Slip and fall accidents might not seem serious – until you're injured in one. An estimated 8 million people each year must go to the emergency room for medical treatment after slipping and falling. This includes more than 3 million older adults who need emergency medical care and 800,000 adults who need to be hospitalized for a slip and fall injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
So, how do you build a strong legal case supporting a slip and fall injury claim? Below, you can learn more about the elements of a slip and fall case. Our advice is based on experience handling complicated legal issues, including securing $2.2 million for a client injured in a slip and fall accident in a convenience store in Manhattan.
How to build a strong slip and fall accident case
Evidence builds strong legal cases. This is especially true regarding slip and fall accidents on someone else's property. You need proof that your injury occurred due to someone else's reckless or negligent actions.
Premises liability is a particular area of the law that applies to accidents on someone else's property. That property owner has a legal responsibility to make sure their property is free of hazardous conditions.
So, how do you build a strong legal case after your slip and fall accident? Follow these steps:
- If someone witnessed your slip and fall accident, get their full name and contact information.
- If possible, take pictures of the hazard that caused your slip and fall (e.g., spilled liquid, uneven steps, broken stairs, poor lighting, etc.). If you slipped on an object, place the object in a bag and take it with you as evidence.
- Seek immediate medical attention. This is important for two reasons. One, you need medical care if you sustain a severe injury. Two, you will have an official record of your injury by seeking immediate medical attention.
- Tell the property owner you sustained an injury on their property. You can do so verbally or in writing. If you do not feel comfortable or safe doing this on your own, your attorney can help you inform the property owner of your injury.
- Contact a slip and fall accident lawyer as soon as possible. That way, you can learn more about your legal rights and options.
Should I accept a settlement offer?
The insurance company for the property owner where your slip and fall accident took place might make an offer to settle your case. This one-time payment is known as a settlement offer. You might be tempted to accept such an offer. However, be aware that if you accept an insurance company's offer, that's it. You cannot ask for more money in the future, even if your accident's financial impact dramatically increases.
Should I file a lawsuit?
Many times, the best way to get the money you rightfully deserve for your injury-related expenses is to file a slip and fall accident lawsuit. But how do you know if this is the right approach for you?
Again, the best thing to do is to talk to an experienced slip and fall accident attorney. A lawyer can explain how the legal process works in your state and whether you should consider filing a lawsuit seeking damages, the legal term for financial compensation.
Remember that you only have a limited time to file a slip and fall lawsuit in New York. This is due to the state's Statute of Limitations. The deadline to file a slip and fall lawsuit in New York is three years from the date of your injury, according to New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules, Section 214.
Learn How A Slip And Fall Accident Attorney Can Help You
Slip and fall accident claims and lawsuits are complicated, but you don't have to take on the other side alone. The sooner you have a slip and fall lawyer on your side looking out for your best interests, the better. Otherwise, you might not get the money you deserve for your injury-related expenses, which can add up quickly.
At Keogh Crispi, P.C., we have the knowledge and experience to handle every aspect of your claim and fight for every dollar you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation with a slip and fall lawyer who knows how to get big results for injured New Yorkers. Our office is conveniently located in Manhattan, and we look forward to seeing how we can help you.