Americans fall every day. While sometimes these falls result in nothing more serious than a bit of embarrassment and a bruised ego, all too often serious injuries are the unfortunate outcome. What makes these injuries infuriating is when they could have been prevented, and a careless or negligent property owner simply failed to provide a safe environment. In such cases, a diligent Long Island personal injury attorney can ensure the best outcome for your pocketbook.
Facts about Falls
Statistics relating to falls are quite alarming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here’s what we know:
- 20 percent of all falls result in either fracture and/or head injuries;
- Older Americans are at high risk of falling, with over three million elderly people reporting to emergency rooms annually for injuries related to falls;
- More than 800,000 Americans are actually hospitalized following a fall, most commonly due to fractures of the hip and/or serious head injuries;
- The vast majority of hip fractures (95 percent) are related to falls;
- More traumatic brain injuries are caused by falls than by any other event; and
- Medical expenses related to falls top $50 billion annually.
Environmental Factors Related to Falls
While any number of factors may intersect to lead to a fall, environmental factors play a huge role in many such accidents. It is the duty of any business owner or home resident to provide a safe, smooth, unobstructed walkway for individuals who will be occupying the space. Some common problems that might become liability issues for property owners include:
- Loose carpeting or tile, throw rugs that are not secured, or raised thresholds in doorways;
- Spills that make a tile or laminate slippery;
- Poor lighting;
- Loose or absent handrails on stairways or walkways;
- Clutter or other objects such as garbage cans, furniture, etc;
- Chipped or marred cement on sidewalks;
- Snow and ice accumulation long after the storm has passed; and
- Pathways that are too narrow for pedestrians to pass.
Long Island Legal Issues
In New York, reasonable prudence must be exercised in order to keep others safe. Property owners or occupants may be liable for damages in the event negligence can be proven. This would entail demonstrating the following:
- A dangerous condition(s) existed;
- The property owner knew, or should have known about the issues, and did not rectify them in a timely manner;
- An injury occurred; and
- The injury was a result of the dangerous condition(s).
Getting Back on Your Feet
Recovering from a slip and fall injury can be a lengthy, discouraging, and expensive process. In addition to the physical and emotional recovery, it could take months or years to recover from the financial impact of such an accident. If your fall was the result of another’s negligence, the experienced legal team at the Falkowitz Law Firm in Garden City can help. Get Gary working for you by calling 844-GET-GARY to discuss the possibilities today.
Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.