Brooklyn Slip and Fall Lawyer
Among the different types of personal injury accidents, one of the most common and damaging in Brooklyn is the slip and fall. You might not think much about how something so simple can so damage someone’s health until you fall yourself. The experienced Brooklyn Slip and Fall Attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP are available for free case evaluation to learn about your legal rights.
Negligence causes the vast majority of Brooklyn slip and fall injuries.
Though you might think litigation over something that has happened to everyone at some point in their lives feels unnecessary, you should know more about the extent of slip and fall injuries, the different ways they can hurt you, and the prolonged damage—not to mention pain and suffering—people often struggle with throughout the recovery process.
For more information, read on—or call the Brooklyn slip and fall attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, to find out how we can help you recover compensation caused by a fall that resulted from someone else’s negligence.
What Is a Slip and Fall Injury?
A slip and fall injury is basically any injury that results in a fall due to loss of traction or a stable surface on which to walk or stand. Slipping due to loss of traction usually means that a person in an upright position, either walking, standing, or running, loses their footing for any variety of reasons, and impacts the ground with the force of their body (with some help from gravity). You might not see signs of an injury immediately afterward, and all slip and fall accidents warrant getting checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible.
Where in Brooklyn Can This Happen?
- Stores: Whether it is a result of a freshly mopped floor, a floor that is still slick from a recent waxing, or an area that has not been properly cordoned off due to a wet spill, slip and fall injuries are very common. Grocery stores are very common places for this to happen, due to the nature of the merchandise, though it is not unheard of to slip and fall at other places of business. Businesses have an obligation to their customers to provide a safe environment, and to do what they can to prevent falls. People with disabilities, the elderly, and people who otherwise would not have to concern themselves with slipping and falling need to be given advanced warning of an area where they could potentially fall. And spills, cleaners, and other slipping hazards need to be clearly marked and remediated as soon as possible.
- Wet/icy sidewalks: Just like the inside of a place of business, a storefront, business, or government building has an obligation to keep the entryway and sidewalks around the building clear of snow and ice, and provide warning if it becomes wet. Concrete and asphalt can become very slippery when wet or icy. Sand and de-icer need to be applied early and often to ensure a safe walking surface. Inside a building, people can track in water and snow, and the owner or occupant needs to supply mats as well as warning signs to let visitors know about potential slipping hazards.
- Parking lots: Stores often focus more on the inside of their business than the outside, but a parking lot is where all the customers are coming from and is no less important. Business owners have a responsibility to their clientele to keep their grounds safe.
- Uneven or broken pavement: Crumbling pavement, root upheaval, and walking surfaces that have been damaged in other ways create the potential for slip and fall accidents. Even if they might be trip and stumble accidents, the result is the same: a person finds themselves on the ground unexpectedly and may have suffered a traumatic injury.
- Pools: There is a reason the lifeguard blows their whistle and tells everyone to walk and not run around the pool. Whether its a public or private pool, or even just a hot tub, users must be warned about and protected from slipping hazards. Installing pools requires planning and responsibility, and an owner should be held accountable if they neglect to do so.
- Bathrooms: Any area where water is present can be a potential threat. Public restrooms that are infrequently maintained or properly cleaned leave visitors vulnerable to slipping and falling on wet floors. Drains, signage, and maintenance are crucial in proper bathroom upkeep.
- Apartment hallways: A building manager has a responsibility to building occupants as well as guests. Broken glass, water from leaky pipes, and other hazards must be dealt with immediately to prevent injuries.
Common Injuries Resulting From Slip and Fall Accidents
When the body drops to the ground with the full force of gravity, the following injuries can result:
- Broken or sprained bones/joints: Sprained and fractured wrists are the most common slip and fall injury by far, simply because the wrist is not physically strong enough to absorb the force of a fall when a person reaches out to try to stop themselves.
- Broken or dislocated hips: This injury is common in older people or those with brittle bones due to medication use, autoimmune disease, or even just bad positioning of the joint during the fall. A broken hip joint or pelvis often lead to serious complications in the elderly, from extended hospital stays to eventual death.
