Every year more than 8 million people (21.3%) in the U.S. have hospital emergency visits due to a fall. Of those 8 million, more than 1 million receive ER treatment for a slip and fall accident. The National Fall Safety Institute notes slip and falls equate to 12% of the total falls occurring each year. These accidents are the leading cause of ER visits.
Slip and fall accidents can lead to serious injuries. If you, or a loved one, were hurt due to unsafe conditions that led to an injury, the experienced attorneys at the Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm can carefully examine the circumstances surrounding your fall and determine if you have the grounds for a personal injury case. To learn more about how we can help you receive compensation for your injuries, call us at 212-268-3222 or complete our contact form.
New Yorkers face slip and fall risks every day under a variety of circumstances. Common types of slip and fall, also known as trip and fall accidents (depending on how a person falls), include:
New York City winter weather can be treacherous and create hazardous snow, ice, and black ice conditions if not properly maintained through shoveling and salting.
Liquid spills or puddles occur in businesses, stores, bathrooms, apartment buildings, offices, and many other locations. Inclement weather often also creates hazardous conditions for foot traffic if not managed properly by Brooklyn landlords, business owners, or others responsible for maintaining a property.
Unfortunately, poor sidewalk conditions are a frequent occurrence in NYC. Potential hazards include icy, broken, and uneven sidewalk surfaces. Obstructed sidewalks or debris left on the ground are other common problems.
It’s not unusual to find poorly maintained steps in Brooklyn. Hazards include steps that are broken, uneven, slippery, and under construction or repair. Broken or missing handrails or inadequate lighting are other contributors to falls, along with uneven stair treads.
Businesses that leave merchandise, maintenance materials, have tears or bumps in carpets, uneven floorboards, debris, garbage or other items laying on the floor create obstructions for people walking on their building’s surfaces. Any of which can lead to a fall. Furthermore, the Consumer Product Safety Commission states floors and flooring materials contribute to over 2 million fall injuries each year.
Other common events that lead to slip and fall accidents include a property owner failing to post warning signs, not taking due care at construction sites, leaving loose or unsecured electrical wires, and poor lighting.
Any of these and other types of trip and fall accidents occurring at businesses, office buildings, apartment buildings, or other public spaces may be eligible for a personal injury claim. It’s a good idea to consult with a personal injury attorney to see if you’re eligible to pursue compensation to cover medical expenses or other injury-related costs you’ve incurred.
According to the New York State Department of Health, fall-related injuries are the leading cause of hospitalizations for children aged 0-14 and adults 25 years and older. For people over the age of 45, falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths. People older than 65 are in a very high-risk category for injury or death. Types of injuries stemming from Brooklyn trip and fall accidents include:
Falls are not a random type of accident because most of them are preventable when proper action or care is taken. The Department of Health indicates falls in New York, including Brooklyn, happen in predictable patterns and risk factors can be easily identified. This means many of the above types of injuries occurring each year in NYC didn’t have to happen if property owners exercise due care on their properties.
If you’ve encountered any circumstance that led to a fall, it’s important to seek medical treatment immediately, even if you’re not sure you have been hurt. Medical records will be important documentation in the event you have suffered a serious fall injury that is diagnosed at a later date.
Most slip and fall accidents are preventable, this means someone is liable for any injuries a fall victim might sustain. Usually, this is the owner of a property or manager of a business where the fall occurred. If a party is determined to be at fault, they can be held legally and financially responsible for the injury.
All property owners are responsible for maintaining a safe environment with proactive actions, but at the very least they should warn people of situations where an environment might be unsafe to walk or stand on. Owners have a duty to visitors, customers or members of the public to ensure their premises are reasonably safe for them. They are also obligated and have a duty to routinely inspect their property and take action to eliminate potential hazards. These duties are known as premises liability law in New York State.
If property owners breach this duty and neglect to inspect or initiate corrective action, they can be held legally accountable for any injuries that occur due to unsafe conditions they've not rectified. People have a reasonable right to expect safe conditions when entering a premise and, if they are injured due to negligence, they have the right to pursue compensation for any monetary losses associated with their physical injury.
New York State imposes a three-year statute of limitations for slip and fall cases. The time clock on the ability to file a personal injury claim begins the date the incident occurred, not the date the injury was diagnosed. This is an important distinction because injuries are sometimes easily identified, but other injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, may not be diagnosed until weeks or even months after a fall occurs.
Due to this time limitation, it’s important for anyone who has experienced any type of fall accident to contact a slip and fall attorney right away. This way, the situation is documented and compensation for injuries and damages can be pursued, if applicable. It takes time to build a strong case, and the earlier documentation begins, the easier it'll be to prove negligence with supplemental details.
Victims must be able to adequately prove they’ve suffered a physical injury to qualify for a slip and fall accident claim. When examining the circumstances, a court of law will take many factors into consideration when determining the compensation available for these types of accidents. However, since New York operates under a “pure comparative negligence rule,” this can place a restriction on how much a victim can be reimbursed for their medical bills, medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses they’ve accumulated after suffering a slip and fall accident.
Many defendants and their insurance companies will try to place partial blame on the victim in slip and fall cases. If it is determined a victim is 40% responsible for their accident, this means they’ll receive 60% of compensation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes 22% of slip and fall incidents result in more than 31 days away from work. That’s a long time to be without a salary. A Brooklyn accident lawyer can perform a case evaluation and work to ensure their clients receive the lowest percent assigned in an accident, resulting in a higher amount of compensation.
The attorneys at the Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm have been representing personal injury victims for more than 25 years in Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Westchester, and surrounding counties. We are proud of our reputation for being the “Voice of the Injured,” and promise to stand with our clients every step of the way in their personal injury cases.
If you, or a loved one, suffered a slip and fall accident in Brooklyn due to another party’s negligence in keeping their property reasonably safe, you may be entitled to compensation. Our compassionate and knowledgeable personal injury lawyers will help you to gather any documentation, witnesses, or other evidence you need to prove a physical injury was sustained and any associated negligence in your injury case. Call the Raphaelson and Levine law offices at 212-268-3222 or contact us online today for a free lawyer consultation or to receive legal advice.