Bronx Slip and Fall Attorney
Despite recent construction in southern sections of the borough, much of the Bronx still consists of older buildings. Some landlords and commercial tenants keep their properties in good shape. Others, not so much. On a property that has fallen into disrepair, dangerous conditions like cracked floors, uneven steps, slippery floors, and loose railings, tend to crop up like weeds. Left to get worse, these conditions put residents and property visitors at risk of serious injuries in a Bronx slip and fall accident. When an accident does occur, injured victims need a Bronx slip and fall accident lawyer on their side from the start.
Falling, believe it or not, represents one of the most common ways that people of any age, but especially older adults and children, get badly—even fatally—hurt in the Bronx. What looks like a minor fall on a wet floor can, in fact, inflict devastating injuries that take years to heal. Sadly, some never do.
Chronic pain and severe disability from a fall can make life permanently difficult. And expensive.
Fortunately, the law gives victims of dangerous property conditions in the Bronx legal rights to seek financial compensation from landlords, commercial tenants, and others who should have taken steps to fix those conditions (or at least warn about them).
The Bronx personal injury lawyers of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP represents Bronx residents and visitors who got needlessly injured in these preventable incidents. If you fell and sustained a bad injury on someone else’s property, contact our Bronx slip and fall attorneys today for a free case evaluation.
Common questions regarding slip and fall accidents in the Bronx
If you recently suffered an injury because you slipped and fell in the Bronx, you probably have a lot of questions, and you are uncertain where to turn for answers. Read on for answers to some of the most frequent questions about Bronx slip and fall accidents. Keep in mind, though, that your case is unique and you should consult an attorney to determine your potential legal recourse.
What Is the Average Cost of a Bronx Slip and Fall Accident?
How Much Is My Slip and Fall Case Worth?
Slip and fall accidents in the Bronx are never simple, even though they may appear that way at first. Department stores, box stores like Walmart, apartment complexes, and restaurants in the Bronx all owe their patrons a duty of care. They must maintain their properties safely and prevent serious slip and fall accidents from occurring. When they fail, they can be held responsible for the injuries and damages their negligence caused.
But what is your slip and fall case worth? This is a difficult question to answer because there are many factors that can affect the overall outcome of your case. The amount of compensation you can receive depends on:
- Insurance coverage of the business
- The type of injuries and damages you suffered
- How much those injuries will affect your life and future
- Any lost time at work
- How much you contributed to the accident
- The type of negligence that occurred
These are just some of the factors that may affect the overall amount of money you are able to receive. The cost of a slip and fall accident case can easily reach millions, especially if the victim suffered permanent disability or impairment.
For example, suppose you slipped and fell at Walmart and suffered a head injury. According to recent studies, the average cost of a brain injury was somewhere between $85,000 for mild brain injuries and $3 million for traumatic brain injuries. That is just the cost of medical care and treatment. This does not take into account the money needed to pay for direct in-home care, lost benefits, and loss of future earnings.
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), 22 percent of slip and fall accidents resulted in more than 31 days away from work. Compensation and medical costs associated with slip and falls at work cost businesses roughly $70 billion a year.
What Is a Slip and Fall Injury Accident?
So-called slip and fall injuries consist of any injury sustained in an unintentional fall by one person on another person’s property. They are called slip and falls because so many of them result from people losing their footing on slippery surfaces.
However, any kind of preventable fall stemming from a dangerous property condition can qualify as a slip and fall, such as when a person takes a tumble and gets hurt because of:
- An uneven floor surface;
- Worn or torn floor tiles, boards, or carpets, particularly on stairs;
- Recently mopped or waxed floors;
- Spilled liquids, grease, or oil that have not been cleaned up;
- Icy sidewalks that have not been properly salted;
- Improperly constructed or poorly lit staircases;
- Objects or electrical cords stretched across walkways;
- Potholes in parking lots;
- Trash or debris on the floor;
- Unmarked transitions from one type or level of flooring to another; or
- Broken, loose, or missing handrails.
Although people tend to think of falling as a minor incident, falling can in fact cause serious and even fatal injuries.
According to the National Floor Safety Institute:
- Falls are the leading cause of emergency department visits, with slip and fall accidents accounting for around 12 percent of all fall injuries and fatalities in the U.S. Over a million people are treated in emergency departments after suffering a slip and fall accident each year.
