Bronx Slip and Fall Lawyer
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.
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, if they ever 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.
What Is a Slip and Fall Injury?
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 tothe 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 personal injury lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP have the experience and know-how to investigate and find out who might have legal liability for damages.
A Bronx Property Owner’s Legal Responsibility for Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents
Owners and managers of residential, commercial, and even public properties 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, 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.
How Property Owners Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents
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 really should have fixed or at least warned you about, then New York law likely entitles you to receive significant financial compensation. Jacoby & Meyers, LLP can help.
If You Were Injured in a Bronx Slip and Fall Accident…
In addition to broken bones, slip and fall accidents can cause other serious harm, such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Following these tips can help you protect your legal rights after sustaining an injury at a residential, commercial, or public property in the Bronx:
- Seek medical attention promptly (immediately if necessary, and in all cases within 24 hours), even if you do not feel injured. Many serious injuries do not show symptoms right away. Not seeing a doctor after a fall could allow those injuries to grow worse. A thorough evaluation by a doctor ensures that any injuries you do have get the attention they need. Additionally, the record of your hospital visit is an important piece of evidence demonstrating how your injury happened, and that you did not do anything that made it worse.
- If possible, gather the names and contact information of anyone who saw your accident, so that your lawyer can contact them later as potential witnesses.
- If possible, take photos of the property hazard that caused your accident, including any signage warning of the issue. Be sure to photograph the hazard from different angles, showing the surrounding area. Try to do this before the property owner fixes the condition. You want a record of it as it looked when you fell.
- 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.
- Stay off of social media to avoid jeopardizing your legal rights. Defense attorneys and insurance companies monitor social media feeds 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 Jacoby & Meyers, LLP and ask about your right to compensation.
Rights to Damages for a Bronx Slip and Fall Injury
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.
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, including emergency treatment, diagnostic testing, hospitalization, physician services, prescription medications, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages due to being too injured for work or having to miss work to attend medical appointments related to slip and fall injuries.
- Physical pain, emotional suffering, and other harm to the quality of life 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.
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.
You can start a chat with one of our live representatives, send us information through our contact form, or call (718) 294-0813 for a free case evaluation.
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“We had the most amazing trial attorney at Jacoby and Meyers…. My sister was hit by a car in a parking lot and was really hurt. Sharon fought so hard in court for her. Sharon was really well liked by the people in the Court and did so much for my sister on her case…. It is a great firm and I highly recommend it to anyone with an injury case.”
Review by: Carolina V.
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