If you had a slip and fall accident or trip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you could have a claim for compensation. You’ll need to take the right steps to build a strong case for recovery, and special rules may apply depending upon whether you were hurt inside a building or out on the sidewalk as well as which parties may be considered responsible.
Read on for an overview of several important elements concerning your slip/trip and fall claim. If you were hurt in a slip and fall or trip and fall in New York, call an experienced Bronx slip and fall attorney at the Kohn Law Firm for advice and assistance.
Pick the Right Party to Sue and Act Quickly
If you were hurt on someone else’s property in a slip and fall or trip and fall, you could have a claim either against the property owner or the party that currently leases or manages the property. If you tripped over a sidewalk defect outside the building, you might have a claim against the property owner or even the relevant New York City or New York State agency responsible for maintaining that sidewalk.
An experienced slip and fall/trip and fall attorney can help you identify the appropriate party to hold liable and make sure you don’t miss your chance to collect compensation. It’s important to talk to a trip and fall lawyer soon after your accident, as special deadlines for bringing a claim may apply, and you might have less time than you think to file a claim before you lose out on your chance at recovery.
Prove You Were Hurt By Your Fall
One of the most important pieces of advice we give to injury victims is to see a doctor as soon after your accident as possible. Your case hinges on proving not only that you had a slip or trip and fall, but also that the fall caused you injury. If you wait too long to get medical attention, defense attorneys and insurance companies might try to claim that your injuries occurred at another time due to other causes, and thus you shouldn’t recover damages for your slip/trip and fall.
Prove the Property Owner Is to Blame
To win your premises liability claim, you’ll need to show that the property owner or manager was negligent. If you slipped or tripped while on someone else’s property, that means proving that you fell because of a hazard on the property (uneven flooring, inadequate lighting, a wet floor, loose electrical cords, uneven steps, etc.) and that the owner either caused, knew about, or should have known about the hazard.
Whether the owner was negligent is a fact-intensive question concerning whether an employee caused the hazard, whether an employee knew about the hazard, or, if no one knew about the hazard, whether they should have discovered the hazard through reasonable inspection. If a customer caused a spill, for example, and you slipped two minutes later, the owner might not have had sufficient time to inspect the property for possible dangers; if you half an hour later, however, then the owner was likely negligent for failing to conduct routine inspection and cleanup.
If you tripped on a sidewalk hazard outside the building, there may be additional factors to consider, such as whether there had been any prior complaints about the dangerous sidewalk hazard to the owner or the City.
Collect the Right Evidence
Winning a case at trial or securing a comprehensive settlement is all about having the strongest case. A strong case comes from strong evidence. To prove your slip and fall or trip and fall accident claims, you’ll need the best evidence available to prove that the owner was negligent, that that negligence caused you to trip or slip, and that your slip or trip caused you serious injury.
Evidence you’ll need to prove liability and the amount of damages you are owed can include any or all of the following:
- Security camera or traffic camera footage
- Statements from witnesses
- Pictures of the hazard, your injuries, and the surrounding area
- Medical bills
- Communications with your employer
- Evidence of past injuries or prior complaints
- Communications with the property owner or manager
- Any other documentation generated in connection with your accident and injuries
Hire the Right Slip/Trip and Fall Lawyer in New York
The best thing you can do to win your slip and fall or trip and fall case is to have the right legal team on your side. A qualified lawyer knows how to collect the strongest evidence and make the strongest arguments to maximize your compensation and your chance to recover.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt in a New York slip and fall or trip and fall accident, find out if you’re entitled to monetary damages for your injuries by contacting the seasoned, successful New York premises liability lawyers at the Bronx offices of the Kohn Law Firm for a free consultation at 718-409-1200.