- Around 5 percent of people who fall will sustain a bone fracture, which is among the most serious injuries to incur in this type of accident. Among the fractures sustained in falls, hip fractures often have the most catastrophic results, particularly for older people. Falls are the second leading cause of accidental death in people aged 65-84 and the leading cause of accidental death for those over the age of 84.
- Slip and fall accidents in the workplace, while not a primary cause of workplace fatalities, are one of the top reasons for lost days from work and are the leading occupational injury for workers aged 55 and over. Nearly a quarter of the individuals who suffer a slip and fall accident in the workplace are forced to miss 31 days or more of work due to their injuries.
- Falls account for about one-fifth of all accidental injuries in the U.S. and produce an annual cost to society of $13 to $14 million each year.
- About 60 percent of all falls resulting in injury are from the same level, while falls from elevation account for about 40 percent of all fall injuries. The majority of falls in the home are same-level falls, while falls from elevation are a common cause of workplace fatalities.
No matter how a person suffers a Bronx slip and fall injury, however, the slip and fall accident lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP have the experience and know-how to investigate and find out who might have legal liability for damages.
What should I do following a Bronx slip and fall accident?
The steps you take in the immediate aftermath of a Bronx slip and fall accident may be crucial to your success in bringing a slip and fall claim.
Some steps you should take include:
- Documenting the accident scene – If you can do so safely, or if you have a companion with you, document the accident scene. This may involve taking photographs of the accident scene focusing on the cause of the fall. Having photographic evidence of the cause of your fall can be important when filing a claim.
- Obtain information from bystanders – Anyone who was near your accident can help when you file a claim. Ask each of them for their names and contact information. If you can’t communicate with witnesses right away but police respond to the scene, you may track down witnesses later through a police report.
- Address your injuries immediately – Get medical attention as soon as possible after the fall. While you may immediately notice some injuries, such as broken bones, other injuries may not manifest until days later. Seeking medical care and making sure the doctor knows the circumstances of your fall is important to identifying potential injuries and making sure you receive any necessary treatment as soon as possible.
- File an accident report – If the accident happened on someone’s property, the property owner may have an internal accident report which they must file. Find out from someone in charge — a store manager, or security personnel in a public building — what their process is for reporting accidents involving an injury and provide them the basic information about the incident.
- Document your experience – One of the most important things you can do while the accident is fresh in your mind is document the incident as accurately as possible. This includes writing down what you experienced, your observations about the setting, any statements which were made to you by anyone who works in the building, and whether or not you have any idea about what caused the accident.
Your safety should always come first. However, documenting the accident scene can help if you later bring a claim. If you are seriously injured and cannot take any of these steps, you might ask someone you trust to take care of some of them on your behalf.
Are there things I should avoid after a Bronx slip and fall accident?
Yes. Often, victims of slip and fall accidents inadvertently undermine their own claims. If you are one of the many people who tend to speak out of fear or nerves, please use caution immediately after the accident.
You should avoid:
- Underplaying your injuries – If you are like a lot of people, falling in public is embarrassing. It is common for people to downplay their injuries immediately after a fall. This could come back to hurt you in bringing a slip and fall accident claim, particularly if you tell the property owner, an employee at the facility. A comment as seemingly benign as “I’m fine” could be used as evidence against your claim about the severity of your injury.
- Speculating about the accident – Avoid speculating about the reason you slipped and fell. Starting to make out-loud guesses about what caused the accident could jeopardize your claim in a similar way to underplaying your injuries. Photographs and witness statements can help put together a clearer picture of what occurred.
- Sharing too much with the property owner – The property owner should know the location of the accident and basic information about what happened. You may also provide them with your name and contact information. However, avoid saying much more beyond that, other than if it is to alert others to an injury for which you require medical attention.
- Speaking with insurance adjusters – The property owner is likely to notify their insurance company immediately following your accident. They may call you in the hours or days following the accident. Avoid talking to the insurance company until you have consulted with a Bronx slip and fall accident attorney.
- Signing documents from an insurer – Finally, never sign any documents from the insurance company without first speaking with our experienced lawyers.
You can jeopardize your own claim if you talk about the accident with anyone other than an experienced lawyer. The insurer may request a written statement after the accident. Speak with our attorneys first and ask for their guidance before you sign and send these forms back.
Who can be held liable for injuries in a Bronx slip and fall accident?
