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How To File a Slip and Fall Claim in New York

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Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, anytime, and to anyone. The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) estimates that, of the roughly eight million injuries and deaths that happen each year, one-eighth or one million of these injuries and fatalities are caused by slip and fall accidents. One-third of those accidents result in broken bones and serious injuries. Slip and fall accidents are also the third leading cause of work-related injuries in the US. 

Slip and fall accidents can affect a person’s quality of life, cause financial strain, and even lead to long-term disability or death. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident and are experiencing back pain and related issues, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages. Our experienced Brooklyn slip and fall lawyers at Kucher Law Group can assist you in filing a claim and representing your best interests in pursuing the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (929) 274 8000 to schedule a free consultation or fill out our online form.

What Is a Slip and Fall Claim?

A slip and fall claim is a personal injury case based on the tort of premises liability. 

While fall accidents do happen and might be unpreventable, injuries caused by accidents in preventable situations can be due to the negligence of the people who own or manage the premises. Premises liability means that the owner of a property can be held liable for injuries sustained by persons present on their property if the owner breaches the duty of care they have on looking after their visitors’ safety.

For example, there is a slippery floor in a store, and a person slips because there was no indicator that the floor was slippery. If the person who slipped is injured because of the fall, they may be eligible for compensation. The owner of the store has a duty of care to ensure that there are no hazardous or dangerous conditions on their premises that could cause injury. In this manner, the owner of the store exhibited negligence on their part because they failed to either clean up the cause of the slippery floor or warn visitors of the hazard.

Private property owners can also be held liable in slip and fall cases. Aside from slippery flooring, other causes of slip and fall accidents can be:

  • Unsecured rugs and carpets
  • Uneven flooring
  • Improperly maintained sidewalks, walkways, and pathways
  • Failing to timely remove snow or apply salt to a sidewalk
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Broken elevators or escalators
  • Debris and clutter
  • Lack of warning signs and protective barriers

Failure to warn others of hazards on their premises makes property owners and managers just as liable for negligence as they would be if they had failed to appropriate repairs.

While falls can be an embarrassing encounter as a best-case scenario, slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries. People over 60 years of age are the most vulnerable to falls and the age group most likely to get seriously or mortally injured from slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents can cause the following injuries.

  • Head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, concussions
  • Spinal cord injuries or spinal column fractures
  • Nerve damage
  • Broken bones and joint dislocations
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Cuts and abrasions
  • Wrongful death

A slip and fall claim is meant to provide the injured party with recourse to ask for compensation for the injuries they sustained. A claim may be a request for financial help with medical costs incurred as a result of the injury, lost wages, personal property damage, pain and suffering, as well as ongoing and future care if the injury caused a permanent disability. 

You can file a slip-and-fall claim with the property owner’s insurer or file a lawsuit and bring the matter through litigation. Whichever route you choose to pursue, getting the help of an experienced New York slip-and-fall attorney can be beneficial. A skilled attorney can help you seek compensation for your injuries especially if the property owner’s negligence caused the accident. Our team of Brooklyn accident attorneys at Kucher Law Group can also help you understand your rights under the law. Contact our office today at (929) 274 8000 to schedule a free consultation.

New York Laws Regarding Slip and Fall Claims

While slip and fall personal injury claims fall most on premises liability, there are other factors that can affect whether a claim would be successful or not. Personal injury claims in New York are also subject to comparative negligence compared to other states.

Comparative negligence means that an injured party can still be eligible for compensation even if they are partially accountable for the accident that caused their injury. Even if a person is 70% liable at fault in an accident, they can still claim 30% of the compensation they would get if the responsible party was 100% negligent.

There is no one accurate way of determining if someone is legally responsible for your injuries in a slip and fall accident. In general, property owners must make sure that there are no dangerous conditions that can put a person at risk of serious injury. If the property owners knew of the risk and did not do anything to prevent or warn people of the risk, they could be held liable should an accident happen on their premises.

