There are multiple forms of evidence necessary to prove a New York City slip and fall case. Many assume that if they fall and suffer an injury on another person’s property that the landowner is responsible for the damages. However, that is not always the case. If you suffer an injury after falling in New York City, you will have to establish that the property owner failed to take reasonable steps to protect you.
This is a subjective standard that can be challenging to prove. Your best chance of financial recovery comes with the assistance of a New York City slip and fall lawyer. Call today to discuss the options available for proving your case.
What Do You Need to Prove in a Slip and Fall Case
A New York slip and fall lawyer can use the following to prove liability in a slip and fall case:
- The party you are suing either owns the property or controls it.
- That your presence on the property was foreseeable.
- There was a hazardous condition on the property that the owner knew about or should have discovered but did not fix or warn about it.
- The hazardous condition caused you to slip and fall and to sustain injuries and financial losses.
Establishing who owns the property and the foreseeability of your being there is relatively straightforward. However, knowledge of a dangerous condition might require more rigorous proof. If, for example, a recent rainstorm left standing water on the property and you slipped in that water, the owner might rebut your evidence. They could claim that they did not have an opportunity to remove it before your accident. Yet, in certain situations, knowledge of a hazardous condition is the owner’s responsibility because they have an affirmative duty to police their property.
An owner might also make an affirmative defense that a dangerous condition was an open and obvious hazard but that you ignored it. As a result, you are at least partially at fault for your accident. With this and all other affirmative defenses, your attorney will argue that the preponderance of your evidence shows that your claims are more legitimate than the owner.
Proving the owner is liable for not remedying a dangerous condition is a critical step in your case, but it is not the only proof you need to make. To recover damages, you also need to show that you suffered economic and non-economic losses due to the injuries you sustained. Your lawyer will use your medical bills, pay stubs, and other receipts that show your expenses to establish the actual economic costs of your injuries. They might also use your testimony and testimony from your family and friends to depict your non-economic losses caused by your pain and suffering.
Photo and Video Evidence
If your slip and fall accident occurs at a business or public building, the accident might have been caught on camera. A copy of the security camera footage showing your fall is arguably the strongest evidence available in your case.
Even if you cannot identify this type of evidence, other photo evidence could be useful. Your New York City personal injury lawyers could use photos of the area where you fell to demonstrate to the jury how the property owner was negligent.
Additionally, photographs of your injuries are also relevant to your case.
A central part of your injury claim is demonstrating the severity of your injuries. Your medical bills not only establish how severe your injuries are, they also provide evidence of the amount of compensation you deserve for your medical bills. These records can also establish that you sought medical treatment immediately after the accident. This is helpful, as it limits the possibility of the injuries occurring in circumstances other than the fall.
There are other forms of paper documentation that could be useful to your claim. The most obvious example is an incident report from the place where the fall occurred. A written report might not be available in all cases, like when a fall occurs at a private residence. Most businesses have incident report forms, and large companies typically make a report of every fall that happens on the premises. It is vital to obtain a copy of this report, as it can be useful in multiple ways. First, it can give you a preview of the company’s potential defenses. If the report blames you for your own fall, you can expect that to be their defense if the case goes to trial. Additionally, the report could also identify witnesses you were not aware of. Contacting these witnesses could be especially useful for your claim.
One of the most important steps a personal injury lawyer can take following a slip and fall accident is to obtain witness statements. Juries give substantial weight to the testimony of neutral third-party witnesses. However, if you fail to obtain their contact information at the scene of the fall, it may be impossible to later identify them. Collecting a statement from every witness can provide you with insight into what their testimony might include if the case goes to trial.
Testimony of Friends and Family
Some of your compensation may center on how your slip and fall injuries changed your life for the worse. To establish this negative impact, you may rely on the testimony of friends and family. Your loved ones could testify how your injury has limited your ability to join in family activities or take part in your hobbies. They could also provide insight into the physical pain you dealt with as a result of your accident.
Discussing Evidence With Your Attorney
Ultimately, your attorney will provide the best insight into what evidence might be available in your case. The more evidence you are able to obtain, the stronger your case is likely to be. If you have suffered a slip and fall accident injury in New York City, the team at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C. is ready to help. Call right away to schedule your free consultation as soon as possible.