NY Slip & Fall FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions About Slip & Fall Accidents in NYC
Slip and fall accidents send more than one million people to the emergency room annually. Elderly people are particularly at risk of slipping or tripping and falling. They also tend to suffer severe harm, such as traumatic brain injury and fractures of the spine, hip, arm and leg. Falls can happen to people of all ages, however, and in many cases, the cause of the accident is a hazardous condition created or uncorrected by a property owner. Read these NY Slip & Fall FAQs to learn more.
If you suffered a slip and fall injury in New York City, a property owner, landlord, a government agency or others may be liable. David Resnick & Associates, P.C., are experienced personal injury accident attorneys who’ve obtained sizable money awards for past clients with slip and fall injuries in New York City.
You no doubt have questions about your case.We have provided answers to some frequently asked questions on this page. For answers to questions about your specific situation, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free case review.
NY Slip & Fall FAQs
NY Slip & Fall
A slip and fall accident that causes injury and results from the negligence of a property owner could entitle you to a money award through a lawsuit. An accident report, while not required, may help establish the facts of the accident and could be valuable in a legal action. The process of completing an accident report is slightly different depending on whether the accident happened at a place of business, a private residence or on government property.
How To Complete An Accident Report
Follow the guidelines below in completing an accurate and timely slip and fall accident report. The report should be made the same day if possible.
Claims Against a Business
A fall that occurs at a store or other place of business should be immediately reported to the manager or another responsible on-duty employee. The store may have a slip and fall incident report form provided by the company that insures the property, such as this.
Claims Against a Government Entity
Injury claims against a federal, state or city governmental entity have strict noticedeadlines. In New York City, you must submit a personal injury claim form (available here) within 90 days of the accident. Note that this form implies that you intend to file a lawsuit. To buy yourself some time, consider submitting a notice of intention to file a claim, which extends the deadline for serving and filing a claim within two years of the date of the accident. A notice of intention should contain the same information as a claim, except that you need not specify your losses. An experienced lawyer at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., can help you comply with all notice requirements to avoid putting your claim at risk. Let us deal with the bureaucracy while you focus on getting better.
Claims Against a Homeowner or Landlord
If you are injured in an accident at a rented or managed property, an incident report form may be available. It’s very unlikely that a private homeowner will have a report form. In any event, you can compile a record of what happened to you, making sure to include information such as:
- The time and location of the incident.
- A description of the incident.
- Weather, lighting and walking surface conditions.
- The names, contact information, and comments of any witnesses.
- A description of your injuries.
What To Do After A Slip And Fall Accident In New York City
There are some other steps you can take to protect your interests after a slip and fall incident, such as:
- Take photos of the area where the accident happened.
- Seek treatment for your injuries and don’t miss any scheduled appointments.
- Get the names and contact information of witnesses.
- Safely store the shoes and clothing you were wearing at the time of the accident. Don’t clean them first.
- Don’t give any statements to the property owner’s insurance company.
- Discuss what happened with an attorney.
The New York City personal injury lawyers at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., have secured significant recoveries for slip and fall victims in the past. We seek nothing less than the best resolution possible for each and every client. Let us help you understand your rights and options through a free legal evaluation. Contact us now by phone or fill out a contact form.
When will the law say a property owner “should have known” about a dangerous condition on his or her property?
A New York property owner may be held liable if he or she knew or should have had enough time to know about a dangerous condition and failed to address the problem, leading to a premises liability accident.
Whether a property owner should have known about a dangerous condition depends in part on how long the condition had existed and whether the owner had had sufficient time to discover the hazard and repair it. The question of whether a property owner should have known about a hazard is a point of dispute in many premises liability injury cases. Property owners have a legal responsibility to keep their property in reasonably safe condition and to warn of known hazards.
How Long Was The Hazardous Condition Present?
Had a hazardous condition been present on the property for weeks or months without being recognized or repaired? Had the property owner or manager taken reasonable steps to discover the hazardous condition and address it or post a warning? Would a reasonably careful property owner in a similar situation have had time to discover the unsafe condition? If a reasonably careful property owner would have likely had sufficient time to discover the condition, then the property owner may have been negligent in their legal duty to inspect their property, maintain the property in reasonably safe condition for guests and visitors and to warn of dangerous conditions that could not be immediately repaired.
