Trip And Falls
When an individual suffers a trip and fall injury, the consequences are potentially devastating. A trip and fall can cause an individual to suffer physical harm, such as broken bones and brain injuries. These injuries can force victims and their families to endure a number of hardships. Victims and their families may face serious financial strain following a trip and fall injury, including lost wages from time missed at work and costly medical bills which exceed insurance coverage. Furthermore, the aforementioned injuries may also cause emotional hardships. When the victim’s injury was the result of another party's negligence, they may be able to file a trip and fall lawsuit to recoup damages.
What Are Some Common Causes Of Trip And Fall Accidents?
While not all trip and fall accidents are the result of negligence, there are some that are more likely to present grounds for a lawsuit. The following are among the most common causes of trip and fall accidents that lead to lawsuits:
- Broken stairwells
- Falls on broken pavement
- Uneven rugs or carpets
- Tripping on fallen merchandise at grocery and convenience stores
- Unmarked curbs or steps
- Missing handrails
- Insufficient lighting
- Exposed cables or wires
Any of the aforementioned causes of a trip and fall accident may be the result of negligence. Injured individuals should remember, however, that in order to file a claim, they must be able to prove that there was negligence and that it was directly responsible for their injuries.
Trip And Falls In Retail And Other Commercial Establishments
There are seemingly limitless scenarios under which such slip and fall accidents occur. Unfortunately, employees 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 can happen at inopportune times, leading to serious or even devastating trip and fall accidents. Such accidents can occur due to poor judgment relating to intentional acts by store management or employees. For example, we’ve seen clients who have suffered serious falls where store “displays”, advertisements, newspaper racks or even vending machines have been placed in dangerous locations. 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 were no store employees 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 banisters, broken steps, poor treading on steps or risers on steps that are dangerous and not in compliance with applicable safety codes. Falls can also occur due to negligently placed or old and defective carpets and placemats.
All of the above examples represent only a fraction of ways that a fall injury may occur within a retail establishment. 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 a skilled trip and fall lawyer 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.
What Are Some Common Injuries Caused By Trip & Fall Accidents?
Our NYC trip and fall lawyers take pride in providing the best possible representation to accident victims; this is especially important as trip and fall 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 surgical technique involves “open” surgery under general anesthesia; the fracture is treated by inserting hardware, such as metal rods, plates or screws, to help the fracture heal properly. In many cases, this hardware remains in the victim’s body for the rest of his or her life. If the hardware needs to be removed, another major surgery is required to remove it.
Additionally, many trip and fall accidents lead to “articular” fractures, which occur at a joint (i.e. the ankle, knee, elbow, wrist, etc.). Articular fractures typically cause long-term discomfort, as well as post-traumatic arthritis. Other serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, may also be caused by trip and fall accidents.
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 slip/trip and fall cases is typically 3 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 1 year and 90 days.
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 many different types of compensation available to them. In a slip and fall 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/trip 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 slip and fall lawsuit, injured victims may be able to recover compensation for any medical costs relating to their injury.
Pain & 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 lost income, 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 Slip And Fall Lawyer In NYC
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.
Our attorneys have defended the rights of slip and fall victims for over 60 years. We understand the complexities of personal injury cases and use our knowledge and resources to pursue maximum compensation for all of our clients. Our attorneys are recognized as leaders in New York slip and fall accident trial law. 6 of our attorneys have achieved AV Preeminent status with Martindale-Hubbell representing the highest ranking for ethical standards and legal ability. 5 of our attorneys have been included 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.