Slip and fall accidents are entirely too common and can cause serious injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), slip and fall accidents or trip and fall accidents are the reason for millions of emergency room visits each year for older Americans, making it the number one leading cause in serious injury and death for people over the age of 65. Slip and falls have also proven to be an issue for younger people too, as these accidents have been one of the top causes of injury for people of all ages.
Slip and fall accidents are generally caused by dangerous conditions, such as:
- Wet surfaces,
- Uneven surfaces,
- Poor lighting,
- Cluttered walkways,
- Lack of warning signs,
- Damaged carpets,
- Faulty escalators, etc.
If you have been injured due a slip and fall accident or trip and fall accident in New York, it is important for you to contact a skilled attorney. Each state has legislation regarding the statute of limitations, which restricts the amount of time a person can file a viable civil suit following an accident. New York allows victims three years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit against those responsible for their injury. Filing a lawsuit isn't an immediate process, so you should act fast.
Premises Liability Overview
At a restaurant, retail store, or any other setting that is owned by another individual or company, those owners have an obligation to protect the individuals on their premises. This responsibility is known as the duty of care. In the event that an owner fails to maintain a reasonably safe space, and someone becomes injured due to these failures, these owners have legally breached the duty of care. People who have fallen victim to injury due to the negligence of a property owner are eligible for compensation for their injuries. This is the essence of premises liability.
Slip and fall claims fall under the realm of premises liability law. In order for a claim to be considered viable in a court of law, the following elements must be established in a claim:
- You were lawfully on the property, or if unlawfully on the property, the owner knew you were trespassing;
- The owner was negligent in dealing with the unsafe condition - meaning, the owner knew or should have reasonably known about the dangerous condition on the property and failed to repair it, disallow access to this area, or warn visitors of the condition; or if the dangerous condition was repaired, the owner knew or should have known that it was repaired in a fashion that did not fix the condition or made it worse; and
- The negligence caused your injury.
Damages are an attempt by the court to measure the degree of harm a victim has endured as a result of an owner's negligent actions. There are three types of damages you can recover in a slip and fall case: compensatory damages, general damages, and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages are identifiable and concrete. They are easily calculated by totaling past and future fees accrued by a victim due to an injury. Compensatory damages include amounts for medical bills and expense, lost income, diminished earning capacity and more.
General damages are less specific and less tangible than compensatory damages. They refer to losses that have harmed a victim either emotionally or mentally. Since oftentimes emotional or mental harm cannot be tangibly calculated by the court, victims and their counsel have the burden of proving that they are entitled to general damages. They include pain and suffering, emotional distress, diminished quality of life, loss of consortium, and more.
Punitive damages are awarded to prevent the negligence exemplified in a case from happening to somebody else. These damages are only awarded in cases when a defendant acted in a way that was extremely reckless, malicious or fraudulent towards a victim.
New York Slip and Fall Attorneys
If you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligence of another person, company, or entity, you may be entitled to compensation. At the Law Office of Kenneth Puig, we are dedicated to helping you get the compensation you deserve. Call our office at (845) 787- 4649 or contact us online for a consultation.