If you experienced injuries in a slip-and-fall accident, you may be feeling stressed, embarrassed, and overwhelmed. Holding the at-fault party financially responsible for the accident can help you begin moving forward from this event.
Sometimes, slip and fall victims are responsible for their injuries, such as if they tripped on their own feet. Other times, the property owner may be responsible for not removing the hazard that caused the injury.
Read on to learn who is responsible for a slip and fall accident. Then contact our “slip and fall lawyer near me” to schedule your free consultation.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
A slip and fall accident is a type of premises liability case in which a person slips and falls on a hazard, leading to an injury. These accidents often occur when property owners fail to maintain safe environments for visitors.
Slip and fall accidents often lead to injuries ranging from mild to severe. In the best cases, victims walk away with a few bruises or sore muscles. In the worst-case scenarios, slip-and-fall victims experience traumatic brain injuries or other life-changing consequences.
If your slip and fall accident was another person’s fault, you could hold them financially responsible for your injuries. Working with a New York slip-and-fall lawyer can help you navigate this process effectively.
Common Slip and Fall Accident Scenarios
Slip and fall accidents can include any incidents in which a person slips or trips on a hazard, leading to an injury. These hazards may include any of the following:
- Icy or snowy sidewalks
- Wet floors
- Merchandise in aisles
- Torn carpet or flooring
- Uneven pavement
Who May Be Liable in a Slip and Fall Accident?
The person responsible for your slip and fall accident can vary depending on the incident’s circumstances. In past cases, our clients have held the following parties liable:
- Property owner
- Property management company
- Cleaning company
- Construction company
- Government entities
Typically, if you slipped and fell on a hazard on another property, the owner or party responsible for that property may be partially liable.
Are Property Owners Responsible for Slip and Fall Accidents On Their Properties?
If you’re considering seeking compensation after a slip and fall accident, you must prove that another person or party was responsible for your accident. If your accident occurred on another person’s property, the property owner might be responsible.
Property owners have to maintain safe environments for visitors. If the property owner fails to remove a hazard that caused your accident, they might be liable.
The property owner’s duty of care to you depends on your purpose for being on the property. New York recognizes three types of visitors in premises liability cases:
- Invitee: Someone the property owner invited to the property for their mutual benefit, such as to complete a commercial transaction
- Licensee: A person who enters a property with the property owner’s consent for their own benefit, such as a party guest
- Trespasser: A person who enters the property without the property owner’s permission
Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees and licensees. This duty includes removing hazards they had enough time to become aware of before the visitor entered the property.
Property owners have no duty of care to trespassers — other than children. When children enter a property without permission and become injured, the property owners are sometimes partially liable.
Proving Negligence in a Slip and Fall Accident
Property owners are not always responsible for accidents on their premises. To hold a property owner accountable for your accident, you must prove one of the following conditions:
- The property owner was aware of the hazard before the accident but did nothing to fix or remove it.
- The property owner reasonably should have been aware of the hazard before the accident yet did nothing to remove it.
- The property owner created or was responsible for creating the hazard that led to the accident.
Depending on your accident’s circumstances, proving one of these conditions may be challenging. For example, the property owner may argue that they did not have enough time to become aware of and remove the hazard before you entered the property — even if you suspect the danger was present for several hours or longer.
Working with a qualified slip and fall attorney is an important step in proving your accident case. Your attorney can help you gather evidence to support these conditions and show that the property owner was responsible for the accident.
How Much Money Can You Receive From the At-Fault Party?
If you can prove that another party was responsible for your slip-and-fall accident, you may be able to receive compensation from them. This payout may come from their insurance company, their personal bank account, or both.
If the person had liability insurance at the time of the accident, you may be able to recover the following expenses from the insurance company:
- Medical expenses resulting from the accident
- Lost wages and loss of ability to work
- Damaged property, such as clothing, jewelry, or personal items
- Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other non-economic damages
If the at-fault party does not have insurance, you can take legal action to recover these damages. If they acted recklessly to cause the accident, you may also seek punitive damages, which punish the responsible party for their egregious behavior.
How a New York Slip and Fall Attorney Can Help
Recovering compensation after a slip and fall accident can sometimes be a complicated, stressful process. Working with a qualified attorney can help you navigate this process effectively and improve your chances of receiving compensation.
Your attorney can assist with the following tasks:
- Help you gather evidence to support your case
- Guide you through the insurance claim or lawsuit
- Represent you in court
- Take the stress of your case off your shoulders
At Ross and Hill, we have more than 40 years of experience with personal injury law in New York City. Contact us today to get your free case evaluation.