The statute of limitations for filing a civil action for a slip and fall accident is three years from the date of the incident, according to New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules § 214. However, depending on the details of your situation, there are some exceptions to this timeframe. It is important to consult with an experienced slip and fall lawyer to see if any of the exceptions, especially those which shorten your time to take action, apply to your case.
Failing to act within the applicable time period forfeits your right to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other incurred expenses. While three years seems like a generous amount of time, there are a number of reasons why the sooner you act, the better. In addition to the fact that building a successful case takes special attention to detail, it is best to gather evidence as soon as possible after the accident. Witnesses’ memories are best when the events are fresh in their minds. Also, witnesses move, become difficult to find or become unavailable for other reasons, so it is most advantageous to get statements promptly. Other evidence, such as video surveillance footage, may be erased if not demanded promptly. As a general rule, the sooner you contact us, the greater our opportunity to build the strongest case possible on your behalf.
Compensation for Slip and Fall Accidents
If you or a loved one were injured in a New York slip and fall accident, responsibility will likely rest on the owner who oversaw the premises. For example, if you slipped and fell at the grocery store, we will pursue whoever oversees the store’s operations. More generally, if your accident occurred on other types of private property, like an office building, a shopping center parking lot or a store at the mall, your legal team may seek damages from the individual property owner, the tenant in possession, or the property maintenance company, depending upon the particulars of your accident. Assigning responsibility for your accident all depends on the unique circumstances of your case.
If your legal team is able to prove that the property owner was negligent in allowing your accident to occur, you could be able to recover:
- Compensation for monetary expenses, such as medical and rehabilitative bills, lost income, and reduced earning capacity
- Compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and diminished quality of life
However, whether you file a trip and fall claim with the property owner’s insurance or file a personal injury lawsuit, you must do so within the requirements of New York’s statute of limitations for a slip and fall accident.
To promote a smooth recovery process, you should consider seeking the guidance of a personal injury attorney. This will give you the peace of mind to concentrate on your medical treatment for and recovering from your injuries while a dedicated lawyer focuses on your legal time deadlines and your case in general.
When You Have a Slip and Fall Case
To have a valid case, the injured party must show that a responsible party was negligent in connection with the accident and that the negligence was the cause of your injuries. The at-fault party is most often a property owner or manager, however, there are times when there might be other responsible parties involved. To determine who the appropriate parties to the case are calls for thorough investigation and analysis of all the relevant facts and circumstances of the accident. Over more than twenty-five years, our law firm has reviewed thousands of slip and fall accidents. We are thoroughly familiar with the legal rules and all the practical and technical considerations of gathering the necessary evidence and building the strongest case possible.
New York law requires responsible parties to make sure their property is properly maintained to prevent injuries to others. To do this, they must fix unsafe conditions in a timely manner. This is known as a duty of care. If the responsible parties fail to keep their premises free of potential hazards, and a claimant is injured due to this violation, they have the grounds for a slip and fall lawsuit.
Your lawyer would have to prove the liable party was negligent by showing:
- There was a dangerous condition on the property,
- The responsible party knew or should have known about the condition,
- There was time to remedy the hazard, but the party failed to do so,
- This failure to properly fix the danger led to your accident, and
- You suffered damages as a result.
You do not have to move forward with legal action on your own. Since large corporations and management companies have teams of lawyers at the ready, it could be intimidating to confront them without a working knowledge of New York law. This is just one of many reasons why people elect to work with a legal professional following a slip and fall accident. As discussed above and expanded on below, It’s important to start this process as soon as possible because of the New York statute of limitations as well as for all the other timeliness considerations in a slip and fall accident.
Time to Gather Evidence
In addition to meeting the statute of limitations deadline for your slip and fall accident, your attorney needs time to prepare your case and gather evidence to prove your allegations.
This involves some or all of the following:
- Investigating the accident scene and gathering evidence
- Interviewing witnesses
- Handling communications with insurance companies and opposition lawyers
- Consulting with expert witnesses
- Taking your case to trial, if necessary
Let Our Lawyers Handle Your Trip and Fall Case
New York slip and fall laws are complicated. You want a legal team that has a strong record of settling slip and fall cases when appropriate and taking them to trial and presenting them to a jury when necessary, so you can rest assured that your case is in good hands.
The slip and fall lawyers at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. are here to defend your right to compensation as you heal from your injuries. We offer a free consultation to examine the individual facts of your case and further explain how we help. Due to the statute of limitations in New York for a slip and fall accident, it’s important that you get started right away.
Call us today at (516) 932-0400.