As part of our investigation of a premises liability accident, the attorneys at David Resnick & Associates make an evaluation of whether a property owner should have known about a hazard and whether the accident that occurred was foreseeable. We try to move quickly to preserve evidence of the hazardous condition and examine whether any steps were taken to correct the condition or post a warning about it. If a property owner is negligent by failing to repair a dangerous condition and their negligence results in a serious injury, the injured person may hold the property owner liable and demand compensation to cover medical bills, lost income and other losses.
A premises liability lawyer at David Resnick & Associates can review the circumstances of how your injury occurred and discuss with you whether a property owner should have known about the hazardous condition and is legally responsible for your injuries. If we believe that you have a valid personal injury lawsuit, our dedicated attorneys will offer to represent you on a contingency fee basis.
Can a building owner’s violation of a building code ever be used to help a plaintiff win a slip-and-fall case?
Yes, New York has building codes to ensure that buildings are safely designed, built and maintained to protect the public health, safety and general welfare. The NYC Department of Buildings enforces the building code to ensure the lawful use of approximately a million buildings and properties in the city. The building codes require owners of property including shopping centers, hotels, high rise buildings, apartment buildings, sports arenas, restaurants and other buildings to meet minimum safety standards.
Building owners and building maintenance companies have a legal responsibility to comply with the building code and address recognized safety hazards and code violations.
Common types of code violations that contribute to slip-and-fall accidents include:
- Lack of adequate handrails on stairs
- Staircases with treads that do not comply with the building code
- Inadequate lighting
- Lack of required non-skid surfaces
- Lack of proper elevator or escalator maintenance
- Snow and ice that has not been cleared in a timely fashion
The building code specifies the amount of time allowed to correct a code violation. If the owner of a building or a company contracted to maintain a building fails to comply with applicable building codes and an individual sustains a serious slip-and-fall injury as a result, the liable party may be held legally liable for the injuries. The injured individual may bring a personal injury lawsuit against the property owner or business that failed to comply with the building code and demand compensation for injuries resulting from the code violation.
Not every code violation causes slip-and-fall accidents. But a building code violation may make it easier for the injured person to recover compensation through a slip-and-fall lawsuit.
A lawyer at David Resnick & Associates can review the specific details of your slip-and-fall accident and determine whether you have a valid personal injury lawsuit. If we handle your slip-and-fall case, we will conduct an investigation to determine whether a building code violation contributed to your injury and gather evidence to support your injury claim.
If I am injured in a slip-and-fall accident while trespassing on someone’s property, can I receive compensation?
A trespasser is a person who visits a property without having permission from the property owner or property manager.
Generally speaking, if an individual is trespassing on someone’s property and sustains a serious injury such as a broken leg, the property owner is not legally responsible for the trespasser’s injuries. A property owner has certain legal duties to maintain his or her property in safe condition for invited guests and people who are lawfully on the property. But a property owner does not have a duty to remove hazardous conditions to keep a trespasser safe. But the law also contains some exceptions in which an injured person who was trespassing may be entitled to compensation.
If the property owner is aware that you are trespassing on the property and acquiesces to your presence on the property and failed to warn of a hazardous condition, then the owner may be financially liable for your injuries just as the owner would be responsible for the injuries of an invited guest. The property owner may owe you compensation for your injuries in this situation.
A trespasser also may be entitled to compensation if the property owner caused intentional harm to the trespasser.
Children who trespass are treated differently by the law because they are too young to recognize the dangers posed by hazardous conditions and attractive nuisances. Unsecured pools are a common example of an attractive nuisance. If there is a condition on the property such as an unsecured swimming pool that would be attractive to children, and a child climbs in the pool and drowns or is injured, the property owner may be held liable even if the child was a trespasser on the property.
A lawyer at David Resnick & Associates can review the specific details of your accident and determine whether you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries, even though you were trespassing on the property. In specific situations, a property owner may be legally responsible for the injuries sustained by an individual who is trespassing.
What are the differences between permanent and temporary hazardous conditions, and is a property owner responsible for falls caused by both?
The owner of the property where a slip and fall accident occurs— which could be a business, homeowner, landlord, government agency or other —may be legally responsible for the accident if:
- He or she caused the unsafe condition.
- He or she knew about the dangerous condition (“actual knowledge”) but did not address it.
