In New York, most slips and falls in retail establishments occur because of the owner’s negligence. You may need legal representation from an experienced premises liability attorney in these situations. With an attorney, you will be able to recover the compensation you deserve for medical treatment costs, lost wages, and additional damages related to the injuries you sustain.
Understanding How Slip and Fall Accidents Happen
A slip and fall accident can take place if a person loses their balance and falls on the ground because of a hazardous or unsafe condition (i.e., water, oil, snow, etc.).
When a slip and fall accident occurs, the victim may sustain several injuries, including (but not limited to):
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
According to the NYSDOH (New York State Department of Health), a fall injury is usually not a true accident. These are mostly preventable.
Additionally, some age groups are more likely to be involved in a slip and fall accident and injury than others, such as those over age 65. In fact, these individuals are considered the most “at-risk” age group because of reduced bone density and pre-existing health conditions.
New York Slip and Fall vs. Trip and Fall Incidents
If you want to file a lawsuit for falling in a retail store, you must determine if you experienced a trip or slip incident.
A slip-and-fall accident usually involves someone falling backward after stepping on something that causes the leg to “slip” from under them. With these incidents, the person will usually land on their backside and experience injuries to the skull, neck, or back.
A trip and fall accident usually involves the body falling forward after the food is caught on or hits something in front of them. This type of accident usually involves knee, wrist, and arm injuries.
If someone falls to their side, the accident can be called a slip or trip incident, depending on if the leg went to the front or behind them.
How Do Slip and Fall Incidents Happen at Retail Establishments?
Even though a slip and fall accident can occur anywhere, there are many that happen on business or corporate properties. Usually, these incidents occur because of unsafe conditions on the property.
If a dangerous condition could have been fixed or eliminated before the accident occurred, then the victim may be legally allowed to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party (usually the business owner, occupier, etc.).
Retail establishments have people to clean and wax the floors regularly. This creates slippery conditions if proper dry time is not allotted. Messes and spills can also create hazards that can cause slip-and-fall accidents.
Business owners must place warning signs near or around potential hazards in these situations. This helps customers avoid them and prevents the possibility of someone being injured.
Proving a Slip and Fall Incident at a Retail Establishment
In a retail establishment, you (with the help of your attorney) must prove the following:
- The property owner or person/company in charge was negligent and
- The negligence caused your injuries.
For example, you must be able to prove an employee was negligent when putting up “wet floor” signs, removing ice from a walkway, or alerting customers to a spill or mess.
Challenges of Proving Retail Store Negligence
It is often challenging to prove negligence in slip, trip, and fall cases. For example, the employee or property owner may have a reason to not see the hazard before the victim fell. Trying to prove otherwise requires help from an experienced New York slip-and-fall attorney.
Additionally, proving negligence in slip and fall cases is challenging if the hazardous element in the case is inclement weather. For example, a person may go to a store when it is snowing and slip and fall in the parking lot right after it snows. In this situation, the manager or property owner may claim they did not have sufficient time to correct the hazardous conditions before the victim fell.
This will also impact the amount of compensation awarded in the case. In some cases like this, the case is settled when both parties are given partial blame for the accident. The damages a victim incurs will also play a part in their compensation.
Because of the challenges related to these cases, it is recommended that victims retain the services of an experienced slip-and-fall attorney to help maximize the settlement offer they receive.
Types of Compensation You Can Receive After a Slip and Fall in a Retail Establishment
Victims of a slip and fall accident may be able to receive compensation for their injuries and related losses. However, they must prove negligence and the cost of their recovery. There is no question that the cost of going to the doctor, surgeries, medications, and even traveling to appointments can add up. Filing a slip-and-fall lawsuit may be the best way to recover these costs.
New York has a statute of limitations (time limit) on how long an accident victim must file a lawsuit. Here, it is three years. Because of this, victims need to file their claim within that time frame to pursue compensation.
Parties who are proven to be responsible for slip and fall accidents and injuries may have to pay for the following:
- Medical costs (past, present, and future)
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
Let Our Legal Team Help with Your Slip and Fall Case in New York
If you slip and fall at a New York retail establishment, contact our legal team to ensure your rights to compensation are protected. We will help you recover the compensation you deserve.