- Shattered patella: Our kneecaps are good at protecting one of the most used joints in our bodies, but a direct impact on a knee from a fall can shatter the victim’s patella, requiring surgery, extended recovery, loss of work, and even permanent loss of range of motion.
- Muscle pulls/strains: Often when a person starts to fall they attempt to compensate, usually without thinking about it, and end up twisting, pulling, or damaging a muscle. This can be extremely painful and often debilitating.
- Nerve damage: Our nerves are what allow our brains to interpret sensation in our bodies, and a bad fall can result in nerve damage, which the brain may interpret as chronic pain or may even be severed from transmitting signals entirely, leaving the victim with no sensation.
- Slipped or herniated disks: When a fall results in a lot of force on a person’s spine, they may end up with slipped or herniated disks. Either of these injuries requires surgery and rehabilitation, and the impacts may change the injury victim’s life forever.
- Cranial/neck/spine injuries: Depending on how a slip and fall accident happens, the victim’s brain, neck, or spine may take a lot of the impact. Traumatic brain injuries can result in concussions, which is essentially bruising of the brain, subdural hematomas, or intracranial bleeding. These injuries all cause swelling inside the skull, which in turn create pressure that continues to damage the brain. People have lost consciousness, gone into comas, or died as a result of traumatic brain injuries. Studies have shown that even minor brain injuries can affect the cognitive processes of the brain. More severe injuries can result in memory loss, impediment of motor function, and permanent damage to the victim’s cognitive function.
- Dismemberment: Slipping and falling can result in other injuries, as well. Attempting to grab something as you fall, or falling into hazardous machinery can result in severing fingers, limbs, or other extremities. Cutting off a fingertip as a result of a slip and fall is not uncommon. Slipping and falling into traffic or in front of a moving vehicle such as a bus or train is uncommon, but not impossible.
- Psychological trauma: As with any injury, especially one that requires time in a hospital, extended recovery time, and pain, psychological trauma always follows close behind. Recovering from the impact of a slip and fall injury can be as much a matter of recovering mentally as it is physically. Some people who have been hurt in slip and fall accidents have a hard time regaining their trust in navigating their surroundings. Others might cope with rehabilitation and try to retrain their bodies to function as they once did.
- Re-injury: There is nothing quite so difficult as being kicked when you are down. People who are using crutches, canes, or other aids to help them get around are especially vulnerable to slip and fall accidents. They are also even more susceptible to re-injuring their bodies that are trying to heal from a prior surgery or trauma.
- Death: In the movies and cartoons, we might laugh at people slipping and falling. But those are movies, and this is real life, where a slip and fall can result in serious injury; even death. Brain injuries, falling into traffic, or severe cuts and lacerations from a fall can be fatal. If a loved one has lost their life due to a slip and fall, contact an attorney to make sure their rights are protected and those who are responsible are held accountable for their actions.
Recovering from a slip and fall injury can be a long and painful experience. Depending on the severity of your injuries, there may be a variety of expensive and arduous hurdles to overcome.
- Emergency room bills: ER bills are extremely expensive, and the ER really serves one purpose, which is to preserve your life. Recovery and rehabilitation are the next steps.
- Hospital stays: You might find yourself in the hospital for an indefinite amount of time after a slip and fall. Hospitals are very expensive. You might be in traction for several days to weeks, or being monitored for brain injuries, and all the while the meter is running on your hospital bill.
- Surgery: When they begin to start putting you back together, surgery may be an option, depending on how you were injured. Some surgeries are immediate, such as relieving the pressure on your brain, whereas others might be further down the line after swelling of broken bones and torn muscles has gone down. Multiple surgeries over a span of many years are not unheard of.
- Lost time at work: While your body is healing, you will likely be losing time at work. If you are self-employed especially and cannot benefit from a temporary disability, every day lost from working is another bill you can’t pay.
- Specialists: With more surgeries, more specialists are invited to work on putting your life back together. The more specialized their training in human anatomy, the more expensive they will be.
- Rehabilitation: A grueling process that is critical to making a proper recovery, rehab might take several months to even years. Unfortunately, many insurance policies tend to low-ball their coverage for rehabilitation, leaving you with a choice to stop rehab or continue to pay a lot of money out of pocket for the chance at getting your body back to functionality.
