Accidents happen. This is a fact of life. However, when a slip and fall injury requires medical treatment or results in serious pain, the person responsible should be held accountable for their actions. The entire situation could have been avoided had a little bit more care been taken. When this happens, the injured person may be entitled to relief for the injuries they have suffered. Injuries stemming from slips and falls can be painful, frustrating, and costly.
New York Slip and Fall Cases
A slip and fall case at first blush seems to be exactly what the words themselves describe: a person slips and falls, injuring themselves. In the court of law, however, every detail is important in determining who is responsible for the accident. Slip and fall cases generally fall under a body of law known as premises liability.
Premises Liability in New York
Premises liability has its basis in the theory that a landowner or caretaker owes a certain duty of care to those who enter their property. Traditionally, entrants onto property have been divided into three categories: invitee, licensee, and trespasser. The category under which a person falls often determines the level of care the property owner owes to them in specific cases.
Invitees are considered persons who are business guests of an establishment, and as such are typically owed the highest duty of care from the landholder. Licensees are commonly thought of as "social guests" and are owed some duty of care by the premises holder. Finally, trespassers are those who have no permission to be on the land and are typically owed a very slim duty of care, if any at all. An attorney can help you make sense of these categories while helping you to build your case.
Examples of New York Slip and Fall Cases
Some of the most common examples of causes for a person's injury in a slip and fall case can include:
- Storefront Spills: When a person goes to a store to shop, they are an invitee, and the store owner is required to ensure their safety. When a spill is left uncleaned, or a hazardous area of the store is left unmarked, a person can easily injure themselves. The store owner may be able to be held liable for the injuries to the customer.
- Ice and Snow: Many municipalities impose a duty through their ordinances for both homeowners and commercial spaces to ensure that their sidewalks and other means of pedestrian traffic are kept free of winter weather hazards such as snow and ice. In New York, winter can be especially harsh, leaving behind slippery snow and ice that can injure individuals walking around.
- Unsafe Maintenance: When a store or other public building has passageways for persons to walk allow these passageways to fall into disrepair, it can present unsafe conditions for the average pedestrian, which can lead to injuries. A person can be entitled to relief when they are injuries in these types of situations.
Damages in New York Slip and Fall Cases
"Damages" is a term of art used to describe what a person can recover when they win their case. Damages can be economic, meaning that they are measured in financial terms, or non-economic, meaning that these damages seek relief that cannot be defined in financial terms, and require something else from the defendant. Some of the most common damages seen in New York Slip and Fall Cases can include:
- Medical Costs: In nearly any personal injury case, the individual most likely will seek out damages to recover for the hospital bills, doctor visits, and other associated medical costs that followed their injuries.
- Lost Wages: When a person is injured in a slip and fall case, they are often left out of work for a short while due to the severity of their injuries. Broken bones, back injuries, sprains, and other types of serious injuries can interfere with a person's regular work schedule, which can result in lost wages. These may be recoverable in a lawsuit.
- Pain and Suffering: Injuries related to slips and falls are painful. Broken bones often require weeks before a person stops feeling the pain from their injury, and the area may continue to be sensitive long after the injury has healed. An injured person can recover damages for the pain and suffering caused by the injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall incident in New York, contact the Law Office of Frederic R. Abramson today.