The answer to this complicated question depends on several factors that require a careful review. For example, if you fell on a wet floor at a locally-owned grocery store, the answer may seem simple: You may hold the owner of the store liable if they failed to place proper signage for a wet floor. But other facts could complicate the question of their liability, such as if another shopper had just dropped a bottle of juice on the floor, not giving the store owner enough time to notice and respond to the spill before you came upon it.
If you fell at a commercial site, the answer could be even more complicated. Many commercial properties are leased. Lease agreements may have clauses on them that require the person leasing the property to maintain the property in a safe condition. This may mean that, rather than the landlord, the lessor would be responsible. Each case is different, which is why it is important to consult with an attorney to identify all potentially responsible parties.
Can more than one party be liable for injuries in a Bronx slip and fall accident?
Yes. A landlord, property manager, maintenance company, and others may have each done something negligent that contributed to your accident, and thus each of them could share liability for your injuries. Only after a thorough review of the situation can we identify the parties responsible for your injuries, and to what extent.
What do I need to prove a Bronx slip and fall case?
In Bronx slip and fall accident lawsuits, victims must prove a defendant:
- Owed you a duty of care – For example, property owners generally have a duty of care to ensure their property is safe for lawful visitors.
- Was aware of the hazard – This point is important because it sometimes goes to timing. For example, a broken handrail is a hazard and should be repaired immediately. But a property owner might not notice the disrepair right away and didn’t address it. On the other hand, if the rail has been broken for six weeks by the time of your accident, then the property owner should be aware of it.
- The hazard caused your injury – The simple fact that there was an unsafe condition on a property is insufficient if it was not the unsafe condition that caused your fall.
The law in Bronx slip and fall accident cases can be complex. Working with an experienced Bronx slip and fall attorney who has extensive knowledge and experience handling these complicated cases can be one of the best ways to bring as strong a claim as possible.
How long do I have to file a claim for a Bronx slip and fall accident?
This may depend largely on where your accident occurred. For example, if you suffered an injury in a government-owned facility in the Bronx—for example, at the Bergen Building, or the Bronx Hall of Justice—you have only 90 days to file a complaint. The current statute of limitations–the period during which you must file a lawsuit–in most Bronx slip and fall claims is three years, but there are exceptions. While this may seem like you have a long time, it passes quickly, and there are several steps to take before you can file a lawsuit. The best thing you can do is contact an attorney as soon after your accident as possible.
Waiting too long to file a claim not only jeopardizes waiving your opportunity to sue, it may weaken your evidence. For instance, your recollection and witnesses’ recollections of the accident have faded. Additionally, it often takes time to determine who owned the building, who was responsible for the maintenance, and other pertinent information to identify all potentially liable parties.
What should I do about the insurance adjuster’s telephone calls?
Refer them to your lawyer. Keep in mind the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company. They are not there to work in your best interest, but rather to find ways to deny or minimize your claim. This means they may ask you open-ended questions to get you to admit to something that hurts your case, may ask you to record a statement, or may try other ways to push you into a corner.
How can the insurer say I am responsible for my injury?
Insurance companies use various tactics to minimize their risk exposure—they define risk as paying out a claim against the client who is paying their premium.
Some of the tactics an insurance company may deploy in a Bronx slip and fall accident include:
- Alleging that the victim was not paying attention – The insurer may claim if you had been paying attention, you would not have slipped, fallen, and injured yourself. Whether or not or to what extent this is true, the property owner or lessor has a responsibility to make sure the property is safe. Had the hazard not existed, you would not have suffered an injury.
- The victim wore inappropriate shoes – This is one of those claims that border on ridiculous. You should not have to consider what shoes you wore to safely shop or dine at a normal establishment. Be it sneakers, flip-flops, boots, or any other footwear–you might fall regardless, due to a hazardous condition.
- The victim was already injured – If you have had prior medical treatment for, say, a back injury, and you suffered another back injury in a slip and fall accident, the insurance company may try to limit its liability by alleging that you had a preexisting condition that is to account for your damages.
How much is a Bronx slip and fall claim worth?
While a most common question, this is also a question with no hard and fast answer. The amount you can recover will depend on the extent of your injuries, your anticipated recovery time, how long you will be out of work, and numerous other factors. Talk to your lawyer about your specific claim, they can give you additional information about the potential value of an insurance claim or a Bronx slip and fall lawsuit.
Do all Bronx slip and fall claims wind up going to court?
No. In fact, the vast majority of Bronx slip and fall claims settle out of court. Sometimes, an insurance company will agree to a fair and reasonable settlement, and will bring your case to a resolution, rather than making you wait for the long process of a lawsuit to unfold.
