Finding the Best New York Slip and Fall Lawyers
Top Slip and Fall Lawyers in New York
Our attorneys are recognized as leaders in New York Slip and Fall Accident trial law. Six of our attorneys have achieved AV Preeminent status with Martindale-Hubbell representing the highest ranking for ethical standards and legal ability. Five of our attorneys have been feaincluded in Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan Area as published in the Magazine Section of the New York Times. Our firm is listed among the Best Lawyers in the State of New York and is listed among the Best Law Firms in the New York Metro area by US News & World Report.
Our Attorneys Have Handled Countless Successful Cases for Individuals Who Have Suffered Injuries in Slip and Fall Accidents
Business owners, landlords, and private property owners have a duty to provide safe and secure premises for their guests. When an owner neglects to repair or warn guests of a hazardous area on their property, they may be liable for any injuries that result. Individuals who have suffered an injury due to a property owner's negligence may be able to file a lawsuit to recoup compensation for any damages incurred. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our New York City slip and fall lawyers are experienced in protecting the rights of clients who have been seriously injured or killed on public or private property. Our law firm has secured many favorable verdicts and settlements through premises liability lawsuits, including numerous recoveries exceeding $1 million.
For a free consultation with a New York premises liability lawyer, please call our office at 212-406-1700 or contact us on-line. Our attorneys will review your case to see if you may be eligible to receive compensation. We take all cases on a contingency fee basis. If we accept your case, there is no fee unless we recover damages for you.
Common Types of Slip and Fall Accidents
Fall down accidents are amongst the most common type of personal injury cases that exist in the field of personal injury law. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool we have handled so many variations of slip/trip and fall accident cases that they are too numerous to mention. Just a sample of some examples of fall down accidents that our firm has handled include the following:
Slip and Fall On Sidewalks:
In many instances, a slip-and-fall accident on a sidewalk that results in an injury is the result of another individual or entity’s negligence. There are many variations of negligently caused sidewalk accidents, such as:
- Accidents caused by cracks or holes on sidewalks,
- Broken sidewalks
- Uneven or raised sidewalk flags
- Dangerously sloped sidewalks
- Hazardous conditions on sidewalks caused by the “special use” of a sidewalk. An example of a “special use” of a sidewalk is cutting out a portion of the walkway for the purpose of planting trees, bushes or other landscaping features, this is considered a “special use” of the sidewalk because something has been done to the sidewalk to beautify it. The work, if not done properly, can lead to serious slip-and-fall accidents and injury. Also the roots of trees can cause disruption in the sidewalk and cause all of the types of defective conditions described above. Accidents on sidewalks can also occur due to
- Objects negligently placed or left on the sidewalk by persons or businesses
All of the above can occur on either public or private sidewalks. As for public sidewalks owned by The City of New York, responsibility may lie with the City, but also the law places duties and obligations on the landowner who owns and operates the property adjacent to the sidewalk where the defective condition existed. This burden is especially true in the case of stores, businesses, and other commercial establishments who operate a business which adjoins a City sidewalk. Such entities have certain duties under the law to keep the sidewalks in front of their premises in a reasonably safe condition.
Slip and Fall Accidents on Sidewalks Caused by Snow or Ice
Property owners doing business adjacent to sidewalks have a duty and responsibility to clear the snow or ice on the sidewalk in front of their premises with reasonable care, within a reasonable period of time. Upon failure to do this, serious fall down accidents often occur. Liability or fault, or in other words the issue of whether the business or landowner is negligent, often hinges upon how much time has elapsed between the time of the weather (snow, ice, or other precipitation) that lead to the hazardous condition, and the time that the area was cleaned or cleared. The clearance of snow and ice might take place by the use of salt, shovels, snow machines or other means. The key to liability rests on the issue of the timing of when the area is cleared, and whether it was done with reasonable care under the circumstances. Although sidewalk fall down injuries are common, they certainly only scratch the surface of the circumstances under which a person can sustain a serious injury due to a fall caused by another person or entity.
New York City Administrative Code Sidewalk Rules
The City of New York has enacted laws regarding the duty of commercial property owners for the safe and proper maintenance of their adjacent sidewalks. New York City Administrative Code § 7-210 - Liability of real property owner for failure to maintain sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition sets forth the duties and responsibilities of commercial property owners in New York City, in relevant part:
"a. It shall be the duty of the owner of real property abutting any sidewalk, including, but not limited to, the intersection quadrant for corner property, to maintain such sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition.
b. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the owner of real property abutting any sidewalk, including, but not limited to, the intersection quadrant for corner property, shall be liable for any injury to property or personal injury, including death, proximately caused by the failure of such owner to maintain such sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition. Failure to maintain such sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition shall include, but not be limited to, the negligent failure to install, construct, reconstruct, repave, repair or replace defective sidewalk flags and the negligent failure to remove snow, ice, dirt or other material from the sidewalk. This subdivision shall not apply to one-, two- or three-family residential real property that is (i) in whole or in part, owner occupied, and (ii) used exclusively for residential purposes.
c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the city shall not be liable for any injury to property or personal injury, including death, proximately caused by the failure to maintain sidewalks (other than sidewalks abutting one-, two- or three-family residential real property that is (i) in whole or in part, owner occupied, and (ii) used exclusively for residential purposes) in a reasonably safe condition. This subdivision shall not be construed to apply to the liability of the city as a property owner pursuant to subdivision b of this section."