- Mental trauma: Pain and suffering are not limited to the body. Post-traumatic stress is very real and just as damaging to your life. You may require counseling, medication, and other methods to help you recover your peace of mind.
- Permanent disability resulting from injury: Permanent disabilities resulting from a slip and fall accident are all too common. From brain injuries to major breaks and spinal fractures, many people have to put their lives back together with the shadow of a permanent disability constantly hanging over them. A disability may interfere with their ability to get and hold onto a job, and may result in chronic pain such as muscle or nerve damage or migraine headaches.
Who Is Responsible?
You did not choose to be injured. Contacting an attorney will help you understand your rights and how the actions (or inaction) of someone else has changed your life. You need to hold the business owner, property owner, or government institution where you were injured accountable for what has happened to you. This can not only help you get compensation for bills, lost work, and pain and suffering, but can also encourage those responsible for the safety of others to fulfill their obligations. Gather as much information as you can from the moment of the accident onward.
What Can I Do?
If you were injured, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Many injuries from slip and fall accidents are not obvious at first, but can lead to issues further down the road. If at all possible, contact an attorney to help protect your rights. They may offer suggestions that you had not thought of. They have seen this kind of thing before, and will have advice about how to proceed.
Take pictures, get contact information of witnesses, and document everything from medical bills to communications with the proprietor of the place where you were hurt. Admit no fault in the accident, especially if you are feeling pressured to do so, and be sure to consult a personal injury attorney before signing to any kind of agreement. All of this information may help you recover compensation.
Brooklyn Slip and Fall FAQ
No one ever plans on falling and getting hurt. Slip and fall injuries come out of nowhere, inflicting severe, even fatal, injuries on Brooklyn residents, workers, and visitors alike. In the aftermath of a preventable fall, victims often face mounting expenses, difficulty working or going to school, and severe disruption of their lives. Many know they deserve compensation for this difficulty, but fewer know how to get it.
Below we answer some frequently asked questions about Brooklyn slip and fall injuries and the legal rights victims. For answers to your specific questions after suffering harm in a preventable fall in Brooklyn, contact our experienced Brooklyn slip and fall attorneys today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Brooklyn residents, workers, and visitors fall every day, many because of a dangerous condition at a business, in a building, or in a public place. The lucky ones get right back up and go on with their lives no worse for wear.
However, many instead suffer serious injuries in those falls—injuries that never should have happened, but did, because of someone else’s failure to fix or warn them about:
- Uneven or damaged surfaces, like flooring, carpeting, sidewalks, or parking lots;
- Wet and icy conditions that are not properly marked including floors that were recently mopped or waxed;
- Street hazards like potholes, debris, or construction obstacles;
- Poorly lit or unlit areas;
- Poorly marked or unobvious obstacles such as cords running across a walkway or other debris on the floor;
- Unsecured ladders; or
- Stairs with broken or missing handrails.
These are merely examples, of course. Just about any dangerous property condition can cause an unwary visitor to fall and get hurt. No matter what hazard at a business, building, or public place led to your injury, chances are someone should have fixed it, warned you about it, or kept you away from it. Their failure to do so can make them legally liable for your injuries.
All of them, and they can get very serious. People tend to think of falling as a minor incident. However, for many Brooklynites, a seemingly insignificant fall can have severe consequences.
A preventable fall can cause:
- Head injury: If your head strikes the ground, you could experience a concussion, skull fracture, or lacerations on the head.
- Traumatic brain injury: A blow to the head can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The effects of TBI are wide-ranging and include physical and cognitive disabilities. Falls are one of the most common causes of TBI.
- Spinal cord injuries: A fall can twist or damage a victim’s spinal column, potentially resulting in a spinal cord injury. The spinal cord allows your brain to communicate with your body. A spinal cord injury can cause numbness, muscle weakness, or paralysis.
- Neck and back injuries: Individuals who suffer from neck and back injuries often require long-term physical therapy and rehabilitation, and suffer from chronic pain that medications and surgery can only partially address.