- He or she should reasonably have known about the unsafe condition (“constructive knowledge”) and taken steps to address it.
Showing that a property owner had notice (actual or constructive knowledge) of the hazardous condition is a critical factor in establishing liability. Satisfying this requirement depends, in part, on identifying the hazard as temporary or permanent.
In the case of a permanent hazard, it is often (but not always) simpler to show that a property owner had notice of the hazard. Temporary hazards, on the other hand, tend to be less straightforward. Some examples should help to clarify the issue of property owner liability in the context of permanent and temporary hazards.
Permanent Hazards Vs. Temporary Hazards
Neither “permanent” nor “temporary” hasabsolute meaning in slip and fall cases. Both terms are relative and closely connected to a party’s ability to know about and react to a given hazard.
Consider a store where two different materials, such as linoleum and tile, meet, creating a difference in height that is a trip hazard. Because it is a built-in feature of the store, this is clearly a permanent hazard. A reasonable owner should be aware of this hazard and take measures to correct it.
Owners can be expected to know about and fix unsafe conditions such as broken stairs, cracked concrete or poor lighting in a corridor. These hazards are “permanent” in that they persist as long as nothing is done about them. But what if the hazard is created just moments before an accident?
For instance, the delivery of a heavy item could result in a broken stair. If the delivery company doesn’t inform the owner about the damage, and somebody uses the stairs and falls down a few moments later, should the owner reasonably be expected to know about the hazard?
The same issue of noticecomes into play for temporary hazards. The classic example of a temporary hazard is a slick supermarket floor caused by spilled liquid. If the spill occurred moments before somebody slipped and fell on it, arguing that proper steps to remedy the hazard weren’t taken would be challenging. But if the liquid remained for a period of time, a strong argument could be made that there was sufficient notice of the hazardous condition.
A property owner and others can be legally responsible for falls caused by permanent or temporary hazards. The key in each case is establishing that the owner had actual or constructive notice of the hazard.
Proof of actual notice can take many forms, such as work orders for repairs and evidence of prior complaints about the hazard. Establishing constructive notice, because it hinges on the concept of what a reasonable person should have known, typically relies on issues such as the type of hazard involved, the length of time it existed and its location on the property.
Discuss Your Case For Free With A Lawyer
An experienced NYC slip and fall accident lawyer gives you the best chance of obtaining compensation for your injuries. David Resnick & Associates, P.C., have obtained a number of favorable verdicts and settlements on behalf of slip and fall victims. To learn how we can help you, contact us now for a free case review.
Falls are responsible for more than 1 million emergency room visits each year, according to the National Floor Safety Institute (NSFI). Bruises, lacerations, bone fractures and head trauma are among the injuries most frequently sustained.
Hazardous walking surfaces are the leading cause of slip and fall accidents, but there are many other unsafe conditions that can cause someone to lose their balance and become injured.
Slip and fall accidents are often caused by one of the following conditions:
Indoors, walking surface traction can be dramatically reduced by wetness, spills, recently mopped or waxed floors and substances that have been tracked in, such as snow. Loose floorboards, torn carpeting, unanchored mats and rugs and changes in elevation between flooring surfaces can also create a hazard.
Outdoors, rain, sleet, snow and ice can transform normally safe surfaces into extremely slick ones. Parking lots and sidewalks may also be uneven or have surface defects that make a fall more likely.
- Obstacles in walkways
Items such as power cords, tools and equipment, boxes, open drawers, shoes, toys, and clutter—the list of tripping hazards is virtually limitless—can cause a fall accident.
Inadequate lighting can increase the likelihood that somebody slips or trips on one of the hazardous surfaces described above. Even in the absence of hazards, poor lighting can create a dangerous condition.
The elderly in particular may need the use of rails to avoid a fall accident, but the lack of a handrail, or a handrail that is loose or not at the right height, may cause anyone to lose their balance and fall.
Speed bumps and wheel stops in parking lots may also pose a pedestrian hazard. They should be located out of the direct pathway of walkers and painted in a bright color.
If a floor opening is created for construction or maintenance in a foot traffic area, the opening should be covered, protected by a guardrail or otherwise sealed off from pedestrians. Grates and other permanent floor openings should also be covered in such a way that people do not trip on them.
Not only handrails, but also stairs and other building features, must meet state and county building codes. Stairs, for instance, must meet height and depth minimum measurements, and the differences in height and depth between stairs should not vary significantly.
Building codes also require that property owners maintain elevators, escalators, curbs and other parts of their property in accordance with accepted standards.
Get A Lawyer’S Opinion On Your Slip And Fall Accident
The circumstances that contribute to a slip and fall accident are unique and should be evaluated by an experienced legal professional. Many victims are quick to chalk a fall up to their own carelessness or inattention, but the fact is that hazards are common, and a property owner or other party may be held responsible for a hazard that leads to injury.
The New York City personal injury attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., have a strong track record of securing compensation for those injured in slip and fall accidents. Learn how we can help you through a free case evaluation.
- National Floor Safety Institute (NSFI) – QuickFacts
- Texas State Office of Risk Management – Slips, Trips, and Falls
- National Safety Council:
- Checklist for Recognizing Slip, Trip and Fall Hazards
- Slips, Trips and Falls
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Falls Among Older Adults
- Russell J. Kendzior – Falls Aren’t Funny: America’s Multi-Billion Dollar slip and fall Crisis
Slip and fall accident claims, like all personal injury claims, are subject to filing deadlines. The actual filing deadline your case is subject to depends on whether you intend to seek compensation from a private party (for example, a business, a homeowner or a landlord) or the government. In either case, failure to file your claim on time could result in its dismissal.
New York State Statutes Of Limitations
Statutes of limitations are laws that limit the time period within which you may take legal action. The statute of limitation in a personal injury case varies depending on the type of case. A slip and fall lawsuit is subject to athree-year statute of limitations. This means that, in most cases, you have three years from the date of the slip and fall accident to initiate a lawsuit.
Claims Against The Government
In years past, the doctrine of “sovereign immunity” barred lawsuits against governments. While sovereign immunity is no longer strictly enforced, there are strict filing deadlines if you wish to sue the state or city of New York.
The three-year statute of limitations that applies to slip and fall lawsuits against private parties does not apply to slip and fall claims against the government. Rather, you must file a notice of claim with the city within 90 daysafter the accident. After that, you must in most cases file your lawsuit against the city within 1 year and 90 days after the slip and fall accident.
Instead of a notice of claim you may file a notice of intention to file a claim. This extends the time you have to serve and file a claim by two years from the date of the accident.
Take Action To Avoid Giving Up Your Legal Rights
The time you have to take legal action is limited. Once you’ve had your injuries assessed by a medical professional, your next step should be to consult with a lawyer.
The personal injury attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., in New York City have a strong record of success in slip and fall accident cases. Through a free evaluation, we can bring you up to speed on your legal rights and options, including all filing deadlines. To speak with a lawyer, call or contact us online today.
Inadequate lighting is a common cause of falls. It can mask defects in a parking lot, such as uneven concrete, broken pavement and unmarked curbs. Even in the absence of other hazards, poor lighting can create a dangerous condition.
If you fell in a parking lot due to broken or missing lights, the owner of the property may be responsible for your injuries if it can be shown that he or she created, had actual knowledge of, or should reasonably have known about the poor lighting. Depending on the type of property, other parties may also share responsibility for maintaining safe premises.
Determining Liability For Parking Lot Falls
Parking lot fall accidents can generally be divided into those that occur on commercial property and those that occur on government property.
It is often the case that the owner of a business or property leases commercial real estate from another property owner. This might be true of a store, a hotel, an office, a restaurant, a shopping mall, an apartment complex or many other kinds of businesses.
In cases involving commercial property in which the owner of the business and the owner of the parking lot are two separate entities, liability rests with who, according to the contractual agreement between the parties, has control and responsibility for the lot. Liability may also be shared by a separate company hired to manage and maintain the parking lot.
If several parties may be responsible for the lot, it may be a good idea to name each party as a defendant in a lawsuit.
An accident in a government-owned parking lot may be the responsibility of the government body that owns it. You must, however, demonstrate that the government entity knew about or should have known about the inadequate lighting that you believe caused your fall.
Notice of cases against the government in New York must be filed within 90 days of the date of the accident. You can extend this deadline by two years by notifying the government of your intent to file a claim.
Discuss Your Case With An Experienced Nyc Personal Injury Lawyer
Due to filing deadlines and the fact-specific nature of every accident case, it’s recommended that you talk your case over with an attorney.
