Staten Island Slip and Fall Lawyer
Slipping or tripping and falling poses dangers in almost every place people walk, whether it’s the Staten Island Mall or the stairs of a rental apartment. Slip and fall victims suffer injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) nearly every day.
If you have fallen due to someone else’s negligence in Staten Island, call the experienced Staten Island slip and fall attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP. The law that governs slip and fall accidents is often complicated. We can help you determine whether you have a case in a completely free initial consultation.
If we mutually decide to work together, we can investigate the circumstances and work to see that justice is done and help you seek just compensation for your injuries.
While no past case can guarantee future results, our experience shows in two recent slip and fall cases our firm handled. In the first, a man slipped and fell down the steps at a correctional facility. He received $750,000 in damage compensation. In the second, a worker fell and broke a hip. The worker received $1.11 million in damage compensation. Damage compensation varies depending on several factors, including the severity of the injury.
What Are My Rights if I’m Hurt in a Staten Island Slip and Fall Accident?
Premises owners must keep their property safe and free from environmental hazards for the public. In other words, if you enter a store, hotel, mall, or other places of business, the premises should not feature any conditions that are likely to cause you to slip and fall, such as broken sidewalks, water or other liquid on the floors, and snow or ice in the parking lot during the winter. If you’re in a private home, the owner of the premises must also keep the premises safe for guests and people doing work in the home or on the property.
This obligation to keep premises safe for the public is known as the owner’s “duty of care.” If the premises aren’t safe and contain environmental hazards, the owner has breached their duty of care. This breach constitutes negligence, and it makes the premises owner liable, or financially responsible, for any injuries caused by unsafe conditions.
Victims injured in a slip and fall accident have the right to seek monetary compensation from the negligent party for certain types of injuries or harm. This type of monetary compensation is known as damages.
New York State allows victims of slip and fall accidents to seek damage compensation in the following categories:
- Medical bills, both already incurred and expected in the future—for doctor’s visits, surgery, diagnostic tests, prescription medication, assistive devices, physical therapy, and more.
- Income lost from work, both already incurred and expected in the future, if the accident itself, the injuries, or treatment caused you to lose wages from your job.
- Pain and suffering or physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering.
Victims may seek these damages either from the owner’s property insurance company or by taking the negligent parties to civil court in a premises liability lawsuit. If you don’t receive a just amount from an insurance claim, you can take the insurance company to court, as well.
What if the Owner Didn’t Know the Premises Were Dangerous?
Property owners sometimes try to counter a premises liability lawsuit by arguing that they weren’t aware of dangers on their property. If property owners knew that premises were dangerous or that dangerous conditions had developed, they are responsible for fixing it promptly. If they can’t, they must warn the public with warning tape, cones, or other warning signs and cordon the unsafe area off until they can have it fixed.
If a dangerous condition develops, the law applies a prudent person standard. If a reasonably prudent person should have known that the premises were unsafe, the owner is held to that standard, whether they personally knew about the dangerous condition or not. Premises owners bear responsibility for knowing about the condition of their property.
Let’s say a heavy thunderstorm rolls through and a small store’s customers enter with drenched umbrellas. It only takes one customer entering with a wet umbrella for a floor to become wet. If a floor gets wet, someone could slip and fall on it. Any reasonably prudent person would know this to be true. The store owner must therefore take care to keep the store safe from potentially dangerous conditions as a result of the thunderstorm. The duty of care might include keeping the floor dry, cordoning off any wet areas and warning customers with wet floor signs, and placing an umbrella stand near the front.
Similarly, a landlord bears responsibility both for maintaining the premises in a safe condition and routinely inspecting the premises for any problems that might crop up and make it unsafe. If a light bulb burns out over the stairs, for example? Darkness leads to tenants slipping and falling down the stairs—a potentially fatal injury.
If premises owners aren’t themselves on the property, they must make sure that designated people know about the duty of care and are trained to fix, maintain, and restrict access to the dangerous areas.
What Kind of Injuries Can I Sustain in a Staten Island Slip and Fall Accident?
To many people, slipping may not sound that serious—a matter of some bruises, perhaps. But in fact, slip and fall accident injuries range from minor to very serious, and sometimes even life-threatening. People suffer everything from minor lacerations to severed spinal cord injuries or comas.
As a result, slip and falls can result in the following:
- Soft tissue injuries.
- Broken bones.
- Contusions (bruises).
- Internal injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Amputated or severed limbs.
What Do I Need to Show in a Staten Island Slip and Fall Case?
To receive damages in a slip and fall case, you need to show the following.
First, that your injuries stemmed from the slip and fall, and not from some other cause.
Second, that you were legally on the premises. Businesses such as stores, hotels, malls, airports, etc. are open to the public. If the accident happened on private property, being legally on premises means that you were an invited guest or on the property to do work of some kind. See an attorney to discuss whether trespassers can bring a slip and fall case, especially if it involves young children.
