After you have fallen in an apartment building, remember S.L.I.P.:

  • Seek Medical Treatment: One of the first things to do after falling in an apartment building is to seek medical treatment. Seeking medical attention is important for a few reasons:
    • First, it is necessary to make sure you are no longer in any danger caused by the fall, which may include injuries such as broken bones, cuts, bruises, or other wounds resulting from a fall.
    • Second, having a medical professional diagnose and treat your injuries caused by the fall will help provide proper documentation should you decided to pursue a legal case.
  • Let the Responsible Party Know: It is important to report the injuries to the person responsible for the fall.
    • Should the landlord or building owner make a written report of the incident, make sure to get a copy.
  • Investigate and Document:
    • If possible, collect the name, address, and phone number of any potential witnesses who were in the vicinity. These witnesses could be people who were present and saw you fall, people who happened to be in the area afterwards, or people who came to your aid. These witnesses could be helpful in describing the potential cause of the fall in question immediately after (i.e. the floor or lighting).
    • It is also important to take pictures of your injuries as soon as possible, the location of the incident, and any potential causes of the fall.
    • Additionally, take a moment to sit and write down your recollection of the fall as soon as possible. Should you hire an attorney, this will be very helpful in deciding how to move forward with a lawsuit.  
  • Practitioner: Once you have completed the above steps, seek professional advice from a personal injury attorney.   The best call to make is to Mitchel Ashley at The Ashley Law firm 212-513-1300. His operators work 24 hours a day and they will get the message to Mitchel at all hours. If he isn’t in when you call because of the time,  he will call you back himself. Not some person who specializes in intakes of new cases, but the actual LAWYER WHO WILL TRY YOUR CASE.
    • Due to the complexity of slip and fall cases, it is important to have a trained legal professional on your team to advocate on your behalf.

The Law Regarding Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and Fall Basics:

The owner of real property (A Building) can be liable for injuries you obtained in a slip-and-fall or trip and fall, accident if you and your attorney provide sufficient evidence establishing:

  • Either that the landlord created the condition or had actual or constructive notice of it; and
  • Failed to remedy it within a reasonable time.

Dow v. Hermes Realty, LLC, 155 A.D.3d 824, 825 (2017), quoting Moody v. Woolworth Co., 288 A.D.2d 446, 446 (2001).

A landlord has constructive notice of a dangerous condition when the condition has been visible and apparent for a sufficient length of time prior to the accident to permit the landlord’s employees to have discovered and remedied it. Gordon v. American Museum of Natural History, 67 N.Y.2d 836, 837 (1986).

Constructive notice may also exist when there is evidence of a recurring condition that goes unaddressed by the landlord on a routine basis. Pfeuffer v. New York City Hous. Auth., 93 A.D.3d 470, 471-72 (2012).

How Long Does a Plaintiff Have to File A Claim Against a Landlord?

If your slip and fall occurs in a private residential apartment building, you must commence your legal action within three years of the accident or your suit will be barred. NY CLS CPLR Section 214.

If your slip and fall occurs in a municipal-owned apartment building, you must file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the incident. NY CLS Gen Mun Section 50-i(1)(c). Additionally, this type of suit is subject to a shorter statute of limitations and any legal action you plan to bring must be commenced within one year and 90 days. NY CLS CPLR Section 217-a.

You probably don’t know who owns the building you fell in. So call Mitchel Ashley 212-513-1300  right away. He will find out and protect your case by filing the necessary paperwork.

Details an Attorney Needs to Know About Where the Fall Occurred

Some of the details a personal injury attorney will need to know includes, but is not limited to whether there was:

  • Torn carpeting
  • Uneven flooring
  • Poor lighting
  • Narrow stairs
  • Wet floor
  • Lack of adequate handrail

Additionally, a personal injury attorney will likely need to know whether the fall occurred in one of the following areas:

  • Exits and Entrances
  • Lobbies
  • Elevators
  • Gyms and recreational spaces
  • Hallways
  • Shared laundry rooms
  • Stairwells and ramps

What Happens if You Fall In Your Own Apartment?

Your landlord’s liability depends on whether your fall occurred in your own apartment or in the common area or exterior area. If you merely slipped and fell on something you left on your own floor, then there is no personal injury claim because the incident was not caused by your landlord’s conduct. However, a landlord can be held liable for personal injuries occurring within your apartment, but only if the personal injury is the result of a problem with the building.   Sometimes water damage leads to crumbling ceilings or walls. If these should fall and injure you than that is something the landlord is responsible for. A good rule of thumb is if you are hurt in some way call Mitchel Ashley 212-513-1300 he can tell you if you have a case or not.

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