Slip-and-fall accidents can leave the victim with a whole lot more than embarrassment. In fact, they could cause injuries with long-term consequences. The New York civil justice system allows people to pursue financial relief, even if the victim is partly to blame. Many premises liability lawsuits involve injuries resulting from slip or trip-and-fall incidents.
Slip-and-fall hazards can be indoors and outdoors. Frequent causes include wet or slippery floors indoors and snow or ice outdoors. Damaged or improperly lit stairways are potentially treacherous, and potholes or other neglected maintenance on sidewalks and parking lots can also cause serious injuries. Not all slip-and-fall accidents make viable legal claims; for example, slipping on a wet floor where warning signs are clearly visible may be partially or entirely the fall victim’s fault.
Property owners have a duty to ensure their properties are reasonably safe. If a dangerous condition exists because of inadequate maintenance, the injured person will have to show that the property owner or manager should knew or should have been aware of it, but neglected to fix the problem. Another issue that could make a property owner financially responsible involves the length of time the hazard existed without being addressed.
Premises liability lawsuits are complicated and are best navigated by an experienced personal injury attorney. Legal counsel can explain how the comparative negligence law that applies in New York state works. It means that the injured person may recover some damages even if he or she was at fault to some degree. The judge or jury will determine the plaintiff and the defendant’s percentage of negligence, on which a monetary judgment will be based.