Every case is different, so there’s no single strategy guaranteed to win a slip and fall case in NY. However, in order to have a successful slip and fall case, you must prove that the four elements of negligence exist. Retaining a slip and fall accident lawyer can make it far easier to gather the evidence related to your case. In addition, they can help you navigate the complex legal process and avoid potentially costly mistakes.
Four Elements of Negligence
A successful slip and fall claim requires us to establish the following four elements:
This means that the defendant owed you a legal duty to exercise a reasonable amount of care. To win a slip and fall case in NY, this means we must prove that a property owner failed to maintain the inside of the property or, if applicable, exterior walkways and steps, and in the City of New York, the sidewalks in front of a commercial property, such as a store, office building or apartment building.
If there is water on the floor that could potentially cause a fall, a reasonable person would foresee the possibility of a fall and clean the floor, putting up a sign to alert anyone in the store to the danger of a slippery surface. Failure to take these reasonable steps can, if an injury results, support a claim for liability due to such negligence.
Breach of Duty
This means that the person in question breached the duty (i.e., did not behave as a reasonable person is expected to behave). For example, in the City of New York, if a store’s building owner failed to repair the broken sidewalk in front of their tenant’s store, that is a breach of duty. If there has been a spill in one of the aisles of a grocery store and the owner is aware of it but does not take any steps to clean it up, that is a breach of duty. It may even be considered a breach of duty if the owner of the store did not know about the spill but should have and failed to clean it.
Other possible breaches of duty could include:
- Poor lighting
- Missing handrails
- Snow or ice that has been allowed to accumulate
- Loose rugs or mats
- Cables and cords that are unsecured
- Unmarked steps and curbs
This means that the actions the defendant took—or the actions they failed to take—caused a slip and fall accident to occur.
Finally, the plaintiff must have incurred damages as a result of the accident. If there are no damages, then there is nothing that the victim needs to recover or be compensated for. Damages that the victim can recover may include medical expenses, wages from time away from work, pain and suffering, and more.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-932-0400
To Win My Slip and Fall Accident in NY
Our team understands personal injury law and can help you navigate the complexities of your case. Some specific ways we can help include:
- Gathering evidence related to the accident, including eyewitness statements, photos or video surveillance footage from stores or traffic cameras, and police reports
- Obtaining copies of your medical records that document the extent of your injuries
- Gathering bills, receipts, and other documents that show the full extent of your financial losses
- Calculating the value of your case so we can assess what an appropriate settlement would be in your case
- Retaining subject matter experts who can provide statements regarding the extent of your injuries and the impact on your life
- Building a strong case that will help us recover damages for your injuries
New York Laws that Can Affect Your Claim
One law that can impact your slip and fall claim is New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) §214. The state of New York gives a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit for an injury like a slip and fall or for a wrongful death claim. You must file your claim within a certain amount of time after your accident or after the death of your loved one in order to pursue compensation related to the accident. A slip and fall lawyer can explain how the statute of limitations will apply in your case.
Another law that can impact your claim is the effect of comparative negligence, as per CVP §1411. According to this law, you are not barred from recovery if you contributed to the accident, but the damages “shall be diminished in the proportion which the culpable conduct attributable to the claimant or decedent bears to the culpable conduct which caused the damages.”
Simply stated, this means that even if you are somewhat responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, you are not barred from recovering damages. The amount will be lowered according to the proportion of the amount you are at fault.
If you want to answer the question, “How do I win my slip and fall case in NY?” then contact Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. at (516) 932-0400. We will provide you a free evaluation of your claim and explain your options for recovering damages.