How much does a Bronx slip and fall lawyer cost?
We offer a free initial consultation. If you determine that hiring us is your best option, we will explain our fee structure. We work on a contingency fee basis in slip and fall cases, which means you do not pay legal fees unless we secure a settlement or court award for damages on your behalf. You may need to pay other fees, including filing fees, but we will explain them to you in advance so they don’t surprise you later on.
Common Types of Injuries From a Slip and Fall Accident
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we help injured slip and fall accident victims like you. We know the ins and outs of slip and fall accident cases and we know how to gather the evidence needed to prove liability. Our lawyers work quickly and efficiently to determine who is to blame for your accident. We meet with medical experts and witnesses and build a solid case to help you collect maximum compensation. We do this because we know how devastating slip and fall accident injuries truly are. Our team of experienced Bronx slip and fall accident attorneys has represented victims who suffered from a wide range of injuries, including:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Hip injuries
Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Occur in the Bronx?
A slip and fall accident can occur anywhere in the Bronx, from private homes to public property and everything in between. Some of the most common places where slip and fall accidents happen the most include:
- The Bronx Zoo
- Yankee Stadium
- Bronx Museum of Arts
- Subway stations
- NYC Health and Hospitals
- Shopping areas
Who is Responsible for Bronx Slip and Fall Accidents?
Owners and managers of residential, commercial, and even public properties in the Bronx have a legal obligation to keep the property free of unsafe conditions that could cause a slip and fall injury.
The duties they owe vary depending on what sort of permission the visitor to the property has to to be there:
- Invitees: People the owner invites onto the property for the owner’s (usually business) purposes, called invitees, have the right to expect the owner to keep the property free of dangerous conditions, and to warn them about conditions the owner knows about or should know about. Customers of stores and restaurants, and people visiting a professional in an office building, are invitees, for example.
- Licensees: People who the owner allows onto the property for their own purposes, called licensees, have the right to expect the owner to warn them about known dangers and for the owner not to put them in harm’s way intentionally. A party guest is typically considered a licensee under New York law, as are people who come onto a property as part of performing a service, like electricians, plumbers, or delivery people.
- Trespassers: Adults who have no permission to come onto a property are called trespassers. Adult trespassers can only expect the owner not to harm them intentionally (and even that right has limits).
- Child trespassers. Children, however, are different. Property owners must take reasonable steps to keep all children safe from the dangers of any property feature that is likely to attract a child onto someone’s property, regardless of whether children have permission to be there. Property features subject to this rule include swimming pools, trampolines, and piles of material on construction sites, for example.
No matter what the circumstances of an injury you or your child suffered on someone else’s property in the Bronx, speak with the experienced slip and fall attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP as soon as possible after the accident. Chances are you have significant rights to recover substantial compensation for your injuries, even if you did not have the owner’s explicit permission to come onto the property. No property owner should get away with ignoring a dangerous property condition that caused you to fall and get hurt.
Property owners can prevent a slip and fall accident from occurring on a property, such as:
- Cleaning up all spills immediately. If the spill can’t be cleaned up right away, a “wet floor” sign should be posted in a highly visible place near the spill. The use of powdery spill absorbent can help dry up the wet surface.
- Keeping walkways and hallways free from clutter and debris.
- Avoiding stretching electrical cords across areas of the floor where people walk or covering these cords so that they do not create tripping hazards for visitors or workers.
- Closing filing cabinet drawers and doors when not in use.
- Promptly replacing burned out bulbs to provide an area for visitors that is well lit.
- Installing abrasive floor mats or replacing worn flooring to prevent slipping hazards.
- Avoiding using floor waxes or polishes that make the surface of the floor slick.
- Encouraging workers to wear proper, non-skid shoes. Depending on the property features, it may be appropriate to encourage visitors to wear non-slip footwear as well.
- Securing mats and area rugs that will not lie flat, to prevent raised corners, folds, or ripples that can result in falls.
- Fill in sidewalk or walkway cracks immediately.
- Ensure that high-use, high-risk areas such as stairwells and basements have proper lighting.
- Ensuring that icy walkways and paths are properly shoveled and salted and warning visitors of these icy areas with a prominently placed sign.
In other words, if you fell and got hurt because of a condition on a Bronx property that, when you think about it, the landlord or property owner really should have fixed or at least warned you about, then New York law likely entitles you to receive significant financial compensation. The Bronx slip and fall accident lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP are here to help.
