A New York Slip and Fall Lawyer Who Gets Results
When you’re injured anywhere in New York, you can count on us.
Falls might seem like minor accidents – until you hit the ground. In fact, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) nationwide, to say nothing of other serious injuries like broken bones, internal injuries and spinal cord injuries. In short, falls are serious, fall protection is important, and property owners who don’t protect people on their premises need to be held accountable.
If you were hurt in a slip or trip and fall anywhere in New York, you don’t have to deal with the insurance company alone. Keogh Crispi, P.C. has a strong track record of results in slip and fall cases, including a $285,000 recovery for a client who was seriously injured due to a negligent tripping hazard. Take the next step toward rebuilding your life. Schedule your free consultation with an experienced New York slip and fall accident lawyer.
Here’s what to do if you slip and fall.
You have two immediate responsibilities after a slip or trip and fall accident. The first is to gather evidence at the scene. If anyone saw you fall, get their names and contact information. Take pictures of the scene of the accident and any visible injuries. If you slipped on something, save the item. For example, if you slipped on an out-of-place piece of food, place the item in a plastic bag and freeze it. You may also want to preserve the condition of the shoes you were wearing at the time of the fall by putting them in a plastic bag and taping it shut. This will preserve anything that has been stuck to your shoe.
The second step is to get medical attention as soon as possible, even if you feel OK. You may have a brain injury or an internal injury, which could have delayed onset symptoms. Getting checked out by a doctor right away is the safest option for your health. It also creates a record of the injury in case a liability insurance company later disputes it.
Report the accident right away to the business or property owner where you fell. Make sure you get your own copy of the accident report in writing. Then, contact us. You need to get a lawyer on your side before you talk to an insurance company.
Did you slip and fall on ice or snow?
Property and business owners are responsible for maintaining the safety of their indoor and outdoor areas, including snow and ice removal in parking lots and on sidewalks. Property owners might not be held responsible if someone is injured due to snow or ice in the middle of a snowstorm, because the storm was still in progress and it would be unreasonable to plow or shovel before the storm was over. However, they must provide regular maintenance and not let it pile up.
You can’t sue Mother Nature, but you can hold property owners accountable if they fail to keep their properties safe in inclement weather. If you own property in New York, dealing with snow is part of the package. If conditions on the property cause an unnatural accumulation of ice or snow, the property owner may be liable for your slip and fall accident. For instance, if ice accumulates on a roof, then melts and drips because of a clogged drain, and refreezes on the ground, causing someone to slip, the owner of the building can likely be held liable.
Did you fall down stairs?
When ascending and descending stairs, you certainly have a reasonable responsibility to watch your step, but property owners must also demonstrate reasonable care when it comes to the conditions of their stairs. In New York, defective, poorly maintained, or broken stairs are among the most common causes of significant injuries.
Property owners are responsible for ensuring that all steps have the same rise and depth, with visible edges. They are also required to make sure that stairs are kept free of debris or other obstacles and objects, which may cause an accident. Additionally, property owners must make sure that all stairwells are well-lit and have sturdy handrails on both sides.
How do slip and fall claims work?
Slip, trip and fall claims are covered by premises liability law, a subset of personal injury law that deals with the responsibility property owners have to people using their premises. To hold a property owner legally liable for your injuries, one of the following must be true:
- The dangerous condition was caused by the owner (or an employee of the owner) of the premises.
- The owner or an employee was aware of the dangerous condition but failed to correct it or warn people of the danger.
- The owner or an employee “should have known” about a dangerous condition (usually because it existed for some length of time prior to the incident) but failed to correct it.
In short, this area of law is targeted to make our communities safer. For example, this is the reason you see wet floor signs in grocery stores whenever there’s a spill: the store knows that if they don’t warn customers of a known danger, they can be held legally responsible.
The “reasonable care” standard in slip and fall cases in New York
New York uses the reasonable care standard in premises liability cases. This standard, which replaced the historical delineation between invitees, licensees, and trespassers, says that the property owner has a duty of care to maintain safe conditions on the premises based on the foreseeability of a visitor on the property.
If the owner invited someone to the property, whether explicitly (say, they called an electrician or contractor to do work on the property) or implicitly (for instance, a retail store that’s open to the public), then the owner clearly knew the visitor was coming. In this situation, they have a responsibility to proactively inspect the premises for hazards and address those hazards or warn the invitee.
The owner’s duty of care is less stringent with regard to people who show up unannounced, such as door-to-door salespeople or canvassers for political campaigns, and even less with regard to trespassers. However, even trespassers have some rights – for instance, you can’t intentionally harm trespassers by setting lethal traps. In addition, the duty of care to a trespasser is higher when the trespasser is a child.
As such, establishing liability in a slip and fall case means not just establishing that there was a hazard, but also defining how and why you arrived on the property and what the property owner’s responsibilities were. These legal intricacies can determine whether you get full compensation for your injuries or get nothing at all. The lawyer you choose to make your case will make all the difference.
What if you knew the property owner?
This is a common question in slip and fall cases, especially on residential properties. You’re hurt and you need compensation, but you don’t want a friend, family member, or beloved local business to get in trouble. Some folks, understandably, hesitate to take legal action in this situation.
It’s important to remember that you’re not trying to take anyone’s money. You’re trying to get their insurance company to pay out the coverage that they have already paid for. In most cases, we’re able to resolve slip and fall claims by dealing directly with the insurance company, without the negligent person getting involved.
We’ll investigate to get to the bottom of your slip and fall.
Slip and fall cases are won and lost based on the story of what happened and why. That starts with your story: you were there, you know what happened, and you know how it has affected your life. We’ll help you tell that story, and we will thoroughly investigate to find evidence that backs you up. From photos to witness testimony to input from experts, we put in the work to build a strong case that we know a New York jury will find compelling.
When an insurance company sees that we’re prepared to explain how negligence caused your slip and fall – and how dangerous those premises were – they usually pay up. We’re able to get bigger results because we prepare every case for trial. In negotiations, that’s the only way to put meaningful pressure on the insurance company to offer full value. If they won’t pay up, we’ll take them to trial.
Throughout the process, we’ll deal with the insurance company day-to-day while you focus on getting better. We’ll protect your legal rights, keep you informed on the progress of your case, and involve you in strategic decisions. We do all this on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t owe us a cent unless we win. No matter what your financial situation, you can afford to hire us.
It’s important to take action quickly, though. Evidence can disappear fast in a slip and fall case, and there are strict legal deadlines that have to be met, especially if the fall happened on public property. Make an experienced New York slip and fall attorney your first call. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.