Slips, trips, and falls are common. You may trip and fall over loose carpeting at a friend’s house or slip and fall on spilled water in a grocery store. This accident can happen at any time, in any location. We are here to help you with our slip and fall accident lawyers in Levittown.
However, just because it is common and occurs regularly does not make it less serious. The consequences of a slip, trip, and fall accident can be devastating, leaving you and your family grappling with significant medical costs and financial hardship. You may also need months or years of treatment for injuries, resulting in almost unending pain and suffering.
At The Law Offices of Joseph J. Perrini, III, our experienced slip and fall accident lawyers in Levittown understand the impact of slip and fall incidents. We also understand the laws related to these situations and how to help you secure the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Incidents in Levittown
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere—at home, the workplace, and even when walking down the street. These incidents are far more common than you might think and often result from negligence.
Understanding the common causes may help you avoid becoming a victim.
Wet and Slippery Surfaces
One of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents is wet or slippery surfaces. This includes things like a freshly mopped floor at the grocery store without proper signage or a spill at a local restaurant that has not been cleaned.
Regardless of the cause, hazards like these can be extremely dangerous and lead to serious accidents. New York law requires property owners to address these conditions to reduce the possibility of a slip and fall accident.
Uneven Flooring and Broken Sidewalks
You might be surprised how often uneven flooring or broken sidewalks contribute to slips and falls. A crack in the pavement or a loose floor tile can easily trip someone, leading to injuries that range from minor scrapes to severe fractures. In public spaces and private properties, it is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that flooring and walkways are properly maintained.
Inadequate lighting can make otherwise manageable hazards nearly invisible. A step, a gap, or even a random object on the ground can turn into a dangerous obstacle when you can’t see it clearly. Property owners should ensure all areas are adequately lit, particularly where foot traffic is common.
Whether it’s a cluttered store aisle or an obstructed staircase, these environments create the “perfect storm” to cause an accident. Items left carelessly in walkways, temporary displays that impede movement, and even electrical cords can all lead to trips and falls.
While property owners can’t control the weather, they are still responsible for dealing with its aftermath. Ice and snow are common culprits in New York in outdoor slip and fall accidents. Property owners must take reasonable steps to remove or treat ice and snow on sidewalks, parking lots, and other outdoor areas.
Common Injuries Seen in Levittown Slip and Fall Accidents
While the term “slip and fall” may sound benign, the reality is that these accidents can result in a wide array of injuries. The impact can range from minor bumps and bruises to severe, life-altering conditions.
Understanding the common injuries associated with slip and fall accidents can help you appreciate the seriousness of these incidents.
Sprains and Strains
One of the most frequent outcomes of a slip and fall is a sprain or strain, particularly in the wrist or ankle. These injuries occur when the ligaments are stretched or torn, often due to an awkward landing. Though generally not life-threatening, sprains and strains can be incredibly painful and may require physical therapy for complete recovery.
Fractures are another common injury resulting from slip and fall accidents. The impact of hitting the ground can easily break bones, particularly in vulnerable areas like the wrist, hip, or collarbone. Broken bones are not only painful but may also necessitate surgical intervention and extended periods of physical therapy.
Perhaps the most concerning of all slip and fall injuries are head injuries, including concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The impact of the head hitting the ground or another object can have lasting effects, affecting cognitive function, memory, and emotional well-being. Immediate medical attention is crucial for any head injury.
Spinal Cord and Back Injuries
The back and spinal cord are particularly vulnerable in slip and fall accidents. Falls can result in herniated disks, fractured vertebrae, or even spinal cord injuries that can lead to permanent disability. These injuries often require long-term medical treatment and can have life-altering implications.
The Importance of Immediate Medical Attention
If you’ve been involved in a slip and fall accident, seeking medical attention immediately is crucial, even if you feel fine. Some injuries, like internal bleeding or concussions, may not immediately show symptoms. Prompt diagnosis and treatment can make a significant difference in your recovery and could also serve as essential evidence if you decide to pursue a legal claim.
The Laws Surrounding Slip and Fall Accidents in New York
Property owners—individuals, companies, or governmental entities—have a legal obligation to maintain a reasonably safe environment in New York. This “duty of care” means owners should take appropriate measures to fix known hazards or warn visitors about them. Failure to do so could lead to liability in case of a slip and fall accident on the premises.