Some other instances where the property owner can be held liable are the following:

  • The property owner caused or created the dangerous condition
  • The property owner knew of the condition and was aware of its risks but failed to correct it or provide warnings
  • The condition has existed for enough time that the property owner should have noticed and corrected the condition or provided a warning

Negligence on the part of the property owner must be established. If a property owner has diligently provided warnings of dangerous conditions and properly maintained the safety of the premises, the slip and fall claim may not be successful.

What Happens After You File a Complaint For a Slip and Fall?

In New York, an injured individual might be eligible to initiate a slip and fall lawsuit if it can be established that the property’s condition and the negligence of the property owner or their staff directly contributed to the victim’s injuries.

Typically, a slip and fall accident lawyer takes on the responsibility of filing a claim on behalf of their clients, with no predefined cap on potential compensation.

The standard sequence of steps for filing a slip and fall accident claim encompasses:

  • Informing the property owner being sued about the slip and fall case.
  • Informing the defendant’s insurance carrier about the upcoming insurance claim resulting from a slip and fall incident (classified as premises liability).
  • Drafting a summons and a complaint.
  • Submitting the necessary filing fee to the court.
  • The proceedings for the slip and fall lawsuit begin once the filing and procedural steps have been completed.

It is crucial to recognize that a statute of limitations governs slip and fall accidents. Failure to file a premises liability case before this deadline could lead to the loss of legal options.

For slip and fall accidents that occur on private property due to hazardous walking surfaces, the statute of limitations spans three years (Civil Practice Law Rules Section 214). However, for properties owned by the City of New York or a city agency, a Notice of Claim for slip and fall cases must be submitted within 90 days.

If you’ve taken the crucial step of filing a complaint for a slip and fall incident, you’re likely wondering about the next steps and how to navigate the legal process ahead. At Kucher Law Group, our Brooklyn slip and fall lawyers can be your most valuable ally. With a deep understanding of premises liability laws and a track record of advocating for clients, we can guide you through the intricacies of your case. From gathering evidence to negotiating with insurers or representing you in court, our lawyers are committed to securing the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

What Should You Do When You Are Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident?

Getting into an accident can be a cause for panic for many, however, it is important to keep a level head and be as calm as possible. After a slip and fall accident, here are some tips that may help you file a successful slip and fall claim.

Collect as much information as possible

After a fall, you may be disoriented or overwhelmed especially if you are in an unfamiliar place. You may get the help of a trusted friend or family member to collect the following information or jot them down as soon as it is safe to do so.

  • Time and location of the accident – whether the accident happened inside an establishment or outside
  • The conditions of the accident – it would be helpful to be as descriptive as possible. For example, describe the weather, the type of flooring, or any surrounding debris that may have contributed to the hazard, etc.
  • Your clothing and any belongings on your person when the accident happened
  • Any witness information you can gather
  • Information on whether other people, such as staff, were involved in the accident
  • Any records and receipts from medical treatments that you’ve received for the injuries you sustained

Recording the conditions of the accident as close to when the accident happened is important.

Alert the authorities and file a report

It’s important that you notify any authorities after an accident. If you were injured in a store or a private property, informing the store manager or the homeowner is important. Most businesses also have a safety protocol they are required to follow in cases of accidents such as taking the injured person to a safe place to avoid the public eye or providing first aid on the spot. 

You may be required to fill out an accident and incident report if the accident happened in a public place, writing one up in case the incident happened on private property is also a good idea. Make sure to have someone witness the document as an extra precaution. Taking photos of the location of the accident can also help in substantiating the conditions of the accident. Any photos of your injury after the accident and how it progresses can also help in strengthening your claim.

Seek immediate medical help

Consulting a physician should be the highest of your priorities after an accident. Contact 911 immediately if you require emergency medical attention. The most common injury caused by slip and fall accidents is broken bones and fractures and while you may feel fine shortly after an accident, a fracture may worsen over time. Getting examined by a qualified medical professional is crucial in the first few hours after an accident.

