In New York City, slips and falls are common accidents that afflict people of all ages and occupations. Because different types of slips and falls may occur, they can result in a variety of injuries.
Regardless of how mild or severe your injuries are after a slip and fall accident, you may be eligible to file a claim against any responsible parties.
A lawyer with experience in slip and fall cases can help you file a claim and receive any compensation to which you are entitled.
In a recent slip and fall case, our team at Schwartzapfel® Lawyers P.C. was able to secure $5 million in compensation for a victim who suffered extensive injuries.
If you have been in a slip and fall accident, learn more about lawyers with experience in slip and fall cases and how one can benefit you.
Slip and Fall Injuries: Common Causes
Slips and falls account for a broad category of accidents and injuries because they can occur in many ways and result from many causes.
In New York City, most slips and falls can be attributed to a few common factors. This list is by no means comprehensive, so reach out to a law professional if you are unsure about your slip and fall injury.
If you live in New York, you have probably stumbled on an uneven or broken sidewalk at least once.
Although it is common, tripping on a broken or uneven sidewalk can be dangerous. Tripping on a broken or uneven sidewalk can lead to broken bones, especially in older individuals.
Loose Floor Materials
Much like tripping on a sidewalk can lead to injury, so can tripping on a loose carpet, floorboard, tile, or falling through a loose grate in the street.
Any floor materials should be steady and secure for walking. Depending on the surface where an accident occurs, a victim can suffer broken bones or injured muscles.
Defective Guardrails and Steps
Falls that result from defective guardrails or steps vary based on how high up the accident occurred and how steep the steps in question were.
Tripping on broken steps or falling due to a loose guardrail can lead to muscle injury, broken bones, or death.
Snow, Ice, and Water
If you live in New York City, you have probably also slipped on uncleared ice on the street or at least managed to avoid falling on more than one occasion.
While snow and ice on the streets happen in this climate, slipping on snow or ice can lead to serious injury, especially to the bones.
This is also true for slippery floors after rain or mopping floors.
Faulty Safety Devices or Equipment
Malfunctions in harnesses, hoists, or ladders can lead to dangerous and potentially fatal falls for construction workers or other workers who operate at heights.
It is the responsibility of owners, general contractors, and their agents to provide workers with appropriate safety devices to protect them from elevation-related risks.
Fall Accidents: Most at Risk
Most New Yorkers have tripped over an icy street or uneven sidewalk without harm. While slips and falls may seem mild, one of five slip and fall accidents leads to serious injury.
Many of the common causes behind slips and falls are things that we experience daily. This would mean that all people are at equal risk of suffering a slip and fall injury—right?
Wrong. While slip and fall injuries can afflict all types of people, an older individual who slips on a sheet of ice will not recover as quickly as a healthy teenager in the same situation.
Individuals 65 and older are more likely to suffer severe injury after a slip or a fall. They are also more likely to suffer hip fractures from these accidents.
Another highly at-risk group of people are those working in certain industries, such as construction. Every year, there are almost 1,000 fatalities due to slip or fall accidents in the workplace.
Many fatalities caused by slips and falls result from traumatic brain injuries incurred on impact. When they do not lead to death, such injuries can cause life-long disabilities.
Steps To Take After a Slip or Fall
As with any accident, you must take some important steps in the aftermath of a slip and fall accident.
These steps will not only ensure your safety, but they will also make sure that you secure the proper evidence for when you file a claim.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Even if you do not have any apparent injuries after an accident, seek medical attention right away. You may not realize that you are injured right after an incident or have suffered internal injuries with no physical markings.
Seeking medical attention right after an accident will also document any injuries you may have suffered and directly connect them to the accident, which can prove important for a case.
Report the Accident to the Property Owner
After a slip and fall accident, you should advise the owner of the property on which you were hurt, depending on where the accident occurred. For example, if you slipped on ice on the street, you should report the accident to the owner of the business or home responsible for clearing that ice.
