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New York Personal Injury Law Blog

Friday, May 4, 2018

Proving Your Slip and Fall Claim

Slip and fall accidents happen every day. In most situations, they cause minor bumps and bruises. In serious cases, they can cause bone fractures, head injuries, and other severe injuries.

It is a good idea to get medical care after a slip and fall, even if you think your injuries are relatively minor. It can be hard to detect when you may have a head injury or other serious health concern.

In some slip and fall cases, you might be able to recover damages for your injuries. Those damages could address things like medical expenses and lost wages. However, you must meet very specific legal specifications to prove your case. One of those requirements is that someone else caused your fall. Simply tripping over your own feet generally won’t create legal ability.

To get an idea of what might trigger a legal case, consider these common causes of slip and fall accidents.

  • Debris on the ground
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Poor maintenance or upkeep
  • Failing to warn about areas that are wet from cleaning

Even when your case falls into one of these general categories, you should also show some additional factors as well.

The Property Owner Knew or Should Have Known About the Dangerous Condition

In every slip and fall case, you need to show that the property owner or manager knew about the dangerous condition that caused your fall. You should also prove that they did nothing to correct it or did not address it adequately to prevent injury.

Proving what a property owner knew can be very difficult. Thankfully, you can also show that even if the property owner didn’t know about the condition, he or she should have. Evidence regarding whether the owner performed regular maintenance on the property will be helpful for this type of argument. Showing how long a condition existed before it caused injury can also be useful evidence for your case.

Alternatively, you may also be able to show that the property owner caused the dangerous condition. If this is the case, then he or she surely knew about the hazard.

There Were No Warnings About the Hazard, or the Warnings Were Inadequate

Many store owners will put up “Slippery When Wet” signs to warn customers about a spill or when the floor was just mopped. This type of warning lets clients know that they should take extra care when walking through this area.

Warnings will often protect property owners from liability if they are adequate. If you did not see the sign, it might not have been enough to warn you about the potential hazards in that area.

Your Injury Was a Direct Result of Your Fall

Last, you must also show that your fall directly caused the injuries you have sustained. If your damages are only remotely connected to your fall, you may night be able to claim costs associated with that injury. In some situations, you will need expert medical evidence to prove this part of your case.


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