Every year, thousands of people slip and fall in New York City due to wet floors in public places. Most of them are not serious. However, for some, this type of fall, due to another party’s negligence, means serious or even permanent injury. Such injuries may affect your ability to work and provide and care for your family. In a worst-case scenario, a wet floor slip and fall injury proves fatal. If this happens, family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit. A New York slip and fall attorney at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C. can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What to Do If You Slip and Fall on a Wet Floor
If you slip and fall on a wet floor, take photographs of it and the scene, as well as of any injuries you have sustained. If you can’t, ask a friend or relative to come to the location immediately and record this evidence. Next, report the accident to the owner or manager of the building. Finally, find out why the floor was wet.
Seek prompt medical attention even if you think the injury isn’t serious. Adrenaline rushes through the body after an accident which can mask pain. Failure to seek medical care will harm your claim and possibly your health. In addition, if you wait, the insurance company will argue that your injuries did not occur on their client’s premises but took place elsewhere.
What causes wet floor slip and fall accidents?
Businesses and public spaces must keep their floors and walkways free of debris, spills, and obstructions. For example, if you slip and fall in a hotel, notify management immediately and ask to file a report. The same is true of supermarkets, malls, restaurants, and other places.
Causes of wet floor accidents include:
- Inadequate or no signage warning of the hazard
- Poor lighting
- Ice, snow, and rain
- Cluttered walkways
- Unattended Spills
- Use of unsafe cleaning products
Common injuries from slipping and falling on wet floors include:
- Back injury
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
In New York, property owners or managers must keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition. For example, if someone in a restaurant spills their drink and the floor becomes slick and dangerous, the manager must quickly respond to the situation either by cleaning it or posting signage.
Further, to prove negligence, there are four elements. First, the plaintiff must prove the other party, the defendant, had a duty or a responsibility to them. The second element is proving that the defendant breached that duty. Third, the plaintiff must show that the breach of duty caused the accident. Finally, it must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the accident caused the injuries sustained by the plaintiff.
However, the defendant’s insurer or attorney may claim that the plaintiff is partly or wholly responsible for their injuries. For instance, they may argue that the plaintiff was on their phone and not paying attention to where they were walking. Another argument is that the dangerous condition should have been obvious to any reasonable person.
Under New York’s comparative negligence rule, the plaintiff may still receive damages, but the award could be reduced by the amount a jury determines is the plaintiff’s fault. If the jury finds the plaintiff 30 percent at fault, any award is reduced by that number.
Statute of Limitations
In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is three years from the date of the injury. However, if your wet floor slip and fall occurred in a building owned by a public entity, such as a school, library, or government office, you must file a claim within 90 days.
It is critical to consult a New York City wet floor slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible. These cases are often challenging to prove, and your attorney must conduct an investigation before crucial evidence disappears. For example, surveillance video of the incident is generally available for only a short time, and such evidence can prove negligence on the part of the property owner or manager.
Slip and Fall Damages
Damages, or compensation, for a wet floor slip and fall may include:
- Medical expenses, current, and future
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
If the slip and fall resulted in property damage, such as ruined clothing, you might also receive compensation for these losses.
Contact us at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C. for a free consultation
We are one of the premier personal injury firms in New York City. We are committed to seeking justice for all of our clients. This firm was founded on the principle that all people are entitled to trustworthy and aggressive legal representation. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. After discussing your situation, we will advise you of your options. Because we work on a contingency basis, there is no fee unless you receive compensation.