Comparative Negligence in New York
New York operates under a “comparative negligence” system. Simply put, if you’re injured in a slip and fall accident, your compensation might be reduced if you are found to be partially at fault.
For example, if you were texting while walking and didn’t see a hazard, a court might determine that you were 30% at fault for the accident. That percentage would then reduce your total compensation.
Statute of Limitations
After a slip and fall accident, you have a set amount of time to file a legal claim against the at-fault party. In Levittown, this is three years from the date of the accident. If you do not file a claim within three years, you will likely lose the right to.
Proving Liability in Slip and Fall Accidents
After a slip and fall accident, establishing who is at fault—or “liable”—is crucial to seek compensation for your injuries. While every situation is unique, there are general guidelines that can help you prove liability in a slip and fall case. Knowing what evidence to gather and what legal principles to understand can significantly influence the outcome of your claim.
Document the Hazardous Condition
The primary factor in proving liability is establishing that a hazardous condition existed and that the property owner knew or should have known about it. This could be a wet floor, uneven pavement, or poor lighting. Photographs, surveillance footage, and eyewitness accounts are valuable in substantiating the existence of a hazard.
Prove Owner Negligence
Once the hazardous condition is established, the next step is proving that the property owner negligently failed to address it. For example, if the property owner knew about a broken staircase railing but did nothing to fix it, this could be considered negligence. Maintenance records, previous complaints, or company policies can be evidence.
Determine “Reasonable” Action
The term “reasonable” often comes up in liability cases. Would a “reasonable” person have identified and rectified the hazardous condition? If the answer is yes, the property owner may be liable for failing to take reasonable action. This can be somewhat subjective and may require expert testimony to establish what “reasonable” means in the specific context of your case.
What Is the Process to File a Slip and Fall Accident Claim in Levittown?
If you are injured because of someone’s negligence, following the right steps is essential to help you secure the compensation you deserve.
Initial Steps: Seek Medical Attention and Document Evidence
If you’ve suffered a slip and fall accident in Levittown, the first and most crucial step is to seek immediate medical attention. Even if your injuries seem minor, a medical examination will provide official documentation that can be essential when filing a claim. Alongside medical evidence, photograph the scene where the accident occurred, and try to collect witness statements, which can prove invaluable later.
Notify the Property Owner
After taking care of your immediate health needs, the next step is to notify the property owner or the person responsible for the premises where the fall occurred. Depending on the location—private residence, public space, or business—you may need to fill out an incident report. Always request a copy for your records.
Consult an Attorney
Given the complexity of slip and fall cases, consulting an attorney experienced in personal injury law can greatly improve your chances of success. They can help gather evidence, contact insurance companies, and provide valuable legal advice tailored to your situation.
File the Claim
In New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including slip and falls, is three years from the accident date. Your slip and fall accident lawyers in Levittown will guide you through the filing process, including notifying the responsible party’s insurance company and filing a lawsuit if necessary.
Settlement or Trial
Once your claim is filed, you may receive a settlement offer. Your slip and fall accident lawyers in Levittown will help you assess whether the offer adequately covers your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. The case may go to trial if a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached.
Our Proven Approach to Slip and Fall Cases
When you come to our experienced Levittown slip and fall accident lawyers, we will take over the legal aspect of your case to help you recover compensation. Our services include:
First, we start by thoroughly investigating the circumstances of your slip and fall accident. We collect evidence, talk to witnesses, and consult with experts if necessary.
Once we have all the information, we sit down with you to discuss the best course of action. Our initial consultations are always free because we believe that everyone should have access to high-quality legal advice.
After we’ve decided to move forward, our legal team begins building a strong case on your behalf. This includes negotiating with insurance companies and preparing for the possibility of a courtroom trial.
What Sets Us Apart
Some of the factors that help set us apart from other attorneys include:
In-Depth Knowledge of New York Laws
Our team is well-versed in the intricacies of New York state laws as they pertain to slip and fall accidents. From statute limitations to local ordinances, we cover every angle to give you the best chance at a fair and just settlement.
We treat every client as an individual, not a case number. You’ll have direct access to our attorneys throughout your case, and we’ll keep you informed every step of the way.
Proven Track Record
With years of experience and countless successful cases, we have a proven track record of obtaining favorable client outcomes.
Contact Us Today
If you’re in Levittown, New York, and you’ve been the victim of a slip and fall accident, don’t hesitate to reach out. Time is of the essence, as New York has a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.