Slip and Fall Accident Liability in New York
Each year, nearly nine million Americans visit the emergency room after a slip and fall. A large number of these injuries lead to a New York slip and fall accident lawsuit. If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, especially if the accident occurred at a retail store or restaurant or other public place, a third party may be responsible for your damages. It is one thing to know or believe that another person may be responsible, and quite another thing to prove liability in court and obtain fair compensation from a jury.
What are the steps involved in your journey from hospital patient to successful plaintiff? And how can a NY personal injury lawyer maximize the compensation you receive?
Statute of limitations
As soon as your body hits the ground, the clock starts ticking. The statute of limitations for a NY slip and fall injury claim is three years, which sounds like a long time. But most people do not go to the courthouse to file a New York slip and fall accident lawsuit immediately after being discharged from the hospital. Your attorney takes the time to investigate your case and determine responsibility. The parties try to negotiate a settlement before a lawsuit is filed, to try and hold down your legal costs. Even if the original petition beats the clock, your attorney may be unable to add new parties or new allegations later after the limitations period expires.
Proving liability in a New York slip and fall accident
Think of proving liability in a slip and fall accident as a matter of a hypothetical “yellow or black banana peel.” In slapstick movie comedies, people slip on banana peels all the time. In real life, obstructions include a wet floor, an icy sidewalk, a broken step, or a waxy hallway. If the “banana peel” was yellow, or the obstruction was recent, the courts will probably say that the accident was outside the owner’s control. If the “banana peel” was black, meaning that it had been on the floor for some time and no one had cleaned it up, the property owner is usually liable.
The same can be said for other obstructions. Did it just snow outside, or had is stopped snowing earlier in the day? Did the floorboard become loose this morning, or had it been loose for a week?
Generally, damages in a New York slip and fall accident lawsuit fall into one of several categories. You must prove that the damages were not pre-existing and are reasonable.
Money damages in a New York slip and fall accident lawsuit include:
- Past and future lost wages: Even in mild slip and fall cases, you miss work due to the injury itself, the recovery time and the doctor visits. In moderate or severe cases, you may be partially or totally disabled.
- Past and future medical expenses: Many injuries require corrective surgery. The injury rehabilitation process can take months or even longer. Additional surgery or physical therapy may be required later. Your attorney uses your actual medical bills and medical expert testimony to prove that the damages you claim are reasonable.
- Pain and suffering: It is impossible to put a price tag on quality of life. Money alone cannot fully restore your body and health, but money can give you and your family a little extra security during a trying time.
To discuss your case with a NY slip and fall injury claim attorney, contact The Sanders Firm at 1-800-FAIR-PLAY. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can get started on demanding just compensation for you or your loved one’s injuries.