According to Queens laws, property owners are required to keep their premises safe and approachable. In case they fail to do so, they are responsible for any injuries or deaths that may be caused by hazardous and unsafe conditions. Premises liability is a broad term that covers several types of cases. However, the most common cases are trip and fall or slip and fall cases. Slip and fall or trip and fall accidents refer to situations when a person trips, slips, or falls as a result of hazardous and dangerous conditions on another person’s property.
The property owner will be liable to compensate slip and fall victims depending on the type of person who has been injured, whether they are customers, guests, or trespassers. Airports, restaurants, hotels, shopping centers among other public areas are managed by people that are expected to provide ultimate care for their clients. Therefore, if a property owner is aware of an unsafe, hazardous and dangerous condition on their property that causes injuries, they can be held liable.
Hazardous Conditions that can Result in a Queens Slip and Fall Accident
- Snow and black ice
- Poor lighting
- Falling merchandise
- Liquids and food on the floor
- Holes, uneven curbs, or broken handrails
- Unstable walls, floors, or roof tops
- Hazards that violate Queens property building codes
Most people think of slip and fall accidents as minor accidents that can cause little or no injuries. But, most of these incidents lead to debilitating and severe injuries that can affect your life and that of your loved ones in different ways. Proving liability in such cases is challenging because it is crucial to preserve evidence. One way you can preserve evidence is by taking photographs of injuries, bruises, and causes of the slip and fall accident. Ensure that you also store the clothes and shoes you were wearing and seek medical attention immediately.
Because slip and fall cases are complex and difficult to prove, you should consult an experienced Queens slip and fall attorney right away. It is difficult to acquire evidence in slip and fall accidents if the injured person delays to contact a qualified slip and fall attorney.
How your Slip and Fall Attorney will Prove Liability
For your case to be settled or sent to trial, you will have to prove that the property owner was liable. This means that you have to present proof that the defendant was negligent, and their negligence caused your injuries. Proving liability in slip and fall cases is more complex compared to car accident cases.
The first step your attorney will take is to inquire how your injuries occurred. Falls are instant, and most people are not aware of how they went from going down or up the stairs to being down on the ground bruised or injured. For example, in case you fell down while climbing up or downstairs, your lawyer will want to know how you fell, the foot that missed the stairs, whether you were holding onto the handrail, what you were carrying, whether you tripped or slipped, whether you were on the phone, and where you were looking. All these facts are critical to the defense attorney, insurer and the jury.
Possible causes for your fall
- You stepped on something that caused you to slip
- You reached for the handrail and lost your balance
- The height of the steps were varied and they destabilized your balance
- You might have missed a step
- You tripped over your dress, coat, or something else
Not all causes are the fault of the defendant. For instance, a property owner is not responsible if you trip over your own clothing. However, the property owner is responsible for a poorly built stairway.
How your Attorney will Prove for Damages
Proving damages is not as easy as it may seem. You will have to sit down with your attorney and document the exact amount of lost income. This information will be sourced from your tax returns and your employer’s tax and pay records. Your lawyer will also have to acquire and organize all the medical bills and records. Because most healthcare providers are preoccupied with helping other patients, you will have a difficult time obtaining all your medical records. However, your attorney will most likely have someone in the office to track down and obtain your medical bills.
In some cases the medical records do not always contain sufficient legal opinion that the accident might have caused the condition you suffered from. In such a case, your slip and fall attorney will write to your physician and request him or her to write a detailed medical report. Your lawyer will then review the cause of your pain and suffering carefully so that he or she can make an informed decision on the right amount you are entitled to and present it to the insurer.