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Slip and Fall Injury
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New York Slip & Fall Law: The Basics

Some of the most common accidents to occur are slip and falls. If you live in New York and have recently sustained injuries from such an accident, then you should consult a New York slip- and-fall attorney to better understand your right to sue to recover damages, including medical costs and lost wages.

Like most areas of personal injury law, a New York slip-and-fall accident case will rely on negligence law. If you are contemplating filing such a suit, be sure to consult with a personal injury attorney who has experience with New York slip-and-fall injury cases as soon as possible. That's because New York has a three-year statute of limitations on slip-and-fall cases.

Before Filing a Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit

A slip and fall is when you fall down and injure yourself due to some hazard that exists on the premises. These accidents are common in places where liquids may spill on the floor or where there is ample foot traffic, such as a mall or a grocery store.

In many New York slip-and-fall lawsuits, you will not necessarily be dealing with the owner of the property where the injury occurred. Rather, you will be dealing with the property owner's insurance company.

The insurance company may heavily scrutinize you. They will likely ask you about the extent of your injuries, your actions immediately leading up to the accident, and warnings you may have ignored. Be sure to speak with your lawyer before talking with an insurance adjuster.

You should also be sure that an accident report is filled out at the time of your injury. The law doesn't mandate this, but it is often a business policy. If no report is made, record as much information about the accident as possible, including the conditions of the location where the accident occurred, as well as whether anyone was present.

New York Slip and Fall Trials

If no settlement agreement can be reached for your slip-and-fall case, then you may have to proceed to trial.

At trial, you will have to prove that the property owner was negligent and that his or her negligent actions caused your injuries. To prove negligence, you will have to show that the property owner had an obligation to not cause you injury and that he or she violated this obligation. You will also be asked to prove the extent of your damages. This can be shown with copies of your medical records and bills.

Under New York slip-and-fall law, you may be held partially responsible for your injuries. This is especially true if the conditions that caused your accident were temporary, such as an icy sidewalk, rather than permanent, such as a broken stair. This is called comparative negligence. If you are found responsible, the amount you can recover will be reduced in proportion to the amount that you are at fault.

If multiple parties caused your slip-and-fall injury, then joint and several liability may apply. According to New York joint and several liability laws, any party that shares 50 percent or more responsibility for your injuries can be held liable for the full amount of damages. However, conversely, any party found to be less than 50 percent responsible will only be liable for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.