Steven Schwartzapfel, One of the Best Attorneys in NY Explains What To Do When Hurt: Video
My name is Steve Schwartzapfel. I represent people that have been injured. When somebody else broke the rules, I seek to go ahead and hold that person accountable.
If you were involved in a slip, trip and fall in New York, there are certain things you need to do and know to protect your rights. First, if you fell, make certain you take photos. Photograph the area you fell in. It’s your obligation to know what caused you to fall. You cannot bring a claim simply because you tripped on your own feet. So, people don’t normally walk and fall for no reason. Take a look to make certain and examine, inspect what exactly it was that caused you to fall. If there are witnesses there, or around or who saw you fall, get their names and contact information. I know you’re embarrassed, you’re in a state of shock and you’re not thinking clearly. But it’s very important that you get the names of the good Samaritans who came to your aid to help you. Often they’re very willing to go ahead, if you fell as a result of somebody’s failure to maintain their property or premises.
File a report. Give notice to the facility that you fell in. If there is a manager on duty, let them know that you fell. It’s not your obligation to fill out a report. You can tell them that you’re not up to it at this point. Get their name, because it’s not uncommon for them to deny that you fell or that the accident even happened.
However minor, go to the emergency room. Certain injuries to your neck or your back, your knee or your shoulder, may not get better! Often, we see these get progressively worse, and later the person needs surgery. That’s why we accept these cases early on, preferably the same day it happens. And the reason I suggest you preserve the evidence and contact an attorney immediately, as I can tell you from personal experience that the defendant will go out and fix the condition that may have been there for years. But once they see that somebody has gotten seriously injured, they’ve got their repair people there and they change the accident site.
We just had a case where a man suffered serious injuries. Multiple surgeries. The arm rail was missing, and the plate to the step was missing. Thank God for his helper, who went ahead and took photographs of the scene, because at 3:00 pm that afternoon, you would never have known anything was wrong. In New York state, the defendant — that is, the person responsible for the premises or property, or the managing agent or the owner or landlord — has to be on notice of the condition. And it makes sense. They had to know or they should have known of the condition and have a reasonable time and opportunity to fix it, to remedy it.
Why does it make sense? Well if you own your home and somebody comes to your house and you’re serving dinner and one guest takes a plate off the table — moves it, puts it down — and some gravy fell on the floor, and another guest walks by, slips, falls and breaks their leg. Are you liable? Are you responsible? The answer is no. You didn’t know about it, you didn’t cause it and you had no time to fix or remedy it. In order to go ahead and recover, collect money for a slip, trip and fall, we must go head and prove that the owner knew or should have known of the condition. Or that they caused it, that they did something to make the condition worse.
For instance, the same example I gave you. If the owner — the host, the person whose house it is — picked up that plate and they spilled it, and assuming they had time to clean it and they didn’t, and that guest slips and falls, that homeowner or landlord would be responsible. Now they caused it, they had a reasonable opportunity to remedy or fix the condition — clean it up — and they failed to.
Please, let me help you. Call or fill out the form on the website. Our team of attorneys are here to help you. We can make the most difficult situation easier. Please call.