Liability after a slip and fall can be a tricky subject, and much depends on the specific details of a particular situation. In general, however, liability comes down to whether or not you took reasonable action to make sure others around you or in a building you own or manage are safe. There is some room for interpretation about what constitutes “reasonable” behavior, but mostly it centers on doing what most other people would do in a situation.
During the holiday season, shoppers flock to New York City to purchase gifts for their loved ones. New York City is uniquely suited for holiday shopping as it is home to some of the largest and busiest department stores, retail stores, toy shops, and more. Unfortunately, New York City is also home to one of the coldest winters in the United States. Under the right conditions, such as rain, sleet, or snow combined with below-freezing temperatures, ice may line the sidewalks, turning your window shopping experience into a dangerous hazard.
Here at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, we are passionate about personal injury law and guiding our clients through the legal process. We are not scientists. However, we often encounter science in our cases, requiring us to do some research or consult with an expert. One neat fact that we consistently deal with in our cases involves icy slip and falls and the role that salt can play in removing ice from a sidewalk.
Each year during the winter, health and workers’ compensation insurance companies see a spike in claims for treatment of injuries caused by slip and falls. Slipping on ice and snow during the cold season accounts for almost one-third of all workplace accidents. In addition to suffering through pain and mobility issues, victims of slip and fall accidents in New York also face multiple collateral consequences, such as missing work.
Slip and fall accidents and injuries are among the most common personal injury claims filed in New York. With that in mind, however, they are also among the most notoriously difficult to prove in terms of liability for injuries. That is why you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you against an insurance company or homeowner and ensure that your voice is heard.
Slips and falls on any surface can lead to serious injury, but when it happens on a staircase, the results can be far more catastrophic. Falls make up a large number of daily injuries in New York, and fatalities due to falling down a staircase are alarmingly common. While such a fall can happen simply due to carelessness, there are also quite a few causes that are avoidable and can result in legal liability for a property owner after a fall occurs.
A slip, trip, or fall typically doesn’t sound like anything major. After all, how many people have tripped or slipped in their lives, and nothing ever came from it because they weren’t hurt from it? Ideally, it would work out the same way for everyone that every slipped or tripped, but that’s unfortunately not always the case. Some slips and trips can result in serious injury, especially if a major bone was broken, or there was injury to the head or spine during the fall.
New York City is a very active place where people are constantly hustling and bustling as they navigate their way through the crowded streets. The sidewalks are generally full at any given time of the day with tourists, commuters, and residents. With this being the case, slip and fall accidents are much more common than many may realize.
Even the most cautious pedestrians are at risk of a fall when there are hazardous sidewalk conditions that couldn’t have been avoided. Under these circumstances, a slip and fall can result in some pretty serious injuries, which often leaves the injured party wondering if someone else could be legally responsible.
Property owners in New York City have a legal responsibility to keep their premises reasonably safe for tenants, visitors, and guests. This legal obligation includes not only preventing slip-and-fall accidents from occurring indoor, but also areas that are outside the building such as parking lots and garages.
Here are some of the most common causes of slip-and-fall accidents in parking lots and garages:
- Uneven pavement and potholes: Large holes and deep cracks in the pavement can result in slippery puddles and dangerous tripping hazards. Property owners must make every effort to fill potholes and to even out large cracks. When a part of the parking area is particularly dangerous and repairs cannot be made right away, property owners must place warning signs around the hazards to warn visitors.
Many slip-and-fall accidents occur indoors after a worker fails to clean up spilled liquid or a sanitation employee doesn’t put up warning signs after mopping the floor. However, not all slip-and-fall accidents occur inside buildings. In fact, it is the responsibility of the property owner and property manager to ensure that all parts of a premises – inside and out – are safe for visitors.
Slip-and-fall accidents are the most common type of incident that lead to parking lot injuries. They most often occur as a result of: