wet floor sign slip and fall

Roth & Roth provides exceptional legal counsel and representation for New Yorkers harmed in slip and fall accidents. We will advocate on your behalf, ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve. We have a strong reputation throughout New York and are committed to preserving our track record of success. There is no replacement for strong legal advocacy in the aftermath of a slip and fall accident. Look to Roth & Roth for the high-quality legal service you need during this difficult time. 

Roth & Roth has been successfully representing individuals and families throughout the State of New York for over 25 years. If you or someone you know was injured or killed in New York due to someone else's wrongdoing, contact us to discuss your options. Initial consultations are always free and we never get paid unless and until you do.

The term "slip and fall" refers to a specific type of accident in which somebody comes into contact with a slippery surface or unexpected obstruction. The term “trip and fall” refers to the type of incident in which a person trips on an uneven surface or an obstruction and stumbles as opposed to slips. These conditions can cause the victim to fall to the ground. Either the act of falling or a harmful landing may cause severe physical damage, such as broken bones, lacerations, sprains, or traumatic brain injuries.

Slip and fall accidents and trip and fall accidents can be difficult to document and prove. As such, a New York City slip and fall lawyer is an essential resource for anyone who has been injured after a fall.

What are some common causes of slip and fall accidents in New York City?

Slip and fall (and trip and fall) accidents are often prompted by negligence at New York City business premises. This can take many forms, such as:

  • Wet surfaces. From major puddles to tough-to-spot wet areas, any amount of moisture can increase the likelihood of slipping. Some settings—such as restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations—are extra prone to spills, so employees should constantly be on the lookout for signs of moisture. Leaking ceilings are often the cause of wet floors.
  • Lack of warning signs. Mopping or polishing floors may be critical for the sake of hygiene, but these activities can make otherwise safe areas slippery. After cleaning, warning signs should be placed to ensure that customers or clients are aware of potential hazards. 
  • Snow or ice accumulation. Many slip-and-fall accidents involve outdoor walkways. If these are not regularly cleared of snow or ice during the winter months, even sure-footed pedestrians may find themselves vulnerable to falls. 
  • Issues with mats, rugs, or carpets. Whether loose, uneven or torn, surfaces such as rugs or carpeting often make it easy to trip and fall. These should be carefully maintained and examined on a regular basis for potential tears or other issues. 
What steps should I take after suffering a slip and fall accident?

Above all else, it's important to seek medical attention. Injuries that don't seem particularly severe at the outset could cause a world of suffering later on, particularly if you neglect to obtain targeted treatment. 

If possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident. Collect the names and contact information of any witnesses who were present at the time of your fall. These individuals may later be called on to provide valuable testimonies, which may verify your version of events. Look for video cameras that may have recorded the incident.

Don't hesitate to get in touch with a New York slip and fall lawyer. Time is of the essence for this and every type of personal injury case. While an attorney can prove useful at any stage of the process, earlier is always better for the purposes of gathering evidence. 

What is comparative negligence? How does it apply to slip and fall cases in New York?

New York is one of few states to maintain a rule of pure comparative negligence. Under this approach, all those who are involved in personal injury cases are technically capable of obtaining some level of compensation. This ability applies even when one party is ultimately found to be overwhelmingly at fault. 

While comparative negligence is a common concept in New York car accident cases, it can also come into play for slip and fall and/or trip and fall lawsuits. 

In New York, the defendant may argue that the plaintiff shares some degree of fault for the accident. For example, while the plaintiff may claim that his or her accident resulted primarily from wet surfaces, the defendant may point to contributing factors such as the plaintiff not looking where he or she was walking.

What types of damages are available in a New York slip and fall case?

Several types of damages may be within reach after suffering a negligence-related slip and fall accident. These involve two main categories: compensatory and punitive. 

While punitive damages (which aim to punish defendants in extreme cases of recklessness or malicious intent) are rare for slip and fall accidents, they are certainly possible. 