- Internal injuries: The impact on the body in a fall can result in damage to internal organs, like the heart, kidney, lungs, or livery. Internal injuries often go undetected immediately after the accident, leading to severe (and even fatal) long-term health complications.
- Dental and facial injuries: A person’s face can take a severe impact in a preventable fall, damaging the person’s teeth, jaw, eye sockets, cheekbones, or nose, sometimes resulting in disfiguring injuries and loss of eyesight.
- Broken bones: One common instinct is to brace your fall with your arms. While catching yourself may protect your face and head, it may also result in a broken arm or wrist. If the break is severe, it may require surgery or rehabilitation. Additionally, hip fractures are a common injury in preventable falls, particularly for older adults, and can lead to numerous long-term health complications.
- Cuts, bruises, and sprains: While these injuries might seem inconsequential, they can significantly disrupt the life of the victim—limiting mobility, causing chronic pain, and altering daily routines.
Physical trauma is not the only injury suffered by slip and fall victims. Fall victims also commonly suffer from emotional trauma. A fall victim might suffer from anxiety while going about day-to-day life, depression due to an inability to resume a normal life, or post-traumatic stress, for example.
Experienced Brooklyn slip and fall injury lawyers have a breadth and depth of knowledge that allows them to evaluate and seek compensation for virtually any injury that a fall can inflict.
New Yorkers have a basic legal obligation not to engage in unreasonably dangerous actions, and not to make unreasonably dangerous decisions, that put others in harm’s way. If their failure to live up to that obligation results in someone getting hurt, then they will often face legal and financial responsibility for that person’s injuries and losses.
Slip and fall injuries happen most commonly because of unreasonably dangerous property conditions like the ones listed above. Most commonly, the owner, tenant, or manager of a property has the duty to fix, warn people about, and/or keep people away from those sorts of hazards.
So, in most (but not all) Brooklyn slip and fall injury cases, the property owner, tenant, or manager faces legal liability to the person who fell and got hurt. Sometimes, other parties may also have legal liability for those injuries. For example, if someone falls and gets hurt because a stairway has a defective handrail, the handrail manufacturer could face legal liability to victims.
It is not always obvious who has legal liability for failing to fix, warn about, or keep a fall victim away from a hazardous property condition. Ownership and operation of buildings in Brooklyn can get complicated, and parties with legal liability often try to point fingers at others to escape their financial obligations to injured fall victims.
To make sure you identify all parties who should face legal and financial accountability for causing the condition that led to your fall, seek the help of an experienced Brooklyn slip and fall attorney who has years of experience representing fall victims like you, and a long track record of success in Brooklyn slip and fall cases.
Slipping and falling at work in Brooklyn causes the same kind of injuries as slipping and falling anywhere else. However, victims of work-related slip and fall injuries have different legal rights.
Most Brooklyn workers who fall and get hurt have coverage under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. Workers’ comp covers workers against medical and disability-related costs of a workplace injury or illness, no matter whose fault the injury was or how it happened (in most cases).
Workers’ compensation insurance relieves workers of the need to sue their employer for workplace injuries. They can instead file a claim and obtain compensation to pay medical bills and to replace some (but not all) of the income they lose by missing work. Workers’ comp does not, however, pay some types of damages that people can usually seek in a lawsuit, such as compensation for pain and suffering. Call us for help filing your workers’ comp claim and making sure you get a fair settlement.
If you fell while working on a construction or building renovation project, however, then in addition to workers’ comp benefits, you may also have rights under New York’s labor laws, especially the Scaffold Law, which holds property owners and other legally and financially responsible for preventable, unsafe conditions on their properties that harm workers.
Finally, you may have a legal claim to make against a third party (someone other than your employer or a co-worker) whose unsafe decisions or actions contributed to the cause of your fall. An experienced Brooklyn slip and fall injury attorney can help you evaluate your legal options.
Experienced Brooklyn slip and fall lawyers work with their clients to take stock of the many varied ways a fall injury affected their clients’ lives.
