If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be reeling from the costs associated with the accident. In addition to medical bills, perhaps you are unable to work and are looking at a lengthy period away from your job. What recourse do you have if the incident occurred on someone else’s property? A local personal injury attorney can address this and other questions related to your fall.
The first order of business is to identify the specific cause of the fall. If the accident is the result of premises negligence, the owner may hold some liability. Under New York law, the owner/occupier of a property is responsible for “reasonable care” of that property. Was the railing properly secured along the stairwell? Was clutter allowed to accumulate along a traveler’s path? Was the linoleum lifting in sections? These kinds of issues and more could point to negligence on the part of the proprietor.
On the other hand, how much of the blame falls to you? Were you inebriated at the time of the fall? Perhaps you were chatting on the phone while walking and were simply too distracted to notice where you were going. Or were you exploring a restricted area, where you should never have been in the first place? These are the kinds of issues that highlight your carelessness or misconduct, and they could sharply impact your ability to collect damages from a defendant.
Section 1411 of New York’s Civil Practice Laws and Rules establish that damages related to personal injury shall be awarded proportionally to the amount of liability assigned to each party. In the event of, say, a fall in a grocery store, a jury may find that 20 percent of the liability falls on your shoulders because you were texting while walking through the store, whereas the store is 80 percent liable because a spill had not been attended to for over an hour, which demonstrates the store’s neglect of due care for customers. Therefore, the store will have to pay 80 percent of the costs associated with the injuries, leaving you with 20 percent of the burden yourself.
Statistics around Slip and Fall Incidents
You may be surprised to learn just how common and serious slip and fall accidents are. The National Floor Safety Institute provides some alarming statistics
- Slip and fall accidents result in more visits to emergency rooms than any other type of incident, with over nine million such visits annually;
- These injuries result in roughly $14 million in costs every year; and
- Floors and the materials that comprise them contribute to 20 percent of slip and fall incidents.
Get Legal Help
If you have suffered significant injuries as a result of a slip and fall incident, the experienced legal team at the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC can help. Get Gary on your side by calling 844-GET-GARY today for aggressive, thorough representation.
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.