Aside from injuries suffered in auto accidents, slip and fall and trip and fall cases are the most frequently filed types of personal injury cases. Slips and trips and resulting injuries are governed by the law of premises liability.
Expect disputed liability
Slipping and tripping accidents can cause serious injuries that result in hospitalization, rehabilitation and long periods of recovery. What makes these cases difficult is that there’s rarely undisputed liability. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries to older adults. They’re also the cause of most fractures for older adults.
Where did the fall occur?
If you suffered injuries in a fall, you’ll need to prove that somebody else caused you to fall. These accidents occur in many different locations. They might happen at:
- Grocery stores or other large stores like home centers
- Hotels and restaurants
- Gyms with improperly maintained equipment or slippery conditions
- Sidewalks and parking lots with snow, ice, uneven conditions or potholes
- Elevators that stop short of a floor
- Escalators that stop suddenly or reverse direction
Common slip and fall injuries
When most people slip and fall, they fall backward. Common slip and fall injuries can include:
- Skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries with paralysis
- Lower body fractures involving hips, the tailbone, wrists and shoulders
Common trip and fall injuries
Most people who are involved in a trip and fall accident fall forward. Common trip and fall injuries involve:
- Facial fractures and severe dental injuries
- Hand and shoulder injuries from breaking the fall
- Rib fractures and organ damage
- Knee, ankle and foot injuries
Liability in slip and fall and trip and fall cases
These cases involve the law of negligence. To prove negligence, the person claiming injury must prove certain elements. Those elements are that:
- The owner or occupier of the place where they got hurt owed them a duty
- There was a breach of that duty
- The breach of duty caused the claimant to suffer damages
- The claimant’s damages were legally recognized damages
The most common defenses
There are many different defenses to slip and trip injury cases, but some are asserted more often than others. The most common defenses are that the claimant:
- Slipped or tripped over his or her own shadow because there was no defect in the property
- Any defect was minimal
- Under the circumstances, the defendant couldn’t have known, nor should it have known of the property defect
- The claimant doesn’t know what caused his or her slip or trip
If an owner or occupier of land is found to be liable for the claimant’s injuries, it’s still possible for a jury to determine that the claimant was partially responsible for his or her injuries. If that’s what a jury determines, any percentage of negligence attributable to the claimant will be deducted from his or her damages award. Different states have different comparative negligence statutes. New York is known as a pure comparative negligence state. Under the law of pure comparative negligence, a claimant who was 90 percent at fault for an accident can still be awarded 10 percent of his or her damages.
If you or somebody close to you has been injured in a premises liability accident, contact us right away for a free consultation and case evaluation. Don’t give a statement to the other side. It will only be used against you in the future. You don’t need a penny in your pocket to retain us on any Queens or New York premises liability case. No legal fees are due until such time as we’ve obtained compensation for you.
Evidence can be repaired or destroyed, and witnesses can disappear. The sooner that you contact us, the better case you will have. Contact us right away after any slip and fall or trip and fall in Queens or anywhere else in New York.