Slip, Trip and Fall Accidents in New York
Under New York law, individuals injured in a “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” accident have three years from the date their injury occurred to file a personal injury claim.
According to data from the National Safety Council, there were more than 34,000 deaths due to falls in 2016. Both at home and in the workplace, slip, trip, and fall accidents are among the most common injuries. These accidents involve “slips” due to friction-related conditions such as foreign substances on floors and stairways, ice and snow on walkways, steps, and streets. Falls can also be caused by “trips” due to defects in premises and streets, such as holes, cracks, and non-level surfaces of all kinds.
If you have experienced a slip and fall, or a trip and fall accident on another person’s property in New York City, it’s a good idea to discuss your case with a New York slip and fall personal injury lawyer. You may be entitled to receive compensation for any damages you suffered, which may include medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Slip, Trip, and Fall accidents in New York?
Each state has laws that govern how long a person has to file a lawsuit. These laws are called statutes of limitation. A statute of limitation puts a limit on how long someone has to file a claim. If a statute of limitation didn’t exist, anyone could file a lawsuit against another person or a corporation decades or even a lifetime after an accident occurred.
Under New York law, individuals injured in a “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” accident have three years from the date their injury occurred to file a personal injury claim. The three-year time limit is the same for people who suffer property damage but no physical damage in a slip and fall case. For example, someone might slip and fall and crush an expensive watch but not get hurt physically. In that case, they must still file a claim within three years of the date of the accident.
Despite the statute of limitations, there are certain circumstances under which the court might stop the clock from running. This is referred to as “tolling” the statute of limitations. This primarily applies to children for whom the statute of limitations is tolled until they reach 18.
Does Comparative Negligence Apply in Slip, Trip, and Fall Cases?
In some slip, trip and fall cases, the owner of the property or their insurance provider may try to argue that you bear some responsibility for the accident that led to your injuries. This is known as comparative negligence.
The property owner or insurance company may use this argument in an attempt to lower or negate any damages you may receive. Defense arguments based on comparative negligence can take a few different forms. In a slip and fall case, you might see the defendant argue any of the following:
- You trespassed in an area of the property where you shouldn’t have ventured.
- The area where you slipped and fell was marked with a sign or object that indicated it was slippery or unsafe.
- The dangerous condition was open and obvious.
- You were unreasonably distracted at the time of your slip and fall. For example, if you were looking down at a text on your phone and stumbled over a curb or down a set of subway steps, the defendant might argue that your negligence contributed to your fall.
Even if none of these situations apply in your case, the property owner or their insurance company may still try to argue that they do. Keep in mind that insurers want to pay as little as possible toward a claim, which can lead them to raise as many defenses as possible.
The most problematic aspect of slip and fall cases is proving that the property owner had notice of a dangerous condition prior to the accident. In cases of foreign substances on stairs or walkways, this can be particularly problematic. In trip and fall cases, where there is a defect in the property, expert testimony may be helpful to prove how the defect occurred and how long it was there without being fixed.
Comparative Negligence and Damages in Slip, Trip and Fall Cases
In cases in which the defendant or their insurance company successfully argues that the plaintiff’s negligence played a role in the slip and fall, the judge or jury can reduce the damages in accordance with the percentage of negligence attributed to the plaintiff.
For example, assume your damages come out to $100,000 and the jury decides you are 30 percent responsible for the slip and fall, you would receive $70,000, as the court would subtract 30 percent of the damages from the original award.
The comparative negligence rule can still be an issue in the event you enter into a settlement negotiation with the property owner or their insurance company. They can still argue that you are responsible for a certain portion of the negligence that led to the slip and fall.
This is why it’s important to consider working with an experienced New York City personal injury lawyer before attempting to negotiate with the insurance company.
Contact a NYC Slip and Fall Personal Injury Lawyer
Slip, trip, and fall accidents are common, which can sometimes lead people to dismiss them as not being a big deal. However, people who have been seriously injured in a fall know how debilitating the injuries from a slip and fall can be.
New York City is a busy, active place, and there are many hazards inside buildings and on the streets that can lead to a dangerous slip and fall, or a trip and fall. If you have been injured in a slip, trip, and fall in New York, it’s in your best interest to consult with an NYC slip and fall accident injury lawyer https://www.jcreiterlaw.com/
Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case. Recoveries always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case, the injuries suffered, damages incurred, and the responsibility of those involved.