Compensatory damages are far more common. These are meant to compensate slip and fall victims for their physical, emotional, and financial suffering. 

Some of the damages you may be entitled to include:

  • Pain and suffering. Frequently referred to as non-economic damages, pain and suffering relates to the emotional aspect of recovering from a negligence-related injury. Many slip and fall victims experience considerable distress, even when their physical suffering appears to be minimal.
  • Medical treatment costs and bills. From hospital visits to long-term rehabilitative care, patients can accumulate hundreds of thousands or even millions in medical bills after a slip and fall accident. Medical devices or equipment may be covered, as may medications. Imaging is often necessary to determine the extent of the damage, so medical damages should cover the cost of CT scans or MRIs.
  • Lost wages. Depending on the severity of the injury, victims of slip and fall accidents may not be able to return to work immediately. In some cases, their inability to work on a full or even part-time basis may be permanent. Personal injury compensation accounts for lost wages, which can otherwise prove financially devastating for already struggling plaintiffs.
  • Wrongful death damages for loss of support 
What is the New York statute of limitations for slip and fall accidents?

As a type of personal injury lawsuit, slip and fall accidents involve a three-year statute of limitations. The New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules Section 214 specifically states that anyone injured on premises belonging to somebody else should file a lawsuit within three years of the accident's date. 

Cases against the City, municipalities, towns, villages, the Transit Authority, or other municipal entities are subject to a 90-day notice of claim deadline and a one-year and 90-day statute of limitations to commence a lawsuit. 

How can a New York injury attorney help?

The decision to pursue a slip and fall or trip and fall lawsuit is only the beginning. What is just as important? Finding attorneys for these cases who take the unique complications of the local legal landscape into account.

In a typical New York slip and fall case, it is up to the plaintiff to prove:

  • That the plaintiff was harmed by slipping/tripping and falling. The defendant may try to demonstrate that the plaintiff's suffering was caused by other circumstances, such as pre-existing conditions.
  • That the premises in question were hazardous enough to lead to an accident.
  • That the responsible parties knew or should have known of the hazards (or their duty to prevent these risks) but failed to fix the issues that prompted the accident.

For City cases, the City must have prior written notice of the defective condition within 15 days prior to the incident or have caused or created the dangerous hazardous condition to be held liable. 

A skilled New York slip-and-fall lawyer can gather extensive evidence to help plaintiffs demonstrate all three of the essentials highlighted above. This evidence must then be presented in a compelling manner, whether at trial or during the settlement process. 

A strong legal representative can maximize the potential damages available based on the individual circumstances of each slip and fall case. Meanwhile, the best slip/trip and fall accident attorneys limit the emotional burden of this process, thereby allowing their clients to focus on recovery. 

Will my case go to trial?

Some slip and fall cases go to trial, but it is common for resolutions to take place at the settlement level. That being said, trial readiness is an important quality to look for in a New York slip and fall accident lawyer.

The ideal slip and fall or trip and fall attorney will function as an assertive advocate regardless of whether the case is resolved through settlement or via trial. No matter which approach proves advisable, painstaking background work will always prove beneficial to the client's end.

The right attorney can make all of the difference as you proceed with your New York slip and fall case. Empathy is critical, as is attention to detail. Your attorney should provide proactive service through every step of the legal process. 

Roth & Roth is an excellent resource to have in your corner as you seek personal injury damages. We've handled a variety of complicated slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall cases over the years, and we can draw on a wealth of knowledge as we assist you with your lawsuit. We customize our approach to ensure that all clients receive the strategic assistance they need.

Ready to take the next step? We're ready to discuss your case. Our team of New York slip and fall attorneys can provide valuable insight into your potential path forward as a personal injury plaintiff. Contact us today to learn more.

“Roth & Roth were very helpful. They always made me feel comfortable and at ease. They prepared me very well so I wasn’t nervous. I have recommended Roth & Roth to members of my family. And what’s more, I’m happy that even after my case was settled, they still took the time to answer any questions I had.”
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