David Resnick & Associates, P.C., is an experienced New York City personal injury law firm. We’ve helped many victims of unsafe premises recover compensation for their injuries. Find out now how we can help you by requesting a free case review. Call or contact us online to get started.
Each year in the United States, around 10,000 escalator rides end in a trip to the emergency room. The vast majority of escalator injuries result from falls.
Escalators are often found at malls, both in common areas and within large department stores. The specific location of your escalator accident—along with a few other factors—will help determine who can be held liable for your injuries.
Owner And Tenant Liability
The owner of a mall is typically separate from the owner of a store. While both parties may be held liable for accidents that occur in a store, the mall owner alone is usually liable for accidents that occur in the mall’s common areas. An escalator that carries passengers between different levels is one such common area.
For example, if the escalator you were hurt on was carrying you from the men’s department to the women’s department of a department store, you might have a claim against the owner of store as well as the owner of the mall. But if your fall occurred on an escalator that simply goes from the ground level to the first story of the mall (that is, the escalator isn’t inside a store), the mall owner would potentially be liable.
Maintenance And Repair Issues
If your accident happened on a common-area escalator, the mall owner may not be the only liable party. If the owner contracted with a company to provide escalator maintenance and repair services, and your accident resulted from faulty maintenance or repair, then the service-provider may be liable for your injuries.
Defective Manufacturing And Installation
Manufacturer defects and installation mistakes can also cause escalator accidents that injure passengers.
Examples of escalator defects include missing teeth on the track, loose or missing screws, broken or missing steps and excessive space between the sides and steps of the escalator. An escalator that is not installed property could alsomalfunction.
Talk To An Experienced Nyc Escalator Accident Lawyer Free Of Charge
Liability for an accident involving an escalator is rarely clear-cut, and more than one party may be named as a defendant. Showing that another party was responsible for your accident and injury is easier with help from an experienced lawyer.
Slip and fall accidents that occur at a private residence may be the homeowner’s legal responsibility if he or she caused or failed to prevent the hazardous condition that caused the accident. Liability for falls that occur at a rented home may rest with the landlord and/or the tenant. Personal injury claims are typically covered by homeowner’s insurance or, in the case of a rental property, renter’s insurance.
Claims Against A Homeowner
Imagine that you are invited to a friend’s house for a visit. While at the house—which your friend owns —you slip on a wet spot on the floor, fall down and break your arm.
Homeowners have a duty to keep their properties reasonably safe for guests. If you can prove that this duty was breached (in other words, that the homeowner was negligent), your friend may be liable for your injury.
The test for negligence involves showing that the homeowner:
- Caused the dangerous condition; or
- Knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and failed to remedy it.
While you may feel awkward about filing an injury claim against a friend, family member or neighbor whose home you were hurt in, remember that most homeowners have insurance that covers them in the event of a personal injury such as a slip and fall.
Claims Against A Landlord
Now imagine the same slip and fall accident scenario above, with one significant difference – the friend rents, rather than owns, the property. In this example, your friend is the tenant, and another person is the landlord who owns the property.
Whether your claim is against the person renting the home or the landlord, you still must show that the individual caused, knew about or should reasonably have known about the dangerous condition. Bear in mind that it can be difficult to prove that a landlord was negligent, since he or she can’t reasonably be expected to know about every dangerous condition that arises in the rented home. This is especially true of things such as spills and slippery floors, although it’s less true of permanent features such as staircases, plumbing and flooring.
While you may have a claim against a tenant for a wet spot on the floor caused by a spilled drink, you likely won’t be able to show that the landlord was negligent in any way for the spill. If, on the other hand, the wet spot on the floor was caused by leaky pipes or a hole in the roof that the landlord should have known about and fixed, you may have a claim against the landlord.
Speak With An Experienced NYC Slip And Fall Lawyer
Slip and fall cases should be discussed with a lawyer who has handled premises liability lawsuits before. David Resnick & Associates, P.C., have obtained sizeable verdicts and settlements for injured clients in the past, and we will seek nothing less than the best possible resolution of your case. To learn how we can help, schedule a free consultation today.
- The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants – Liability Insurance Under Your Homeowners Policy
- TheNest.com – Does Renter’s Insurance Cover the Insured in a Slip & Fall Injury?