File a personal injury claim for compensation

If you have been injured as a result of a slip and fall accident, contacting a New York personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable on slip and fall accidents is crucial. A skilled attorney would be able to investigate the circumstances and basis of your case. The window of time you can file your claim may be limited by the statute of limitations on injury claims in New York. The statute of limitations in New York for injury claims is three years from the day the accident happened.

Our team of New York personal injury lawyers at Kucher Law Group has helped families seek compensation from the negligent parties responsible for slip and fall accidents. We may be able to help you file a claim for medical costs incurred by your accident. For more information, call us today to schedule a consultation.

Things to Avoid After a Slip and Fall Accident

Even if you have a valid claim, it’s important to remember that some actions can undermine the validity of your claim or impact the amount of compensation you receive. Injured parties should take note of the following:

  • Avoid talking too much about the circumstances of the case or oversharing –  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed after an accident. Make sure to avoid voicing out speculation as to the cause of the accident, making accusations, or insisting that you are fine after an accident.
  • Avoid negotiating with insurance adjusters and signing agreements – Insurance companies often lowball claimants in injury cases in the interest of making a profit. They may offer a settlement agreement giving you a lower amount than you would have been compensated for if the case went into litigation. When you sign a settlement agreement, you may be signing off your right to pursue a legal claim. Insurance companies can also engage in underhanded tactics to coerce you into signing their agreements.
  • Waiting too long to file a claim – The longer you wait after an accident to file a claim, the more the credibility of your claim may be questioned. A witness’ recollection of the conditions of the accident may be less credible the longer time has passed from the day of the accident. 
  • Dealing with the claim on your own – While it’s normal to be worried about the potential legal costs of consulting with an attorney, the value of a skilled lawyer’s legal knowledge and representation can outweigh the cost. An attorney is required to act in your best interest and can be a helpful ally in filing your slip-and-fall claim.

Avoiding these situations may help ensure the success of your case. Your attorney can also advise you on anything you should look out for once your claim has been filed.

Things to Avoid After a Slip and Fall Accident Key Points to Remember
Talking too much about the case or oversharing Avoid speculating about the accident’s cause, making accusations, or downplaying your injuries.
Negotiating with insurance adjusters and signing agreements Be cautious of lowball settlement offers that may undermine your compensation or waive your right to legal action.
Waiting too long to file a claim Timely filing helps maintain the credibility of your claim and preserves witness recollections.
Dealing with the claim on your own While legal costs are a concern, consulting with an attorney can provide valuable expertise and representation.

How a Slip and Fall Attorney Can Help

Each case is unique and the circumstances of each slip and fall case are rarely similar to others. It’s your attorney’s job to investigate these circumstances and evaluate your case’s chances of success. Your attorney will hear your side of the case to determine any crucial information. To supplement the information you provide, your attorney can also examine the accident scene and interview the witnesses. 

An attorney also has the authority and resources to investigate whether there is a history of the property owner being negligent. Your attorney may also consult medical professionals about your injuries to determine the amount of compensation you should pursue taking into consideration any future consequences of your injuries. Your attorney will also act as your representative and can keep insurance adjusters from harassing you to accept a settlement that doesn’t meet the amount you deserve.

Most importantly, an attorney can represent your interests and protect your rights if your case goes to trial.  

Getting the Help of an Experienced New York Slip and Fall Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is crucial to consult a qualified New York personal injury attorney as soon as possible. 

At Kucher Law Group, our team of New York personal injury attorneys, led by top-rated New York slip and fall attorney Samantha Kucher, provides quality legal counsel and representation to individuals injured due to the negligence of others. We provide compassionate assistance and invest time and effort in investigating the details of each case we handle. 

Regardless of whether you have been injured on public or private property, our attorneys are equipped to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. 

Contact our office today at (929) 274 8000 to schedule a free consultation. We serve the areas of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and other areas in New York.

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