There are many different causes of slip and fall accidents. A defective, broken or raised section of sidewalk may be one. Construction or repair crews leave unsafe trip hazards. During the winter, one of the most common causes is slipping on ice, snow, or on wet floors. Customers in stores may trip and fall over merchandise, or a store display. This type of accident can happen to anyone and the injuries that result can be serious. It is important to get legal representation as soon as possible from the expert New York slip and fall lawyers at Carro, Carro & Mitchell: the sooner an experienced legal professional is looking out for your legal interests, the sooner you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
One of the most difficult aspects of a slip and fall case is being able to prove who was responsible for your accident and resulting injuries. Legally, the owners and occupiers of a building or store have a duty to ensure that it is safe for those who enter. This means that all areas of the property should be made hazard-free for anyone using it for a reasonable and legitimate purpose. New York slip and fall lawyers help ensure that building owners and occupiers keep them safe for members of the public.
Determining Fault in a Slip and Fall Accident
The law in New York holds the owner and occupier of a premises responsible for those accidents that arise from dangerous conditions they created, knew about, or should have known about, and failed to correct. Identifying the liable parties can be difficult. An inexperienced New York slip and fall lawyers might miss important deadlines before finding the right answer. But the experts at Carro, Carro & Mitchell work hard to find the party or parties responsible and hold them accountable for your injuries and financial damages.
As soon as they are retained, experienced slip and fall lawyers determine who owns and maintains a property. Sources of information include documents in the county clerk’s office, municipal records, utility bills, rent bills, leases, etc. Law firm investigators may look at video from surveillance cameras and interview witnesses. The most important information is usually present at the time of the accident, and can be harder for New York slip and fall lawyers to track down days or weeks after the fact. If possible, it is best if the victim or someone nearby can take down relevant details, such as names and contact information for witnesses, staff or workers, and any details of the accident itself, such as time, exact location weather conditions, etc. Now that many people carry cellphones equipped with cameras, a photograph or video of a dangerous condition taken before it is altered or repaired, can be critical evidence.
Some Questions That Must Be Considered When Determining Fault
- Was the victim engaged in a normal or reasonable activity when the accident occurred?
- Was the accident caused by something that was in plain sight or that was clearly visible, so that the victim could have avoided it
- Did the owner or occupier create or know of the dangerous condition, or was it present long enough so that they should have known, and fixed it?
Who is Liable?
The owner and the occupier of a property may be two separate parties, and their responsibility may be different in each case. An owner who is not regularly at the premises may try to deny liability claiming they weren’t aware of dangerous condition. Or a tenant and owner may each claim it was the responsibility of the other to make a needed repair. A New York slip and fall lawyer will likely file a claim against both, and then determine through investigation, depositions and the discovery process what responsibility each defendant had.
When attempting to prove that the owner or occupier had knowledge of a hazard on their premises it will be useful to determine how long the hazard had been in existence. For example, a floor tile that has been loose for months prior to tripping someone is viewed differently under the law from one that became loose shortly before the accident. The longer the dangerous condition was in existence, the stronger the case because it can be argued that the owner had a greater opportunity to learn of the problem and repair it. Often, when someone has slipped on a spill in a supermarket aisle, the case depends on proving either that an employee created the spill or that the supermarket knew or should have known of it.
How a New York Slip and Fall Lawyer Proves Fault
In many cases, people who are injured in slip and fall accidents are embarrassed and reluctant to sue. They are concerned that aggressive insurance company lawyers will “blame the victim” and refuse to make a fair settlement offer. At Carro, Carro and Mitchell, our experienced New York slip and fall lawyers can examine the circumstances of the accident along with the medical records to assess the strengths, and potential vulnerabilities of your case. At Carro, Carro & Mitchell, we are determined to uphold the rights of injured New Yorkers and ensure that they receive appropriate compensation from those responsible for their physical, emotional and monetary damages.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a slip and fall accident, contact us now at (212) 213-5005 for a free consultation.
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