I fell as a result of a loose handrail at my friends’ apartment. Who is responsible for my injuries?
Liability for injuries that happen on rented property such as an apartment may lie with the tenant (your friend), the property owner (the landlord) or a management or maintenance company. The facts surrounding the injury play a major role in determining liability. Another is the contractual obligations existing between owner and tenant and owner and manager to maintain safe premises.
Once an apartment lease begins, the tenant is generally responsible for any hazards or dangerous conditions that arise inside the premises, including things like loose handrails and floorboards. So if the handrail wasn’t loose when your friend moved into the apartment but it became loose during the lease term, he or she would most likely bear responsibility for the dangerous condition that caused your fall injury.
While you may be concerned about seeking damages from a friend, keep in mind that he or she likely has renter’s insurance that will cover your losses. The money most likely won’t come out of your friend’s pocket.
While a tenant bears most of the responsibility for the conditions inside of an apartment, there are exceptions.
One exception (which applies more to apartment complexes and multi-unit buildings than to single-family homes or apartments) is apartment common areas such as common stairways, halls, elevators, lobbies and parking lots. Under a landlord’s duty to safely maintain common areas, if your fall resulted from a loose handrail on a common stairway leading to your friend’s apartment, the landlord may be liable.
A landlord’s negligent concealment (covering-up) of a hazardous condition may also create liability. For example, if a landlord was aware of a loose handrail inside an apartment prior to renting the unit out but did nothing to repair it, any injuries that are caused by the loose handrail may be the landlord’s responsibility.
Landlords also have a duty to make timely repairs to property defects that they know about. For instance, if the tenant reports a loose handrail to the landlord, the landlord fails to repair the handrail within a reasonable amount of time, and somebody falls as a result of the loose handrail, the landlord’s failure to make repairs could make him or her liable.
The owners of apartment complexes often contract out maintenance to a property-management company. This could lead to liability on the part of the management company in some cases.
For example, a property manager might be contractually obligated to fix a loose handrail on a common stairway. Or the property manager might be asked to fix a loose handrail inside an apartment based on the tenant’s request. Failure by the property manager to make proper repairs could result in the property manager being liable for injuries.
Get Help With Your Slip And Fall Case
A slip and fall accident that occurs at an apartment building may be the fault of one or more parties. To determine liability, the accident should be investigated and the contracts between the parties scrutinized.
These and other matters related to slip and fall cases should be discussed with an experienced New York City personal injury attorney. At David Resnick & Associates, P.C., our lawyers have helped clients recover significant money rewards when they were injured on somebody else’s property. Learn how we can help you. Call or contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
I tripped over a piece of loose carpeting at a local restaurant. Are they responsible for my injuries?
More than 1 million restaurant guests each year suffer an injury in a fall. According to the National Restaurant Association, falls are the leading source of general liability insurance claims within the restaurant industry.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that floors and flooring materials are a factor in more than 2 million fall injuries each year. A restaurant that fails to maintain its carpeting in a safe condition could be liable for injuries that result from a fall caused by the carpeting.
Proving Restaurant Negligence
A restaurant may be found liable for a fall injury if one of the following is shown to be true:
- The restaurant owner or an employee caused the loose carpeting.
- The restaurant owner or an employee knew about the loose carpeting but failed to fix it.
- The restaurant owner or an employee should have known about the loose carpeting and fixed it.
Proving that a restaurant owner or employee should have known about and repaired the loose carpeting comes down to a determination of what is reasonable under the circumstances. You might argue, for example, that a reasonably diligent owner or employee would have found the defect.
This depends on how long the carpet defect existed, among other factors. If the loose carpeting was caused by the delivery of new equipment early on a Monday morning, and the slip and fall occurred during breakfast service that same morning, it may not be “reasonable” to assume that anyone should have noticed the hazard. But if several days passed between the time of the delivery and the accident, it is quite reasonable that somebody should have noticed the hazard.
Discuss Your Accident For Free With A Lawyer
Restaurants owe a duty to customers to protect them from falling, including the duty to regularly inspect the premises for dangerous conditions such as loose carpeting or other defective floor surfaces. A failure to meet this duty may result in a successful lawsuit against the restaurant.
