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If you slipped and fell while on someone else’s property and sustained an injury, you may be interested in your legal options for recovery. Property owners owe a duty of care to their guests to make the premises safe. If they fail to meet their duty, they incur liability for the consequences of the victim’s injuries.
You will want to identify which party or parties owed you a duty of care and how they fell short of meeting their responsibilities. If you are successful in your slip and fall lawsuit, you can recover damages for your harms such as medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering due to your injuries. You should know, however, that you likely only have three years from the date of your accident to file your lawsuit in Westchester, or else you may lose your chance to win the recovery that you require and deserve.
The Martello Law Firm can provide the experience and resources that you will need in your search for justice for your slip and fall injury. Our reliable Westchester slip and fall lawyers are ready and willing to assist you in identifying defendants, preparing evidence, and filing your claim correctly and on time. Contact our lawyers by calling (914) 685-6950 for a free case review.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in Westchester, NY
Slip and fall accidents may happen under various conditions in numerous different places. If the hazard is noticeable, it might be in a position that the victim cannot avoid, making them unable to prevent their injuries. This often allows our Westchester, NY slip and fall accident lawyers to hold property owners liable for these accidents.
Several common causes of slip and fall accidents include, but are not limited to, the following:
Ice and Snow Left on Walkways
Ice and snow left on walkways is a very common cause of slip and fall accidents in Westchester. Landlords and property managers have a duty to maintain clear walkways on their properties. Victims of slip and fall accidents caused by snow and ice-covered walkways can incur severe injuries such as concussions.
Uneven Stairs or Floors
Uneven stairs and floors are another common cause of slip and fall accidents in Westchester. Property owners who do not fix uneven stairs or floors can be in violation of New York building codes. Our Westchester slip and fall lawyers can help victims seek compensation after suffering injuries because of uneven stairs or floors.
Spills and Wet Floors
Furthermore, spills and wet floors are also a common cause of slip and fall accidents. Such accidents are particularly common in grocery stores and restaurants. When spilled liquids are left on floors unattended, harmful slip and fall accidents can occur.
Poor Maintenance of the Property
Poor maintenance of properties is a common cause of slip and fall accidents in Westchester. Poor maintenance can come in many forms. For example, an apartment owner that does fix a leaking pipe in a public hallway can be held liable for accidents caused by that leaking pipe. Our Westchester slip and fall lawyers can help determine if a property owner may be held liable for poor maintenance.
No Handrails or Ledges on Stairs
Additionally, many slip and fall accidents are caused by a lack of handrails or ledges on stairs. Such omissions can also leave property owners in violation of New York building codes. Victims of slip and fall accidents caused by a lack of handrails or ledges on stairs may also be entitled to financial compensation.
Property owners are required to keep walkways free of debris. Cluttered walkways are another common cause of slip and fall accidents. Our Westchester slip and fall lawyers can provide support to those who have suffered slip and fall accidents because of cluttered walkways.
Tripping hazards are also a common cause of slip and fall accidents in Westchester. For instance, unattended cords or wires can cause serious injuries when left exposed.
Lastly, poor lighting is a common cause of slip and fall accidents in Westchester. Property owners and managers can be held liable for slip and fall accidents caused by malfunctioning light fixtures. Victims of slip and fall accidents caused by poor lighting can contact our Westchester slip and fall lawyers for help building their case.
Common Injuries Resulting From Slip and Fall Accidents in Westchester, NY
Slip and fall accidents can cause a wide array of injuries. Some injuries may be minor while others can produce life-long effects.
Certain injuries caused by slip and fall accidents arise more frequently than others. The following are common injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents in Westchester:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are often caused by a blow to the head. Victims of slip and fall accidents often hit their head against a hard floor or other object when falling. Accordingly, traumatic brain injuries are a common type of injury caused by slip and fall accidents in Westchester.
Such injuries can produce devastating symptoms that hinder a victim’s quality of life. Our experienced Westchester slip and fall lawyers can help victims recover financial compensation for the numerous damages related to their traumatic brain injuries.
Neck and Back Injuries
Neck and back injuries are also common types of injuries caused by slip and fall accidents in Westchester. Many slip and fall victims will incur soft tissue injuries to muscles in the neck or back. These injuries can be very painful and may force victims to incur lost wages while missing time at work.
In more serious cases, victims of slip and fall accidents may suffer spinal cord damage in the neck or back. Spinal cord damage can produce permanent symptoms that severely affect a victim’s life.
Additionally, broken bones are a common type of injury caused by slip and fall accidents in Westchester. Broken bones can be very painful and may take a long time to heal. Victims of slip and fall accidents can contact our Westchester slip and fall lawyers for help recovering damages related to the treatment of their broken bones.
Injured joints are another common type of injury caused by slip and fall accidents. Many victims of slip and fall accidents may twist their knee upon falling. When victims’ knees are twisted, damage can occur to cartilage in the joint. Cartilage damage can result in severe pain and immobility.
Furthermore, many victims of slip and fall accidents will use their arms and hands to brace themselves during a fall. Accordingly, victims regularly suffer wrist injuries. For more serious wrist injuries, surgical treatment may be required. Our Westchester slip and fall lawyers can help refer physicians for the treatment of wrist injuries.
