Some people might shrug off injuries from a fall, particularly if they believe that they should have been more careful. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, estimates that the average cost to treat slip and fall injuries is between $30,000 and $50,000. That cost is separate from the lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages that inevitably flow from this.
The New York City personal injury lawyers at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. urge every person who is harmed in a New York City slip and fall accident to investigate their opportunity to recover damages. These may include compensation for their injuries, even if they were partially or even primarily at fault.
How can an at-fault slip and fall accident victim recover damages?
New York State applies comparative negligence standards in these accidents. This means that the total damages that a victim can recover from a negligent property owner will be reduced– in proportion to the victim’s own contribution toward causing it.
For example– assume that a property owner knew about a cracked and uneven walkway but failed to fix it. A pedestrian who was gazing at their cell phone tripped and broke an ankle. The property owner will claim that the pedestrian would not have tripped if they had not been looking at their phone.
An experienced New York City slip and fall lawyer might look at the facts of the accident and successfully argue that the pedestrian’s inattention was only 25% of the cause. Under New York State’s comparative negligence laws, the total damages they can recover from the property owner will be reduced by 25%. IF the pedestrian’s total damges and expenses from the injury were $100,000, they could still recover $75,000.
How does a lawyer determine each party’s relative fault?
Each slip and fall accident reflects a unique set of facts and circumstances. A personal injury attorney will uncover all of the details and use these to place as much of the fault for the accident on a property owner as possible. In the cracked and uneven walkway example, the attorney might consider:
- when did the property owner discover the crack?
- did anyone else suffer slip and fall injuries in the same location?
- was the walkway adequately lit such that a pedestrian would readily notice the crack?
- did the property owner place any warning signs?
- what were the weather conditions like at the time of the accident?
- was the victim forced to use the broken walkway because other access paths were blocked?
- what type of footwear was the accident victim wearing?
- did the property owner make inadequate repairs or do anything else that failed to remedy the hazard?
- could the victim have easily avoided the risk if they were not looking at a phone?
The property owner will likely present opposing arguments, but a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer will anticipate and deflect those arguments. An attorney will emphasize the extent of the property owner’s fault for the accident victim’s losses and injuries.
Do a slip and fall accident victim’s health and vitality affect an ability to recover damages?
Older pedestrians and people suffering from physical ailments might be more susceptible to slip and fall injuries. A negligent property owner might refuse to compensate the victim. They might argue that the victim’s age or medical condition was the primary cause. A slip and fall victim’s frailty or medical infirmity does not excuse a property owner from the obligation to provide safe and secure premises– to individuals who have a right to be on the property.
Contact us for a free consultation
Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. represents victims who suffer injuries in slip and fall accidents in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, or anywhere else in NYC. Please fill out our contact form or call our Manhattan offices today– even if you think you were partially at fault in a slip and fall accident.