Other Slip and Fall Accidents
At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs and Kool, our firm has handled literally hundreds of different types of trip/slip and fall accidents. Some examples of other categories or contexts in which such accidents commonly occur include the following:
- Slip and fall in a retail store, supermarket, or other commercial establishment: Such accidents can occur due to a variety of reasons. The liable party may have failed to clear a transient condition such as food or liquid spillage that existed for an unreasonable period of time, causing a slip and fall accident. Slip and falls also commonly occur after debris has been cleaned, or even while the area is being cleaned, due to the failure to properly warn persons that an area is wet and slippery after the cleaning has taken place. Other slip and fall accidents occur due to the failure to prepare the store floors to remain dry in cases of inclement weather (failure to place rugs and mats, or failure to monitor the store floors on a periodic basis during inclement weather).
- Trip and Falls in retail and other commercial establishments: There are seemingly limitless scenarios under which such accidents occur. Employees unfortunately are prone to leaving items such as boxes, merchandise, and other items in aisles or open areas of stores. Even temporary lapses of judgment regarding leaving material in the path of customers often happen at inopportune times, leading to serious or even devastating trip and fall accidents. Such accidents can also occur due to poor judgment relating to intentional acts by store management or employees. For example, clients have suffered serious falls where store “displays”, advertisements, newspaper or other racks, or even candy or other vending machines have been placed in dangerous locations so as to lead to a fall . We have handled numerous cases whereby the cellar door immediately outside the premises on the sidewalk was left open or in a dangerous position so as to cause a serious fall. Also, some stores have interior trap doors in the aisles. We recently handled a case where our client was walking down the aisle inside a small retail store, looking straight ahead, when suddenly he fell straight down into an open cellar door. There was not any store employee nearby nor any other warning whatsoever of this extremely hazardous condition. Other trips occur inside stores (and outdoors as well) due to defects in steps, including but not limited to failure to have proper railings or bannisters, broken steps, poor treading on steps, or risers on steps that are dangerous and not in compliance with applicable safety codes. Falls also occur due to negligently placed or old and defective carpets and placemats.
- Trip and falls at construction sites: Such accidents occur both in and at actual construction sites, and due to debris left on sidewalks, streets, and other areas at and about sites where construction is taking place. We have handled accidents involving falls caused by tripping (or slipping) over almost every conceivable type of construction material. Employees working at sites and the general public are at risk of such accidents. Construction employees should not be deterred by workers compensation laws and automatically think they are barred from a recovery caused by a trip and fall at a construction site. Indeed someone other than one’s employer or co-employee may be responsible for the accident, and there are also special “Labor Laws” in New York State that may permit recovery even if it seems that only your own employer/co-employee is responsible. Such cases need to be reviewed by an experienced personal injury lawyer so that the proper options can be assessed and explored.
These examples represent only a fraction of ways that a fall injury may occur. In all of the contexts whereby one falls and is hurt, an injured party is not necessarily entitled to compensation simply because an accident occurred and he or she suffered injury. A careful investigation must be done, and an evaluation of the facts by an experienced and skilled slip/trip and fall attorney is necessary in order to assess the likelihood that one’s accident was caused by the negligence (i.e. the failure to use reasonable care under the circumstances) of another person or entity.
At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs &Kool we pride ourselves in providing the best possible representation to victims of trip and fall accidents. This is especially important in that such accidents often involve very serious orthopedic injuries. Some of the most common types of injuries caused by fall down accidents include fractures of bones that require surgery known as “open reduction with internal fixation.” This means that the bones are so badly fractured that in order to “reduce” the fracture major “open” surgery needs to be performed under general anesthesia whereby the fracture is treated via the placement and insertion of hardware. The hardware may include material such as metal rods, plates, and screws, in order to help enable the fracture to heal. Often the hardware will remain in the victim’s body for the rest of that person’s life. Alternatively, other major surgery is often needed in circumstances in which the hardware can and should be removed. Also, such injuries often involve “articular” fractures, which is another way of saying that the fracture occurred at a joint (ankle, knee, elbow, wrist, etc.). Such articular injuries are notorious for leading to long term pain and discomfort, particularly as it relates to suffering from post-traumatic arthritis. More serious injuries including traumatic brain injuries and death also unfortunately may result from a slip and fall or trip and fall accident.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Slip-and-Fall Injury Cases?
