Need slip and fall lawyers? When someone is injured on another person’s property, the legal term is “premises liability.” Most people know it as a slip and fall case. If you slip and fall due to a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, the property owner may be held responsible for your injuries. At the law office of Steve Boyd, our Western New York legal team helps many clients pursue these types of cases each year.
Property owners have to keep their property safe by eliminating any known dangers that exist on their property. Dangerous conditions that can cause a slip and fall accident include:
- Icy parking surfaces or sidewalks
- Broken or uneven sidewalks
- Worn steps or broken/missing handrails
- Inadequate lighting
- Slippery substances on the floor
- Loose carpeting
- Uneven flooring or broken floorboards
- Cluttered aisles
If the property owner knew about the dangerous condition and didn’t do anything about it, you might have a case. It’s not automatic, nor is it a guarantee. In most slip and fall cases, you will need to prove the following:
- You fell because of a dangerous condition on the property that presented an unreasonable risk and which a reasonable person would not have anticipated.
- The property owner knew about the dangerous condition. This is called “notice.” It is a requirement and can be challenging to prove.
To win your case, we need to show that the property owner knew or should have known about the condition and had enough time to do something about it.
There are a few ways to show that a property owner knew about a dangerous condition that existed on their property. Ways to prove this can include:
- If the owner caused the hazardous condition.
- The owner or an employee of the owner knew about the hazard and failed to correct it.
- The dangerous condition existed long enough that a reasonable person would have known about it and fixed it before you fell.
New York Courts do not require property owners to watch every little corner of their property all the time. That would be unrealistic. It would also be impractical for Western New York landowners to keep snow and ice off their property all the time. However, they do have to clear a safe path within a reasonable amount of time. If they don’t, they can be held responsible if someone gets hurt.
Most cases settle before trial. When presenting a slip and fall case to a jury in New York, the jury will have to decide what (if any) percentage you are at fault and what percentage the property owner is at fault. Often, a jury will find that the property owner is partly at fault and that you are partially at fault.
The insurance company will often argue that if the property owner could have seen the defect and fixed it, the injured person could have seen it too and avoided it. Even if you are partly at fault for being injured, however, you are still able to recover compensation for your injuries. The types of damages that may be retrieved in a slip and fall lawsuit include, but are not limited to:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Seek Medical Attention – If your injuries are severe, call an ambulance. For less urgent injuries, see your doctor as soon as possible. If you hit your head, get medical care immediately.
Take Pictures of The Scene – Use your phone to photograph the floor, surroundings and any objects that may have caused your fall. If you’re unable to do that, have a friend do it for you.
Identify Witnesses – Obtain contact information for all witnesses.
Preserve Your Clothing – Place the clothes and shoes you were wearing at the time of the accident in a bag to be used as evidence in the future.
Don’t Give Any Written or Recorded Statements – Consult an experienced Buffalo personal injury lawyer before giving a written or recorded statement to an insurance adjuster or anyone representing the property owner.
Notify the Property Owner – If you are in a commercial building, request to see the owner or manager on duty and obtain contact information.
Consult Our Experienced Slip and Fall Lawyers – If you were involved in a slip and fall accident in Buffalo and have suffered an injury on someone else’s property, you should consult with an experienced slip and fall lawyer to learn your rights. You may be entitled to substantial compensation.
The medical bills, lost wages and pain that accompany slip and fall injuries can be overwhelming. If you fell and were hurt in Western New York, contact us today. We’ll explain your legal rights. Call us at 716-600-0000 or 585-600-0000, or send us a message online to arrange a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo slip and fall lawyer.