Fall accidents are the most common reason for people to visit an emergency room in the United States. Every year, approximately 8 million people receive ER treatment after a fall and, of those people, over 1 million are treated for slip and fall accidents.
Slip accidents frequently occur across the U.S. and New York City is no exception. Busy sidewalks, office buildings, apartment complexes, stores, and construction sites, are just a handful of locations where trip and fall hazards happen in the Bronx and other NYC boroughs. Unfortunately, many of these accidents result in serious injuries.
If you, or a loved one, suffered an injury or wrongful death due to an unsafe condition in the Bronx that resulted in a slip and fall accident, the personal injury lawyers at the Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm are ready to help you. They’ll carefully evaluate the circumstances surrounding your fall and determine if you have grounds to file a personal injury case. To learn more about the legal process, call us today for a free consultation at 212-268-3222.
The New York State Department of Health reports fall-related injuries are the leading cause of hospitalizations. Common types of injuries stemming from Bronx slip and fall accidents include:
Sprains and strains to muscles and ligaments are frequent slip and fall injuries. These wounds often take a long time to heal and can have a severe impact on daily activities, even the simplest ones, such as cooking or tying a shoe.
Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), can be life-altering. Head injuries are sometimes difficult to diagnose as the impact of the blow to the head isn’t always immediately apparent. Sometimes when the head hits a hard surface, bleeding may occur on the brain, this type of head injury is called a contusion.
The neck and back areas of the body are highly susceptible to injury. Fall victims often suffer breaks, strains, nerve damage, or even injury to the spinal cord. Unfortunately, many of these injuries can be permanent.
Contusions and abrasions to the skin are common fall accidents, especially if rough surfaces or debris are involved. A cut may not seem like a serious injury, but it can lead to severe scarring and/or leave emotional trauma (i.e. facial scarring).
Shoulders are complex areas of the body often injured in falls, especially if a person reaches out to brace their fall and the shoulder took the brunt of the fall.
Some injuries are instantly obvious, but others may take weeks or months to become evident or be diagnosed. Victims suffering a fall should always immediately seek medical treatment even if they don’t feel pain. Documentation of an incident is important when a slip and fall accident occurs.
Sadly, most fall-related injuries are preventable. The NYS Department of Health says fall accidents have predictable patterns and risk factors are easily identified. This means most property owners, as long as they inspect and maintain their properties, can prevent people from getting hurt. Yet, every year unaddressed risks lead to trip and fall accidents in the Bronx on both private and public properties.
NYC often sees frigid winter temperatures which creates icy conditions. Property owners have a responsibility to adequately treat icy surfaces to make them safe, yet people often encounter icy sidewalks, walkways, and parking lots.
Slip and fall accidents are often linked to badly maintained steps. Risks in the Bronx people often encounter include steps that are broken, uneven, slippery, or under repair and not properly marked. Other conditions that lead to potential accidents include inadequate lighting and broken or missing handrails.
Many fall accidents in the Bronx occur on sidewalks due to poor maintenance. Common hazards include broken or uneven sidewalk surfaces, including conditions that create cracks, holes, slopes, or even tree roots popping through the cement. Debris left on sidewalks is another common contributor to falls.
Wet floors can occur anywhere, including shopping centers, grocery stores, office buildings, and apartment complexes, to name a few. During the winter or on rainy days, water may be tracked in and create dangerous conditions. Washing floors and not warning people of slip hazards are also problems.
Tears or bumps in carpets, maintenance materials, merchandise, debris, garbage, loose/unsecured electrical wires, or anything else that a person can trip on is considered to be a floor obstruction.
If a potentially hazardous condition cannot immediately or reasonably be rectified, property owners are obligated, at the very least, to post warning signs to alert people to a situation.
Due to the fact most slip and fall accidents in the Bronx are entirely preventable, this means someone is almost always liable for any of these types of accidents. Typically, the negligent party is identified as the owner or manager of a property (including housing and businesses) where an accident occurred. If the identified party is determined to be at fault, by law, they can be held financially responsible for any injuries associated with a slip and fall.
Essentially, property owners have a legal responsibility to maintain a safe environment. In the State of New York, this duty is known as “premises liability law” which means they are obligated to take reasonable steps to ensure any hazards are removed so people can safely walk or stand on a property’s surface. Due care includes conducting routine inspections and fixing any problems found.
Owners who breach this duty can be legally held accountable for any injuries that occur because of any neglect that occurs on their part. Individuals who have slipped and fallen due to negligence are eligible to file a personal injury claim. After an accident, it’s a good idea to receive a free consultation from a Bronx accident lawyer.
To be eligible to file for a slip and fall claim, you must be able to demonstrate you’ve suffered a physical injury and there was negligence that led to said injury. A court of law looks at several different factors surrounding the fall, but it’s important to understand New York State operates under a “pure comparative negligence rule.” This means a restriction may be placed on the amount of compensation a victim can collect for their injury.
For instance, if a victim is determined to be 30% to blame for their fall, they’ll receive 70% compensation for their injury. A skilled personal injury lawyer can work to minimize the percentage of blame to ensure victims are appropriately reimbursed for their medical treatment, medical expenses, lost wages, and any other losses they’ve suffered which can be directly linked to the injury.
In New York State, there is a three-year Statute of Limitations for slip and fall cases which begins on the date the accident occurs, not the date the injury was felt or diagnosed. This is an important distinction because an injury may take days, weeks, or even months to become apparent. Due to the three-year time limit, it’s important to seek medical treatment immediately after a fall. It’s important to remember to contact a slip and fall attorney so the incident is properly documented. This helps to safeguard a victim's right to file a personal injury lawsuit in the event an injury emerges.
If you've experienced a fall in the Bronx due to dangerous conditions or the negligence of a property owner, the personal injury attorneys at Raphaelson & Levine are here to give you a voice. Our experienced attorneys have been representing personal injury victims and presenting cases against defendants and their insurance companies for more than 25 years. Call the Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm in Manhattan at 212-268-3222 or contact us online for a free consultation.