At David Resnick & Associates, P.C., in New York City, our lawyers have a strong record of success in slip and fall cases. Learn how we can help you successfully resolve your case. Call or contact us online now for a free claim review and advice about your legal rights.
- ISSA (The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association):
- Controlling Slips & Falls in Restaurants
- Slips & Falls: An Evaluation of Causes and Prevention
- National Floor Safety Institute (NSFI): Quick Facts
I slipped and fell on a wet floor at the supermarket. Should they have had a wet floor sign to warn me about the slippery surface?
Slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of both employee and customer injuries at supermarkets, according to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI). Nearly 60 percent of all grocery store general liability claims stem from slips and falls, the NFSI reports.
Grocery stores have a duty to exercise reasonable care in maintaining a safe shopping environment. Posting wet floor signs where appropriate is one way a store owner and employees can reduce the likelihood of a slip and fall accident. Failure to do so could be evidence that reasonable care wasn’t taken. Ultimately, the victim must show that the store knew or should have known about the slippery condition that caused the accident but failed to take appropriate action.
Actual Knowledge Vs. Constructive Knowledge
A grocery store owner might be liable for a fall caused by a wet floor if:
- The owner or an employee caused the wet floor.
- The owner or an employee knew about the wet floor but did not take steps to correct it (actual knowledge).
- The owner or an employee reasonably should have known about the wet floor (constructive knowledge) and taken steps to mitigate the danger posed by the wet floor.
If a supermarket owner or employee caused the wet floor—for example, by mopping or spilling liquid—this would show that the store had knowledge of the wet floor. If the store creates the wet-floor hazard, it should take measures to prevent a fall by posting signs.
Showing actual knowledge of a wet floor created by someone else isn’t so straightforward. The most likely way to demonstrate actual knowledge is to show that someone reported the wet floor to an on-duty worker. If the incident was reported but nothing was done to correct the wet floor, this is strong evidence of negligence by the supermarket.
Less straightforward still is showing that a store had constructive knowledge of a wet floor. The standard to be applied here is what is considered “reasonable.” It may not be reasonable, for example, to expect an employee to notice a spill immediately after it occurs. The more time that goes by, however, the more reasonable it is to expect supermarket staff to notice the spill.
To summarize, if a store owner or employee created the wet floor by doing something like mopping and failed to post a “wet floor” sign, you likely have a strong case against the store for negligence. If you can show that staff either knew about (actual knowledge) or should have known about (constructive knowledge) the wet floor and failed to take corrective measures, this is also evidence of negligence.
Protect Your Interests. Speak With A Lawyer.
Supermarkets deal with a high volume of slip and fall claims, and their insurers are experienced at defending them. Without legal representation of your own, you run the risk of having your claim devalued or worse, dismissed entirely.
By talking with a lawyer, you’ll get a stronger sense of the strengths and weaknesses of your case and how to best proceed. Schedule a free consultation with the lawyers at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., in New York City. Call us now or send us a secure online message. Our attorneys have a strong record of success helping slip and fall victims.
- Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) – Put Walkway Auditing to Good Use
- Grocers Insurance – Preventing Customer Slips and Falls
Upkeep of New York City’s 12,750 miles of sidewalks was once solely the responsibility of the NYC Department of Transportation. Since the passage of legislation in 2003, the law has changed substantially. The owners of non-residential property abutting sidewalks are now primarily responsible for sidewalk maintenance.
You may have a claim for compensation against a property owner if you slipped and fell on a sidewalk that abuts the property. A claim against the City of New York is still possible under limited circumstances, and claims against the city face significant hurdles. Regardless of the individual party you wish to sue, you’ll need to demonstrate negligence in order to prevail.
New York City Administrative Code § 7-210
According to New York City Sidewalk Rules, “It shall be the duty of the owner of real property abutting any sidewalk, including, but not limited to, the intersection quadrant for corner property, to maintain such sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition.”
This section of administrative code does not apply to “one-, two-, or three-family residential real property that is (i) in whole or in part, owner occupied, and (ii) used exclusively for residential purposes.”
Under § 7-210, property owners (excluding the homeowners described above) may be held liable for personal injuries caused by their negligent failure to install, construct, reconstruct, repave, repair or replace a defective sidewalk.
Examples of common sidewalk defects include:
- Collapsed sidewalk.
- Hardware trip hazard.
- Trip hazard.
