Common Causes of Slip-and-Fall Accidents in New York

Common Causes of Slip-and-Fall Accidents in New York

Slip-and-fall accidents can be dangerous because victims rarely see them coming. One moment, they could be chatting with their neighbors, and the next, nursing a serious bump to the head after wiping out on an icy sidewalk.

Slip-and-fall accidents are incredibly common. In 2021, 44,686 people lost their lives due to falls at work and home, according to NFSI. Millions of others had to take time off to work to recover.

If you’ve been in such an accident, a New York slip-and-fall lawyer can help. Below, learn more about the leading causes of slips and falls from a Manhattan slip-and-fall lawyer.

Slip-and-Fall Accident Causes

Slip-and-fall accidents can have quite a few causes, and it’s smart to be aware of them if you wish to stay safe.


Spills are everywhere you look, especially in a bustling place like New York. Combine spills with slick floors, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

Spills are very common in grocery stores. Shoppers often drop things and break them, then shuffle away out of embarrassment without telling any employees. Along comes another shopper, who walks straight into the spill and hits the floor.

Restaurants are another hotspot for spills. They can happen in the dining room, restrooms, and even the parking lot.

Icy Sidewalks

Icy sidewalks are extremely common during our frigid winter months. Salt and gravel (or even kitty litter) make icy sidewalks safer to walk on, but not every property owner bothers to de-ice the pavement.

Ice is especially dangerous because it’s very hard to see. A sidewalk that looks safe could, in reality, be covered with a slick sheet of ice.

Slippery Surfaces

Some types of flooring are naturally slippery and don’t offer much traction. Ceramic tile, marble, granite, and polished concrete fall into this category. While these materials are certainly beautiful, you must take extra care when walking on these surfaces. Elderly people and those with balance problems should avoid slick floors if at all possible.

Poor Lighting

Poor lighting is yet another cause of slip-and-falls. Parking lots, entrances, exits, and stairwells should have enough light to illuminate potential hazards. If a bulb has burnt out or the wattage is too low, that’s an accident waiting to happen.

Public Transportation Accidents

New York has robust public transportation that’ll take you almost anywhere you want to go. Our subways and buses are normally quite safe, but if you’re on a bus that stops suddenly, you might find yourself toppling to the floor.

If you have an accident on a NY subway, you may be able to hold the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) liable with the help of a New York slip-and-fall lawyer.

Uneven Surfaces

Uneven surfaces are a leading cause of trips and falls. Uneven sidewalks, in particular, are scattered all throughout New York City. Pedestrians and joggers can trip over uneven pavement and suffer serious head injuries.

Damaged steps, bulging carpeting, and loose floorboards cause their fair share of accidents as well.

Lack of Training

Lack of training causes many slip-and-fall accidents at work, especially in busy environments such as restaurants and construction sites. Management is responsible for teaching employees how to stay safe on the job. Training should include a list of proper procedures and information about the correct footwear for the job.

How NYC Slip-and-Fall Lawyers Determine Liability

To win your slip-and-fall case, your Manhattan premises accident attorney must prove several elements:

  • The property owner knew about, or should have known about, the hazard.
  • They failed to fix the hazard or warn guests away from the hazard.
  • The hazard caused your accident.
  • The accident caused damages that the court can compensate you for.

To illustrate, let’s say that a store owner failed to put up a sign warning of wet floors. You fell and broke your arm. Your New York City slip-and-fall attorney can hold them responsible for the lack of warning signs.

Compensation Available for Slip-and-Falls

You can seek compensation for a variety of damages related to your slip-and-fall accident. You may recover:

  • Medical bills, including the cost of surgery, medication, medical equipment, and emergency care
  • Property damage (if any of your belongings were damaged/destroyed because of the accident)
  • Lost wages if you have to take time off work
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering

You can also seek compensation if a loved one died in a slip-and-fall accident. You may recover damages for the deceased’s lost wages, final medical bills, funeral/burial expenses, and loss of their companionship.

Can You Sue If You Fell at Work?

Slip and Fall Lawyers

In 2021, 850 workers died in falls, and thousands more had to take time away from work to recover, according to NSC. If you’re one of them, you may wonder what compensation is available to you.

If your employer offers workers’ compensation, you cannot sue them. Workers’ comp will pay for your medical bills and a percentage of your lost wages.

There is one exception, though. You may file a lawsuit if a third party caused your accident or contributed to it in some way. Parties you could sue include:

  • Product manufacturers
  • General contractors and subcontractors
  • Drivers
  • Property owners

Here’s an example of when you could sue a product manufacturer. The manufacturer makes a ladder that’s rated for 300 pounds of weight. You carry some equipment up the ladder that, together with your weight, puts the load at 270 pounds.

Suddenly, the ladder gives out from beneath you. It wasn’t poorly maintained, and you did nothing wrong. The ladder simply couldn’t handle the amount of weight it was rated for. In this case, you’d have a valid claim against the manufacturer.

Contact a Slip-and-Fall Attorney in Brooklyn Today

Proving negligence in a slip-and-fall accident can be tough, but you’ll have a better chance of winning your case with a NYC premises liability attorney on your side. At Ross & Hill, our attorneys have more than 40 years of experience, and we’ve successfully recovered over $100 million for our clients.

If you would like slip-and-fall injury legal representation in NY, call (718) 855-2324 for a free consultation with a NYC trip hazard lawyer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to settle a slip-and-fall accident case in New York?

It can take anywhere from a few months to more than a year to settle a slip-and-fall accident case. If there’s plenty of evidence and the insurance company offers a fair settlement right away, your case could close fairly quickly. If, on the other hand, there’s not enough evidence to prove liability or the insurance company refuses to negotiate, your case could take much longer.

Why are slip-and-fall cases hard to win?

Slip-and-fall cases can be hard to win because a New York City trip-and-fall lawyer must prove that the accident happened due to someone’s negligence. Often, there isn’t much evidence (if any) of how the accident happened. A store owner might blame the victim for running in the aisles while the victim argues that they fell in a spill. It can be tough to know who is truly at fault.

How many people go to the hospital for slip-and-falls annually?

Slip-and-falls account for one million hospital visits annually, or 12% of all falls, according to NFSI. Falls, in general, account for eight million hospital visits, or 21.3% of all visits.

How long after a slip-and-fall do you have to make a claim?

In New York, you have three years from the date of the slip-and-fall accident to make a claim. If you pass the deadline, you’ll be unable to recover damages for the accident. This is why you must call a New York slip-and-fall lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.

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