Informing a property owner of an accident is important because it documents details of the accident in a report that will be important to filing a claim.
Document and Secure Evidence
If you can, take photos of the scene of the accident after it occurs and collect witness statements from anyone who saw the slip and fall as it was happening.
In the aftermath of an accident, keep documents or paperwork that pertain to the incident or the injuries you suffered as a result. These include accident reports, medical reports, videos, and photos, among others.
Limit Communication and Find a Lawyer
Limit communication with any involved parties in the initial proceedings after an accident occurs. This is especially important in notifying the property owners to generate a report of the accident. Anything you say may implicate you as a responsible party or put the blame on you for the accident. This can prevent you from qualifying for compensation.
You should find a lawyer right after the accident occurs, as a lawyer can help prove responsibility for the accident.
Determine Qualifications and Eligibility
To file a claim after a slip or fall, you must demonstrate that the accident occurred due to the negligence of another party and not due to personal error or your actions.
Slip and fall accidents can be hard to prove, and there are many ways that a victim can be blamed for their injuries. For example, an opposing party may try to claim that the victim was distracted, not careful, or impaired at the time of the accident.
To determine eligibility before filing a claim, a lawyer will investigate the causes of an accident and work to establish responsibility for your injuries.
Lawyers Who Can Handle Slip and Fall Cases
The law industry is very diverse, so finding a lawyer with experience in the kind of case you’re dealing with is essential. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, look into lawyers with experience in personal injury cases.
While there are several types of personal injury lawyers, depending on your case, there are a few that you may consider hiring after a slip and fall accident.
- Lawyers with experience in slip and fall cases
- Lawyers with experience in workers’ compensation cases are well-versed in processing workers’ compensation claims.
- Lawyers with experience in wrongful death cases are well-versed in investigating fatal incidents resulting from malpractice or negligence. While these lawyers deal with all types of cases, slips and falls are a common cause of wrongful death.
Regardless of the lawyer you choose, you should determine if the lawyer has experience dealing with the case you are looking to file. This is especially important if your case is difficult to prove or involves several parties.
How To Find a Slip and Fall Lawyer
Whether you have decided to hire a lawyer or are still considering hiring one, there is no doubt that a lawyer is worth the investment.
Lawyers have legal knowledge and experience that ordinary individuals do not have. Because of this, they can help you understand your rights and stand against an opposing legal team to assert your claim.
Everyone wants to hire the best lawyer they can find for their case. While you can certainly find a list of “best” lawyers in New York City through a quick Google search, the best lawyer is the one that fits your unique needs.
In looking for a lawyer, there are a few factors you should take into consideration.
Experience and Qualifications
You should hire a lawyer with experience in the type of case you are looking to file who has been successful in the past. For example, at Schwartzapfel® Lawyers P.C., we have years of experience with slip and fall cases. Contact us at 1-800-966-4999 to learn more.
When looking for a lawyer, make sure that they have the qualifications and certifications necessary. While you can find this information in your search, the best way to ensure that a lawyer is qualified is to consult with reputable law firms or agencies for help.
Because your lawyer will have access to many personal details, they must be someone you can trust and rely on. A lawyer’s job is to prioritize your case and ensure that you receive the best outcome possible.
If you have any doubts about the dedication a lawyer will have to your case, keep searching for someone you will be more comfortable with.
Regardless of how severe your injuries are after a slip and fall accident, your rights are protected by law. The best way to secure those rights is by hiring a lawyer that suits your needs.
Because slip and fall accidents vary in nature and injuries they may cause, it can be hard to prove responsibility for an incident.
While opposing parties may try to blame the victim for an accident, a good lawyer will do their best to protect their client and fight for their rights.
At Schwartzapfel® Lawyers P.C., we can help you find the right lawyer for you, whether you have been the victim of a slip and fall accident or any other personal injury.
We want to answer your questions and help you secure your rights. You can book a free consultation with one of our lawyers to learn more. Call us at 1-800-966-4999 to learn more.