Slip & Fall Accidents – Premises Liability in New York State
In New York State, slip and fall accidents are a common type of accident injury associated with premises liability. Slip and fall injuries can range from just minor bruising and abrasions to very serious head injuries and even death. When a slip and fall accident happens in a public place or on someone else’s property, it is up to the injured victim to prove the negligence of the property owner and substantiating the owner did not provide safe conditions and is therefore directly responsible for the accident.
The property owner must provide a safe environment for those who enter the property. Reasonable care must be taken to protect guests from risks that could cause potential harm or injury. If a property owner fails to do this duty, then they may be held liable for any injuries that occur. To establish liability, the injured party has to prove that the property owner knew or should have known the property was unsafe and that they didn’t take the proper precautions to mark the area or to fix the problem.
Under premises liability laws, there are specific incidents whereby the property owner is responsible for any slip and fall accidents that take place on their property. To show there was negligence by the owner you need to show that they:
- Created a dangerous situation that led to the slip and fall accident
- They were aware of a potential hazard, but took no action to fix it
- They were potentially awareness of a property hazard in an area with obvious injury risks
Proof of Liability
There are times when the injured party may have contributed to his/her injury by simply not being aware of their surroundings or reckless behavior. In an instance such as this, the rules of comparative negligence could be used by the court to determine the percentage of fault between the property owner and the injured party. Because falls can occur for no real reason, sometimes it can be complicated to prove liability in a slip and fall accident.
Comparative negligence is a method used to describe shared fault between two involved parties in a slip and fall accident. Property owners have the obligation to care for their property to eliminate hazardous conditions and to make sure their property is safe. With that said, it doesn’t mean that negligence automatically caused the injuries to the person that came onto the property.
The court or insurer will only look to determine the injured victim’s comparative negligence after the liability has been established for the property owner. If the property owner is found to not be negligent, then comparative negligence is not used. If the property owner is proven to be negligent, then the principles of comparative negligence are used to determine the degree of liability.
In cases where the defendant and the plaintiff are both found to be a fault, then the court will assess each party’s involvement to determine the percentage of liability. The more at fault the plaintiff is determined to be, the less the less will be the award for damages.
Filing an Injury Claim
In New York, a person that suffers injuries on another person’s property or business can file a premises liability lawsuit if the property condition is what caused the injury. Premises liability lawsuits allow injured parties to collect monetary damages from property owners and/or occupants that have not taken measures to keep their properties safe.
Awarded damages may include payment for:
- Medical bills for present and future care
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Physical disfigurement
In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the negligent party for his or her wrongdoing, and deter future negligence or intentional wrongdoing.
Experienced Syracuse Slip & Fall Attorneys
If you have been injured as a result of a slip and fall accident due to the negligence of another, contact the experienced Syracuse Slip & Fall Premises Liability attorneys at McMahon, Kublick, PC in Syracuse for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our Syracuse accident injury attorneys have decades of experience in handling workers compensation claims, and can help you get the benefits to which you are entitled. Call our offices today at (315) 424-1105 to arrange your complimentary case review and consultation.