety shoe.Trip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, from sidewalks to commercial properties, often resulting in serious injuries. In New York, victims of such accidents may be entitled to compensation if they can prove that the property owner or occupier was negligent by creating the hazard or failing to remove the danger that they knew or should have known about. Below we discuss the elements required to prove a property owner’s negligence after a trip and fall. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a trip and fall in NYC, contact Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. for a free case review from an experienced and successful New York trip and fall accident lawyer.

Establishing Negligence in Trip and Fall Accidents

Negligence is a key legal concept in personal injury cases, including trip and fall accidents. To prove negligence, the plaintiff must demonstrate the following:

  1. Duty of Care: The property owner or occupier had a legal duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition and to warn of any hazards.
  2. Breach of Duty: The property owner or occupier failed to fulfill this duty, either by not addressing a hazardous condition or by not providing adequate warning.
  3. Causation: The breach of duty directly caused the accident and the resulting injuries.
  4. Damages: The victim suffered actual damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Collecting Evidence to Support Your Claim

Proving negligence requires solid evidence. Here are some steps to take after a trip and fall accident:

  1. Photographs: Take pictures of the accident scene, including the hazard that caused the fall, as soon as possible. Documenting the condition before it is repaired or altered is crucial.
  2. Witness Statements: Gather contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident or is familiar with the condition of the property over time.
  3. Incident Reports: If the accident occurred in a commercial establishment, request a copy of the incident report.
  4. Medical Records: Keep detailed records of all medical treatments, diagnoses, and expenses related to the injuries sustained in the fall.
  5. Maintenance Records: In some cases, it may be possible to obtain records showing how the property owner or occupier maintained the area where the accident occurred.
  6. Surveillance Footage: Check if any security cameras may have captured the incident.

Common Challenges in Trip and Fall Cases

Proving negligence in a trip and fall case can be challenging for several reasons:

  1. Comparative Negligence: New York follows the rule of comparative negligence, which means that if the victim is found to be partially at fault for the accident, their compensation can be reduced proportionally. Property owners and their insurers will often claim the victim was at least partially to blame by not looking where they were going or ignoring warning signs or obvious dangers. Skilled legal help may be required to counter these arguments.
  2. Notice of the Hazard: The property owner or occupier may argue that they were unaware of the hazardous condition. One response to this excuse is proving that they had “constructive notice” or should have known about the hazard, but establishing constructive notice can be challenging and complex.
  3. Transient Conditions: If the hazard was temporary (e.g., an extension cord across a walking path that was quickly removed after the accident), proving its existence and the property owner’s negligence can be difficult.

Seeking Legal Assistance After a Trip and Fall Accident in New York

Given the complexities of proving negligence in trip and fall cases, seeking the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney is not just a smart move; it’s essential. At Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C., we have a proven record of helping victims of trip and fall accidents in New York navigate the legal process and secure the compensation they deserve. Contact us today at 212-889-9362 for a free consultation and let us advocate for your rights.

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