Spring may be on its way, but winter weather persists throughout New York. As inch after inch of snow and ice continues to pile up on sidewalks and roads, the risk of a slip and fall increases, which leaves you susceptible to enduring serious injuries, some of which could have a permanent effect on your life. Bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, and concussions are examples of real consequences that can have a devastating physical and financial impact on your life. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident within the New York metropolitan area, you need superior legal services from The Ashley Law Firm. A firm that is committed to helping you understand your rights and recover damages.
What Is A Slip And Fall?
A slip and fall case is categorized under personal injury and relies on negligence law. It can be defined as an injury resulting from a fall that was caused by a hazard on any premises. Common places where slip and fall accidents occur from snow and ice are on sidewalks, entrances to stores and restaurants, stairs, to name a few.
In order to protect pedestrians, property and business owners are responsible for clearing snow and ice from their property in a “reasonable” amount of time to ensure walkways and high traffic areas are safe. According to the New York City Department of Sanitation, snow and ice must be removed no later than four hours after the end of the snowfall or no later than 11 a.m. if the storm ends after 9 p.m. the night before. If you were injured because of snow and ice that was not removed within these guidelines, contact one of our slip and fall attorneys to assess your case.
If a property owner knew or should have known about a potentially dangerous situation, and neglected to fix the issue in a reasonable timeframe, you could recover damages for your injuries, including pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Keep in mind that if you slip and fall on an icy or snowy sidewalk in the midst of a storm, the business or property owner may not be held liable since the weather conditions were ongoing.
Because slip and fall accident cases can be difficult to prove, it is imperative that you gather evidence to support your case. If you suffer injuries in a store, fill out an accident report – while this is not legally mandated, most businesses require a report to be made. If you do not complete a report, write down as much information about the accident as possible, including the conditions of the location where the slip and fall occurred, and make sure you take photos of the scene.
If you are injured due to a slip and fall accident in New York, you need to seek immediate medical attention to document your injury at the time of the accident. In some cases, the documentation will also detail the time and place of the injury. Once you have sought the medical attention you need, it is important to consider collecting evidence of the conditions which caused your injury. If you are physically able and have a mobile device capable of taking pictures or video, it is in your best interest to make a record of where and accident occurred. In regards to weather-related conditions, time is of the essence. Weather conditions can change by the minute and evidence of your accident can disappear quickly.
If you are physically unable to obtain any of the above, we will gather as much material as possible. However, this can take weeks or even months, and will occur after an accident scene has already been cleaned up or your injuries have healed, making a claim for damages more difficult. Photographs and witness statements are invaluable pieces of evidence in front of a jury.
Pursuing A Slip And Fall Lawsuit
If it is clear to all parties involved that the defendant breached a legal duty, then the defendant may try to settle outside of court. This typically involves making a monetary offer to compensate the injured person.
With many New York slip and fall lawsuits, the plaintiff does not deal directly with the property owner, but through the business’s insurance company.
During trial, your New York personal injury attorney will have to prove that the property owner was negligent, and that their negligence caused your injuries. To prove negligence, your slip and fall lawyer will need to show that the property owner was careless with obligations which resulted in your injury, meaning they breached an obligation. You will also be required to confirm the extent of your injuries through medical records. Bills and testimony from attending doctors.
New York Slip And Fall Law
If multiple parties contributed to your injury, than ‘joint and several liabilities’ may apply. According to New York joint and several liability laws, any party that shares 50 percent or more of the accountability for your accident can be held legally responsible for the full amount of the damages. Conversely, any party found to hold less than 50 percent liable will only be held responsible for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Our law offices are experienced in handling cases for victims who are injured on snow and ice. If you are injured because of the negligence of a property owner who knew or should have known about the condition and did not take proper steps to make their property safe according to city guidelines, you should contact an attorney. You may be entitled to damages related to your injury. If you need a law firm to guide you through your legal options and advocate on your behalf, contact our personal injury lawyers at The Ashley Law Firm today.