Damage to Teeth
Lastly, slip and fall victims often incur damage to teeth. Victims suffer damage to their teeth when their face contacts the ground or another hard surface during a fall. Such injuries can be intensely painful. Furthermore, dental repairs are often very expensive. Those who suffer damage to their teeth because of slip and fall injuries may pursue financial compensation.
Who is Liable for a Slip and Fall Accident in Westchester, NY?
In order to win in a slip and fall lawsuit in Westchester, you will have to show that the defendant owed you a duty of care that they failed to meet. A duty of care is someone’s legal obligation to make the best efforts to keep the property guest out of danger.
There are two critical questions in any slip and fall case:
- Who owes the duty of care?
- Did they reasonably meet the responsibilities created by their duty?
Property owners in Westchester are responsible for taking reasonable measures to cure any dangerous conditions that might foreseeably result in harm to guests. This may mean fixing the hazard so that it no longer poses a danger to guests. Alternatively, the property owner is responsible for warning guests of the danger. However, the property owner may transfer their responsibility through a contract with another entity, usually a tenant.
If the property is leased, the lease agreement may stipulate that the tenant is responsible for dealing with certain property hazards. This is particularly common for restaurants and other commercial tenants where spills frequently occur. In places like Westchester where snowfall is particularly common, property owners may contract with snow removal services to deal with icy patches outside the property or in parking lots.
You may choose to name more than one party in your slip and fall lawsuit if you feel that multiple parties were responsible for your accident. Once you have identified the responsible party or parties, you must show that they failed to meet their responsibilities. This could be as simple as failing to clean up a spill that they should have known about, or as complicated as proving that a snow removal company did not use proper industry techniques to clear icy conditions from a sidewalk. Your Westchester slip and fall attorney can discuss what kind of proof you may require to succeed in your case and whom you should look to name as a defendant in your lawsuit.
What is “Duty of Care” in a Westchester, NY Slip and Fall Case?
If you were lawfully on another person’s property, the owner or manager of that property has an obligation to maintain the premises for your safety. This obligation is referred to as a property owner’s “duty of care.”
A property owner’s breach of duty can come in many forms. For example, an apartment owner who does not fix a faulty light fixture in one of their building’s public hallways may have breached their duty of care. Property owners who breach their duty of care can be held liable for damages caused by their breach. Our experienced Westchester slip and fall lawyers can help victims of slip and fall accidents determine if a property owner or manager breached their duty of care.
Can I Sue for a Slip and Fall Accident on Rented Property in Westchester, NY?
Tenants in rental properties may sue their landlords for slip in fall injuries in Westchester. In such cases, plaintiffs must show that their landlord violated their duty of care to their tenants. This can be shown by demonstrating that a landlord knew or should have known about a hazard that could be reasonably foreseen to cause injuries. Common examples of landlord negligence include the following:
- A landlord was warned about hazards such as loose handrails or fractured sidewalks and did nothing to repair the danger.
- A landlord let snow or ice accumulate on walkways on their property without attempting to clear them.
- A landlord was aware of crimes in the community but did not take adequate measures to provide security for their tenants.
- A landlord ignored standard maintenance of their property.
Victims can contact our Westchester slip and fall lawyers for help determining if they may sue their landlord for a slip and fall accident on rented property.
Damages for Slip and Fall Lawsuits in Westchester, NY
Your successful slip and fall lawsuit will compensate you for the consequences of your injuries. These consequences can be physical, psychological, and financial in nature. All of these harms will be reflected in a calculation for damages.
The direct financial consequences of your injuries will be included in the calculation of economic damages. Primarily, this will include the medical expenses associated with your treatment. You can receive compensation that will cover your emergency room procedures, hospital stays, reparative surgeries, physical therapy, specialist fees, and prescription medications, amongst other medical costs. Be sure to seek medical care as soon as possible after your slip and fall accident to get the necessary treatment and to establish a record of care for your injuries.
If your injuries force you to miss time at work, you can also receive compensation in line with your lost wages and any paid time off that you are forced to use while recovering. If the injuries prevent you from meeting the obligations of your job for an extended period of time, you could also look to recover damages for missed opportunities for advancement or loss of earning power.
The court will also compensate you for the consequences of your injury that do not appear on invoices or receipts but are nonetheless real. Non-economic damages refer to the pain and suffering that a slip and fall victim is likely to experience as a result of their injuries. Examples of pain and suffering that may be compensable could include chronic pain or loss of functionality that impacts a victim’s ability to go about their day-to-day experience. These consequences can impact a plaintiff’s enjoyment of life or ability to maintain relationships.
Non-economic damages are difficult to predict without additional information on the particular victim and the impact of their injuries. An experienced Westchester slip and fall lawyer can listen to your story and help you come up with an estimate of what your potential case may be worth.
How Long Do I Have to File a Slip and Fall Accident Lawsuit in Westchester, NY?
If you hope to recover compensation from your slip and fall injuries, it is in your best interest to act quickly. This is because the statute of limitations in New York – the time limit to file a lawsuit – runs for three years from the date of injury. This means that you have until the three-year anniversary of your accident to file your claim. Failure to do so may mean the loss of your chance to recover for your injuries. To avoid missing your deadline, call one of our diligent Westchester slip and fall attorneys as soon as possible.
If You Were Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident in Westchester, NY, Our Lawyers Can Help
If you hope to recover for your slip and fall injuries in a lawsuit, you do not have much time to waste. Contact our experienced Westchester slip and fall lawyers by calling (914) 685-6950 for a free case review.