Third, you need proof that an unsafe condition existed.
Fourth, you must provide proof that the premises owner either knew or should have known about the unsafe condition.
Fifth, you must prove that the owner either didn’t fix the condition or fixed it in a shoddy manner, so that it still wasn’t safe or became unsafe again.
Sixth, in some cases, you will need to show that the public didn’t receive warnings about the unsafe condition and still retained access, but access proved unsafe.
What Should I Do if I Suffer a Staten Island Slip and Fall?
If you slip and fall due to someone else’s negligence, keep the need for evidence in mind.
First, take pictures of the area if you have a smartphone with you. Make sure to capture the hazard, such as water on the floor or dark stairs.
Second, get contact information from eyewitnesses and/or other people who witnessed the same conditions. Other store patrons, for instance, can attest to unsafe conditions and lack of warning to the public. Other renters can attest to the length of time burned-out bulbs remained unfixed.
Third, let the premises owner (or a representative, such as an on-duty manager) know about your injury. The reason? A jury might find it odd that you suffered injuries in a store but left without saying anything to management. It may seem as if you may have suffered the injuries at another time, or your injuries were less serious than you claim. In addition, of course, telling the manager ensures that they know about the dangerous condition so that they can fix it and prevent more accidents from occurring.
Fourth, seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you are seriously injured, such as bleeding profusely, move seeking medical attention to first priority. All the other actions can occur after you are medically treated for your injury. Only a doctor can determine whether or not you are injured, and the extent of your injuries. Keep all records of doctor’s office visits and other medical appointments and treatments. Follow your doctor’s recommendations.
Fifth, take pictures of your injuries right after you seek medical attention. If treatment will cover up the injuries (such as covering cuts with bandages), ask if you can take pictures before that occurs, or receive the records of medical personnel’s diagnosis and description of your injuries. You’ll need an official record of the injuries stemming from the slip and fall and their severity if you intend to make a claim. Insurance companies often try to pay less than a claim is worth by alleging that the injuries aren’t as serious as the injured person says. Proof of your injuries is therefore important. A healed injury may not look as serious as it initially did to a jury—that’s the reason you want pictures taken as soon as possible after the accident.
Sixth, make an appointment with an attorney. Premises liability attorneys usually offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Bring evidence, such as your medical records about the accident, pictures of the accident scene, and pictures of your injuries. If the injury caused you to miss work time, estimate how much. Explain to the attorney what occurred, as well as how and why. At the end of the initial consultation, the attorney can provide feedback on whether you have a premises liability case.
Our attorneys frequently work with investigators who can explore the circumstances surrounding the accident. They also work with medical personnel and compensation experts who can estimate your expected monetary losses, as well as any long-lasting physical, emotional, or mental impairments caused by the accident.
What If I Don’t Have Money to Pay a Staten Island Slip and Fall Attorney?
Our Staten Island premises liability lawyers work on contingency. Their contingency fee is taken as a percentage from any eventual claim or legal settlement you receive.
In other words, you don’t approach premises liability lawyers with a credit card or a checkbook. You do not pay them out of pocket—a successful claim or legal settlement pays them.
How Much Compensation Will I Receive for My Staten Island Slip and Fall Case?
It’s only natural to wonder how much damage compensation you’ll receive if you’re in a slip and fall accident. You may end up under a mountain of medical bills and unable to work, after all.
We can explain how damage compensation is determined, but we can’t provide a specific amount you can expect to receive. Why? Because damage compensation depends on how much harm and injury you suffered. It depends on any long-term effects on your life. Someone who broke a leg might receive very different damage compensation from someone who suffered a serious TBI.
How will we assess your damages?
- First, we’ll add up your incurred medical bills. If your medical team expects you will need future medical treatment, your attorney will likely seek expert testimony about the estimated cost.
- Second, your time lost from work is multiplied by your current income. If you are expected to miss more time from work due to the injuries in the future, your attorney will again seek expert testimony to assess how much time, multiplied by your expected earnings.
- Third, your pain and suffering damages are assessed. Pain and suffering depends on several factors. Actual pain and suffering is a chief element, of course; an injury that causes a lot of pain will receive more compensation than one where a person experiences less or fleeting pain. Other elements include whether the injuries diminished your quality of life or life expectations. For example, if you are a construction worker and your injury required amputation of your leg, the pain and suffering damages will be much higher than someone whose injuries did not diminish their life.
If You Need a Slip and Fall Attorney in Staten Island, Call Jacoby & Meyers, LLP
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident in Staten Island, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can help. We fight for justice. Our first consultation is always free. Contact us today, start a webchat with one of our live representatives, or dial (877) 565-2993 today for your free consultation.
“If it were not for the integral legal team of experts at Jacoby & Meyers I would not be where I am today with my recovery. I highly recommend hiring Jacoby & Meyers should you ever find yourself injured in an accident, and an individual or company needs to be held accountable for their negligence.” -C.J.
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