Slip-And-Fall And Trip-And-Fall Accidents Are Common, But Complex Legal Matters
What should I do immediately after a slip and fall, or shortly after the incident?
Inspect the area where you fell. What caused you to fall? Did anyone see you fall? Write down the names, addresses and phone numbers of anyone in the vicinity where the incident occurred, both those who saw you fall and others who were there after the incident, because you may need them as witnesses on your behalf if the landowner disputes your claim. Even if someone did not see you fall but was present at the time, he or she could, if necessary, describe your pain and the conditions of the floor, lighting, etc., immediately after you fell.
If the incident occurred in a store or place of business, speak with the manager or supervisor on duty. Have him or her make a record of the incident, and get a copy of anything prepared by the business. If anyone (especially an employee, supervisor or manager) makes a comment suggesting that this has occurred before, or that they were aware of the condition before your fall, make a mental note. If possible, get the name of the person who made the comment. As soon as you are out of the store, write down the name and what exactly the person said, and who else heard him or her make the statement.
What kinds of damages are recoverable for this kind of injury?
This depends on the facts of your particular case. In general, the following damages may be recoverable:
- Medical bills and expenses incurred as a result of the incident
- Lost income for time from work to recover
- The fair value of any clothing damaged in the incident
- Compensation for pain and suffering as a result of the injury
I fell down and injured myself on someone elses property. I dont feel well. Should I wait to see if I feel better before doing anything?
No, you should see your primary care physician or another medical doctor, since your injuries may be more severe than you think.
You should also be aware that floor or ground conditions may change, and you may need to preserve or record the condition that caused your injury (typically with a photograph or videotape).
Who will pay for my medical treatment?
Your health insurance will pay for your medical treatment, if you have coverage. In addition, some property insurance policies contain something called Med Pay, which provides coverage for your medical treatment.
What is a dangerous or hazardous condition?
Property owners are responsible for injuries that occur as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on their property, which the owner knew about or should have known about. The hazard may be obvious (such as a broken stair) or hidden (like a hole in a lawn that is partially covered by grass). In some instances it may not be apparent, as in flooring, which appears normal, but is slippery. It could be permanent, like broken concrete with a change in elevation, or temporary, like a liquid spill in a supermarket aisle.
In general, an owner will be considered to have knowledge of a dangerous or hazardous condition if it is permanent in nature, because the owner knew, or should have known, about the condition before the incident occurs. In the case of temporary conditions (like a liquid spill), the length of time that the condition existed before the incident occurred has legal significance.
If the spill occurred just before the incident, then the property owner may not be responsible for the injury, because the owner could not have known about the spill (and would not have been able to do anything about it) before the slip and fall occurred. If, however, the spill was present for some period of time before the incident, or occurs in an area subject to liquid spills, or is a recurring event, then the owner may be responsible, even if the owner did not know about the spill before it occurred.
The Initial Consultation Is On Us
Lozner & Mastropietro is dedicated to representing victims of slip, trip and fall accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a slip and/or trip and fall accident, please contact us at 718-615-0044 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
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