To avoid conflict with the statute of limitations, individuals who have suffered a serious injury in a slip-and-fall accident should not hesitate to contact an attorney. The statute of limitations is a law that specifies the amount of time an injured party has to file a lawsuit following an incident. Failure to file a claim before the statute of limitations expires can result in victims being forever barred from receiving compensation for their injuries. In New York, the statute of limitations for trip-and-fall cases is typically three years. Victims, however, should not wait to seek out a slip-and-fall lawyer as the statute may vary on a case by case basis. For instance, when filing a lawsuit against a municipality, injured individuals must file a claim within 90 days and the statute of limitations expires in only a year and 90 days.
Our Firm Has Recovered Extensive Slip-and-Fall Verdicts and Settlements on Behalf of Our Clients
At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our firm has recovered multiple large settlements in slip and fall cases. These cases include:
- A Large recovery for a woman who suffered a slip and fall injury at a gas station. The victim was walking toward the pay window when she tripped over a pothole. Her fall caused a serious back injury which required a laminectomy and discectomy.Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool's slip and fall lawyers recovered the victim a substantial settlement in mediation.
- An individual fractured their ankle after tripping and falling in front of a parking garage. The fall occurred due to a defect in the sidewalk's flagstone. Due to New York's law regarding the maintenance of sidewalks, the parking garage's failure to repair the sidewalk's defect constituted negligence. Our attorneys obtained a substantial monetary recovery for the victim after settling with the insurance company.
- A client suffered a fractured ankle which required surgery after falling in the stairwell of a New York City hotel. Our slip-and-fall lawyers hired experts to prove that the stairwell had been designed poorly. Our experts' conclusion led to a large recovery for the victim.
- The wife of a detective in the ICU decided to pick up food for her husband's nurses at a nearby restaurant. As the detective's wife was leaving the restaurant, she slipped and fell on a sheet of ice and broke her ankle. After the insurance company failed to make any settlement offer, our firm took the case to trial. At trial Jonny Kool was able to reconstruct the accident and established that planters working outside of the restaurant had caused the sheet of ice to form by leaking water. The jury returned with a favorable verdict and awarded the victim substantial compensation for her injuries.
Premises Liability Laws in New York City Regarding Sidewalk Falls
Many of the slip-and-fall injuries that occur in New York are the result of defective sidewalks. Prior to 2003 sidewalk falls in New York City placed zero liability on owners or lessees of property. As a result, recovering compensation for seriously injured individuals was problematic as individuals were forced to file suit against the City of New York. In 2003, however, the city changed the law regarding liability for defective sidewalks. Under the new law, commercial landowners, lessees, and some residential owners are now responsible for maintaining the sidewalks in front and adjacent to their property. As a result, individuals who have fallen and suffered serious injuries on defective sidewalks now have a clearer path to receiving the compensation they may deserve.
What Compensation is Available in a Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit?
Individuals who have suffered an injury due to a property owner's negligence may have a number of types of compensation available to them. In a premises liability lawsuit, victims may be able to receive compensation for the following:
Lost Wages: Depending on the severity of the injury, individuals who have suffered a slip and fall injury on private property may be forced to leave the workforce for a lengthy period of time. In some cases, the injured individual may be permanently forced out of work. As a result, injured individuals can face considerable financial strain. If the victim's injury was caused by the property owner's negligence, they may be able to recover lost wages caused by the injury as well as compensation for any damage to their future earning potential.
Medical Bills: In many instances an injury suffered on private property, such as a slip-and-fall, can cause serious physical trauma and force the victim to undergo numerous medical procedures. The high cost of medical bills can financially cripple individuals who lack insurance. In a premises liability lawsuit, injured victims may be able to recover for any medical costs relating to their injury.
Pain and Suffering: In addition to receiving compensation for economic damages, injured individuals may also be able to receive compensation for any long term pain and suffering caused by their accident. Compensable pain and suffering damages may include any and all types of physical or bodily pain, physical deformities caused by the injury, and loss of life's enjoyment.
Wrongful Death: When an individual dies due to an accident on private property, their surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In a wrongful death suit, the family may be able to recoup compensation for conscious pain and suffering prior to death, as well as various types of economic loss including but not limited to lost income, as well as the economic value of the loss of a spouse, and the economic value of the loss of parental guidance when the deceased is survived by children.
Call a New York City Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
Due to the complexity of slip-and-fall cases, it is within the best interests of individuals who have suffered an injury on public or private property to seek the counsel of a skilled slip-and-fall attorney. A good lawyer will thoroughly investigate their client's claims by identifying all parties involved, interviewing witnesses, taking photographs of the scene of the injury, and reviewing medical records. Additionally, a good attorney will handle all aspects of the lawsuit, including filing it, handling trial and mediation where appropriate, and pursuing maximum compensation. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our attorneys have defended the rights slip and fall victims for over 50 years. We understand the complexities of personal injury cases and use our knowledge and resources to pursue maximum compensation for all of our clients.
The New York slip and fall lawyers at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool offer free consultations to individuals who have suffered injuries due to hazardous areas on public and private properties. To see if you may be entitled to compensation, call 212-406-1700 or contact us on-line.