In most cases, Brooklyn fall victims can seek compensation for most of these harms, which often include:
- Medical expenses related to treating a Brooklyn slip and fall injury, including costs of emergency care, hospitalization, long-term care facilities, therapy, medication, and medical equipment.
- Non-medical expenses related to the slip and fall injury, such as the cost of hiring help with daily activities while recovering.
- Lost wages that Brooklyn fall victims miss-out on earning when they miss work while recovering from an injury, or when an injury causes a disability that prevents them from returning to work in their former capacity.
- Pain and suffering, both physical and emotional, caused by a Brooklyn slip and fall incident and the injury that followed.
- Diminished quality of life and personal relationships caused by living with a Brooklyn slip and fall injury that disrupts the victim’s life.
In some cases, the victim of a Brooklyn slip and fall injury may also have the legal right to seek an award of punitive damages, which seek to punish and deter particularly outrageous or extreme conduct that caused a slip and fall injury.
From a review of the categories of damages above, you will probably sense that the amount of money you might recover depends in large part on the type and severity of your Brooklyn slip and fall injury and its impact on your life. The worse the injury and the greater the impact, the more money you may have the right to seek.
That is not to say, however, that you can always count on receiving that amount of money. Factors such as the strength of the evidence, the financial resources of the party who owes you damages, and the quality of your lawyer, can affect your chances of actually obtaining the compensation the law says you have the right to recover. To give yourself the best possible shot at full compensation, always hire a Brooklyn slip and fall attorney with years of experience and the know-how to obtain the best financial outcome for your circumstances.
Your first meeting with our Brooklyn slip and fall lawyers will never cost you a penny. Our Brooklyn slip and fall lawyers offer a free initial consultation to injured Brooklynites to learn about their injuries and to evaluate whether they have potentially valuable legal claims for damages.
We also represent Brooklyn slip and fall victims on contingency. That means we do not ask for any money upfront, but instead, we receive a percentage of any money we recover for you as our legal fee. In other words, our Brooklyn slip and fall lawyers only get paid if you get paid.
They are very common, but that does not make them any less significant for their victims than any other type of preventable injury. Never let the fact that you suffered an injury merely by falling keep you from speaking with an experienced Brooklyn slip and fall lawyer about your legal rights to compensation.
Falling is one of the most common causes of preventable injuries in Brooklyn and throughout the United States, especially for older adults, children, and construction workers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than 800,000 Americans seek hospital treatment every year for injuries suffered in a fall. For adults over 65, falls are also the second leading cause of injury-related deaths.
In New York, falls are the leading cause of injury hospitalization for children under the age of 14 and the leading cause of unintentional injury for individuals 45 and older. Fall-related injuries inflict a yearly cost of approximately $1.3 billion for hospitalizations in New York. In Kings County, an average of more than 32,000 residents over 65 visit a hospital emergency department for fall-related injuries each year.
Slip and fall incidents also occur at the workplace and are most common in the construction, shipyard, transportation, warehousing, and manufacturing industries. Falls accounted for 17 workplace fatalities in New York in one recent year and were one of the top two causes of workplace fatalities in the state.
To learn more about your legal rights after suffering injuries in a preventable fall in Brooklyn, contact the experienced Brooklyn slip and fall injury lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today for a free case evaluation.
Why You Need to Contact Our Brooklyn Slip and Fall Lawyers
Most slip and fall injuries have a three years statute of limitations, meaning that after that time runs out, you can no longer seek compensation from the responsible parties. This might sound like a long time, but it will go by quickly, so act now.
A Brooklyn slip and fall lawyer at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP can explain your rights and work through the process with you to ensure you receive what the liable party owes you. Insurance companies are cheap and only think of their bottom lines. Jacoby & Meyers, LLP’s Brooklyn slip and fall lawyers can work with you on your slip and fall case to attempt to reach a successful settlement, and if all else fails, they can take your case to trial. The landscape of the court process can be very difficult to navigate, which is why you need an experienced Brooklyn slip and fall lawyer by your side.
If you were injured in the Brooklyn area, you may recover compensation for your slip and fall accident. Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP to learn more today. You can start a live chat with one of our representatives, write to us using our contact page, or call right now at (877) 565-2993.
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