Slip & Fall Accidents
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Slip and fall accidents can be embarrassing, but they can also cause serious injuries. If you or a family member has been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney today.
Premises Liability Law
At Godosky & Gentile, P.C., we represent people who have suffered serious or catastrophic injuries as the result of slip and fall accidents in New York City and the surrounding areas of our state.
The following articles are intended to provide a general overview of slip and fall accidents and the legal issues associated with property owner negligence. For more specific information, or to discuss your accident and injuries with a lawyer — call or contact us directly.
Slip and Fall Accidents - An Overview
A slip and fall accident generally refers to a situation in which a person slips and falls or trips and falls due to a dangerous condition on someone else's property and is injured as a result. These cases fall under the broader category of cases known as "premises liability" cases, which refer to situations when an individual is injured on property or premises owned or maintained by someone else and the owner or possessor of the property is held liable for the injury. Slip and fall accidents can happen in a wide variety of places and involve various dangerous conditions. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, an experienced personal injury attorney at Godosky & Gentile, P.C. in New York City, NY, can determine whether you have a case.
Slip and fall accident cases generally proceed under the theory that the defendant (the landowner or occupier) was negligent. To establish negligence, an injured person must establish the existence of a duty by the defendant to conform to a specific standard of conduct; breach of that duty by the defendant; that this breach was the actual and proximate cause of the injured person's injury; and that the injured person was in fact injured.
Duties of landowners or occupiers
Under traditional common law theories, the liability of an owner, occupier or possessor of property for injuries sustained on that property depends on the circumstances under which the injured person was on the property. Visitors are typically classified as invitees, licensees or trespassers.
- An invitee is someone who enters the land in response to an express or implied invitation from the landowner.
- A licensee is a person who enters the premises with the landowner's express or implied permission for his or her own purposes, rather than for the landowner's benefit.
- A trespasser is someone who enters the land without the owner's permission.
Many jurisdictions still adhere to the common law status classifications today. However, some jurisdictions in the United States have rejected the common law classes of entrants as determinative of liability. Of these, some have adopted a rule providing that an owner or occupier of land has a duty of reasonable care under all circumstances, and that the status of the entrant is merely a relevant factor in determining whether the injury was foreseeable and the landowner negligent. Furthermore, in some states, there are statutes governing the standard of care owed by certain landowners or occupiers to certain classes of entrants.
Common slip and fall accidents
Slip and fall or trip and fall accidents can happen in a variety of different locations and be caused by a variety of conditions. The following are common slip and fall scenarios:
- Slipping on spilled food or drink in a grocery store
- Tripping and falling on merchandise that has fallen from store shelves or that is improperly stacked in the aisles
- Slipping on ice or snow in a parking lot or on a sidewalk in front of a store or office building
- Slipping on a loose throw rug while at a party
- Tripping and falling down stairs that are loose, worn or missing a handrail
- Slipping on a wet floor in a public restroom that has been recently cleaned, but no sign warning about the wet floor was posted
These are just a few of the many scenarios in which a slip and fall accident may occur. Slip and fall accidents are extremely common and can happen almost anywhere.
Potential defendants in slip, trip and fall accidents
In slip and fall cases, there are often a number of people or entities that may be held responsible for someone's injuries. In a commercial setting or retail store, the business may rent space from a property owner, and both the property owner and the business (the tenant or possessor/occupier of the property) may be liable. If a third party, such as a management company, is responsible for maintaining the space, it may be liable as well. In a residential setting, both a landlord and tenant may be liable for injuries caused by dangerous conditions on the property.
If the injury occurred on property owned by a local, state or federal government entity, special rules usually apply. Many states have enacted laws that grant governmental entities immunity or shield the entity from liability for personal injuries that occur on their property.
Speak to a personal injury lawyer
A slip and fall or a trip and fall accident can be embarrassing and result in painful injuries. If you were injured while on another's property, you may be able to recover damages. Though common, slip and fall accidents can be complex legally. It is important to contact a premises liability attorney who has experience handling slip and fall cases at Godosky & Gentile, P.C. in New York City, NY, to discuss your case.
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