5 Steps to Follow After a Slip and Fall Accident:
Following these tips can help you protect your legal rights after sustaining an injury at a residential, commercial, or public property in the Bronx:
- Follow all medical treatment plans. By now, you likely have seen a doctor and received treatment for your injuries. However, this is not enough. You must follow your doctor’s treatment plan precisely. Be sure to attend all doctor’s visits, therapy sessions, and testing. Refill all medications as well. Failure to follow doctor’s orders will signal to the insurance companies that you are not as injured as you claim to be.
- Gather evidence. We understand that you are not an investigator and your time is better spent on your recovery. However, if possible, gather the names and contact information of anyone who saw your accident. Write down all details of the accident while it is fresh in your mind, including what happened and the property owner’s response to the accident. Ask a friend or family member to take a picture of the property condition before the property owner fixes it. This can help your lawyer tremendously when a full investigation into your accident begins.
- File a report. Report your injury to the property owner, but do not demand compensation (your lawyer will do this) and do not accept any offer by the property owner to pay you or to “make things right.” Make your report in writing, either on a form provided by the property owner or in a simple letter describing what happened. Keep a duplicate copy for yourself.
- Avoid social media. Stay off social media to avoid jeopardizing your legal rights. Defense attorneys and insurance companies monitor social media feed to try to find information that can make it seem like you did not get injured, or that you are not as injured as you claim.
- Call a Bronx slip and fall attorney. Call Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, and ask about your right to compensation. We offer free initial consultations so you can review your legal options and get the answers you need.
Recovering Damages after a Bronx Slip and Fall Accident
Victims of Bronx slip and fall accidents have only three years to take legal action against a private property owner who has legal liability for their injury, and even less time if a public entity owned the property. As such, it is important to act quickly and contact a lawyer immediately.
Every case has its own unique aspects, but generally speaking, a Bronx slip and fall injury victim can take legal action to recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Emergency treatment
- Diagnostic testing
- Physician services
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages. Slip and fall injuries can result in victims being too injured for work or having to miss work to attend medical appointments related to slip and fall injuries.
- Loss of future earnings and benefits. Some slip and fall injuries result in permanent impairment and disability.
- Pain and suffering. Physical pain, emotional suffering, and other harm to the quality of life can be caused by a slip and fall injury.
No lawyer can guarantee that a slip and fall injury victim will recover all, or even any, of the categories of damages listed above. However, the most reliable way to give yourself the best shot at obtaining maximum compensation is to seek the help of a skilled Bronx slip and fall injury attorney as soon as possible.
Experience in Slip and Fall Accident Cases in the Bronx
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, our Bronx slip and fall accident lawyers have extensive experience helping injured victims and their families. We know that slip and fall accidents are serious and often require extensive medical treatment in order to begin healing. Sometimes, slip and fall accident injuries are so severe, recovery is not an option.
Our attorneys have successfully negotiated, settled, and litigated personal injury cases across the Bronx. We know the local courthouses, judges, and insurers that will likely be involved in your case. Our extensive understanding of premises liability law in New York enables us to fight aggressively for our clients from the very start.
In fact, our track record speaks volumes. Here are just a few of our most recent successful slip and fall accident cases.
- $2 million in Bronx trip and fall accident
- $1.625 million in Manhattan fall at a construction site
- $650,000 in fall outside New York home
- $600,000 in Manhattan slip and fall accident
While past results never guarantee future success, we have the resources and experience necessary to tackle complex slip and fall accident cases. We offer personalized and compassionate guidance at every turn while delivering high-quality legal services. It’s what we do and it’s why so many injured Bronx residents choose us to represent them.
When you suffer an injury in a slip and fall accident in West Bronx, Highbridge, Melrose, or anywhere in the Bronx, you need a local law firm that can get to you quickly. Our law firm has an office located directly in the Bronx at 656 East Fordham Road, just down the street from the New York Botanical Garden and Fordham University.
Contact an experienced Bronx slip and fall attorney at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP immediately after your accident. If it is difficult to get to our office or come in for your free consultation, don’t worry. We can often visit you in your hospital room or at your home while you recover, and we are also available virtually.
Call Our Experienced Bronx Slip and Fall Attorneys Today
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a fall at a Bronx property, no matter the circumstances, New York law likely entitles you to substantial compensation, if you act quickly.
Contact the experienced Bronx slip and fall injury attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP right now.
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