Syracuse Slip & Fall Attorney
Have you sustained an injury from a slip and fall or trip and fall in the Syracuse area? Slip and fall incidents are common, so much so that the Center for Disease Control reports that 2.3 million emergency room visits are due to slip and fall incidents every year. These claims are governed under an area of the law known as Premises Liability.
Slip and falls can be devastating to your body and cause serious injuries. Treatment and rehabilitation for these injuries can be extremely costly. It may require taking time off of work to heal and having to mentally recover from pain and suffering inflicted as a result of the slip and fall. Contacting a skilled attorney is imperative to being compensated for your slip and fall as a result of someone else’s negligence. Our personal injury attorneys at the DeMore Law Firm have experience representing individuals in Syracuse and across New York State for Premises Liability claims.
Common Hazards That Cause Slip and Fall Injuries
A trip and fall or slip and fall incident can occur due to multiple reasons. However, these are few conditions that are the most common causes of these incidents:
- Accumulated snow and ice on pathways or in parking lots. This could be due to the property owner cutting corners or hired plow companies failing to be diligent in removing the snow from the premises. Property owners in Syracuse should be well aware of the risks of ice and snow.
- Spills/wet floors. These happen most commonly in grocery stores and restaurants. The owners of these businesses are required to clean up any spills promptly or notify customers of the unsafe condition. Typically, the yellow wet floor signs are used to make customers aware of the slippery floors. Sometimes a wet floor sign itself is not enough if it is not properly displayed.
- Worn and uneven steps. When steps are poorly maintained or step risers are uneven, tripping and falling is likely to occur, which can lead to serious injuries. Similarly, loose floorboards can cause falls if left without repair.
- Lack of stair handrails. Certain building codes have exact specifications for handrails next to stairs. If there are no handrails when the building code requires them, or the hand rails do not meet the exact requirements of the building code, the building owner may be held liable for falls on those stairs.
How the DeMore Law Firm Can Help
Contacting an attorney as early as you can after suffering from a slip and fall incident can seriously impact the outcome of your case. An attorney can build your case by gathering evidence, witness statements, and even put the opposing party on notice to preserve vital evidence such as security video footage. We can help you settle a case with the landowner or advocate on your behalf in court. Both of these methods can help you get compensated for your slip and fall.
For example, we recovered $475,000 for a 49 year-old man who slipped and fell on ice in a parking lot. The victim suffered a tibia fibula fracture with traumatic compartment syndrome that caused nerve damage, an infection in his affected leg, and required surgery. The incident occurred in an icy parking lot of a commercial transportation company in Onondaga County.
Important Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall/Trip and Fall
It is important to document important information relating to your incident and injuries. There are a few actions you should take as soon as possible after suffering from a slip and fall or trip and fall.
1. Seek Medical Attention:
Your health and wellness is a priority. See a medical professional as soon as you can, not only to treat your injuries, but also to document the physical injuries. Your compensation could be limited by failing to mitigate your damages. This means that if your injuries could have been less severe if you had sought medical attention earlier and you chose not to, your potential compensation may be reduced. It is also possible that the longer it takes you to see a doctor, the easier it is to blame your injuries on other factors.
2. Take Pictures:
Pictures of the scene of the incident are crucial. If the fall was a result of an unsafe condition, it may be impossible to prove that there was an unsafe condition without pictures of the unsafe condition at or near the time of the incident. Certain conditions are time sensitive, like spills, ice or snow, while others are likely to persist like broken steps, lack of handrails, and other unsafe conditions. Regardless, you should attempt to get adequate photos of the unsafe premises immediately if you can.
3. Avoid Speaking with Insurance Companies:
You should retain counsel before speaking with any insurance representatives. Opposing parties may have insurance that will try to pay you the least amount possible. Be sure to consult with an attorney that specializes in premises liability before you say too much or agree to anything with the insurance company.
Who Can Be Held Responsible?
The location of your slip and fall can have an impact on who can be held responsible for your injuries. Was it a private residence, a business, a municipal building, your place of work? The type of owner of the premises can determine how to approach a case. In addition to the owner of the premise, tenants, building managers, and contractors performing work on the premises may be liable as well.
Each of the various types of property owners have a different level of duty to prevent slip and falls. Business owners have a duty to keep their places of business free from unreasonable safety hazards. Private residence owners have a lower duty of care but still are required to keep safe premises within reason. Slip and falls at a place of work may have to deal with separate workplace safety standards and may require you to go through worker’s compensation insurance.
Types of Damages
There are several categories of damages that one can be compensated for. These include:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitative care costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity due to injury
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
However, it is important to note that New York is a comparative negligence state. This means that if your case goes to trial, a jury could find that you had some degree of fault regarding the fall. The damages you recover will be lessened by the percentage of fault that is your own. For example, if the jury finds that you were looking at your phone when you slipped on ice in front of a business and that 50% of the fault is yours for not being careful, you may only get 50% of the monetary damages.
Statute of Limitations for Premises Liability in NYS
Anyone who was injured in a slip and fall on someone else’s property must have their lawsuit filed within three years in New York State. The three years begins on the date of the incident that caused the injury. If you are considering seeking compensation for a slip and fall case, contact the DeMore Law Firm today.