- Improper slope.
- Tree roots causing uneven surface.
- Unacceptable patchwork.
The mere fact that you slip and fall on a property owner’s sidewalk does not entitle you to compensation. You must also show that the owner did something wrong. Satisfying this requirement entails showing that the owner knew that the sidewalk was unsafe or should reasonably have known that the sidewalk was unsafe.
Claims Against The City Of New York
If you slip and fall on a sidewalk that abuts property owned by New York City, you may file a claim for compensation, but it is more difficult to sue a government body than a private property owner. Additional requirements for claims against New York City include:
- Prior written notice. A plaintiff who alleges to have received an injury from a sidewalk defect and seeks to hold the city liable must prove that the city received written notice of the defect at least 15 days prior to the accident.
- Notice of claim. If you intend to sue the city for an injury sustained on city-owned property, you must submit a notice of claim within 90 days of the accident. A notice of claim regarding an action against the Department of Transportation, considered a “mayoral agency,” is to be filed with the City of New York Comptroller. Instead of a notice of claim, you may submit a notice of intention to file a claim, which extends the time period to serve and file a claim.
Discuss Your Sidewalk Accident With A Lawyer For Free
David Resnick & Associates, P.C., have obtained significant compensation for slip and fall victims in the past, and we look forward to the opportunity to assist you with your case. To schedule a free consultation, call or contact us online now.
A landlord may be liable for injuries sustained on his property depending on the circumstances.
To be held responsible, your landlord must have control over the area of the property where your injury occurred and the cause of your injury must be the landlord’s negligence.
Below are several examples that illustrate when a landlord may or may not be liable for injuries. Be sure to discuss what happened to you with an attorney, as each case is different.
1. Broken steps on an outdoor stairway were brought to the attention of the landlord two weeks ago, and the steps still haven’t been fixed. A tenant trips and falls on the steps on the way up to her apartment and suffers a broken arm.
The landlord in this scenario would most likely be liable for the tenant’s injury because the steps were located in a common area of the apartment and the landlord had notice (knowledge) of the dangerous condition and did not have it repaired within a reasonable time.
2. A puddle of spilled orange juice inside a tenant’s apartment causes the tenant to slip, fall and break his arm.
In this scenario, the landlord probably wouldn’t be found liable for the injury because the puddle was inside of the apartment, and landlords typically aren’t responsible for this type of hazard in non-common areas.
3. A broken flagstone on a common-area walkway was reported to the landlord, who scheduled repairs and posted a warning sign about the dangerous condition. Before the repairs are completed, a tenant trips and falls on the broken flagstone and is injured.
Here, the landlord most likely wouldn’t be found liable for the tenant’s injuries because he took steps to have the hazard repaired and posted warning signs.
4. While making a delivery, workers damage common-area steps, creating a hazardous condition. Not long after the hazard was created, a tenant falls on the damaged steps and is injured.
In this example, the landlord probably wouldn’t be liable for the injury because he had no notice of the hazardous condition that caused it. The amount of time between the incident that damaged the steps and the fall accident was so short that it wouldn’t be “reasonable” to expect the landlord to know about and correct the damage.
5. Prior to a new tenant move-in, a routine inspection reveals leaky pipes in an apartment unit. The landlord, despite knowing about the leak, makes no effort to repair it. After moving in, a tenant slips on a wet spot on the floor caused by the leak and is injured. The landlord in this example most likely would be liable for the tenant’s injury because he was aware of the condition that led to the slip and fall (the leaky pipes) but did not fix it.
Discuss Your Case With An Experienced NYC Slip And Fall Lawyer
Who bears responsibility for an injury caused by an unsafe condition depends on the specific circumstances of the injury, including contractual obligations as laid out in the lease and landlord/tenant rights and responsibilities under New York law.
If you slipped or tripped and fell on rented property, it’s worth discussing the accident with a premises liability attorney who can advise you about your legal rights and options. David Resnick & Associates, P.C., have successfully resolved numerous slip and fall cases on behalf of clients. We look forward to the opportunity to assist you with your claim. For a free consultation, call or contact us today.
There are many factors to consider in any slip and fall case. The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the sooner you can begin taking steps to protect your interests.
Contact the injury lawyers at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., in New York City now for a no-cost evaluation of your case and free advice about your legal rights.