Trip and fall accidents are far too common, and the injuries that can result from these mishaps can have a detrimental impact on your health, finances and future well-being. Property owners have an obligation to ensure their grounds are safe and free of hazards. When you are injured on another person’s property, you may have grounds to pursue damages from the owner of the property.
If you’ve been hurt in a trip and fall accident and need an experienced attorney to help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve, please contact Reid B. Wissner Law Offices today by completing the form on this page or calling 212-406-9288 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We proudly welcome clients from Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.
Our firm works on a contingency-fee basis. This means that we don’t get paid unless you do.
Please read the following sections to learn more about injury claims involving slips, trips and falls:
- Trip, slip and fall premises liability cases
- Common trip and fall injuries
- Where do trip, slip and fall accidents happen?
- Common causes of trip, slip and fall accidents
- Trip and falls on cracked and broken sidewalks
- Slip and fall accidents caused by snow and ice
- Compensation in slip and fall and trip and fall accidents
- Schedule your free consultation today
"Mr. Reid Wissner is a great injury attorney. He worked extremely hard to help settle my case. He has been dedicated to all of my needs and concerns during the entire case. His paralegal Mrs. Esrella was great as well, making me comfortable whenever I visited his office, and answered any questions I had. I will recommend him to anyone who needs an injury attorney to represent them." - R.R.
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Trip, Slip and Fall Premises Liability Cases
Trip, slip and fall accidents are usually considered premises liability cases. These types of cases deal with situations in which a property owner or custodian is negligent in the repair, maintenance and upkeep of a property, leading to an injury.
If you slipped and fell or tripped and fell due to someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you may have a claim to pursue compensation for your injuries. Although every case is unique, property owners may be liable for any trip and fall that occurs on their property if:
- Their actions or inaction led to the conditions that caused your injury
- They knew about the unsafe environment and did nothing to fix it
- They failed to warn you about existing risks and hazards so you could avoid injury
Determining liability in these types of cases can be extremely difficult without the help of an experienced attorney. For more than 30 years, Reid Wissner has handled thousands of complex personal injury cases, helping his clients obtain the full and fair compensation they rightfully deserve.
Common Trip and Fall Injuries
A trip and fall accident can result in all kinds of injuries that vary in severity. Some falls lead to scrapes and bruises. These types of injuries don’t usually have any financial or emotional repercussions beyond perhaps some temporary embarrassment.
However, some trips and falls can lead to serious personal injury, and negatively affect your ability to work or perform typical daily tasks. The following injuries commonly require medical attention and can result in extended therapy, time away from work, mounting medical bills and uncertainty about the future:
- Fractured and broken bones: Fractures are very common in slip and fall accidents. You may break a wrist or arm trying to brace yourself from a fall or break other bones depending on how you land. For elderly people, broken hips can be life-threatening experiences.
- Spinal cord injury: These serious injuries can be so severe that they result in partial or complete paralysis and even death.
- Traumatic brain injury: Brain injuries can arise from all types of injuries. TBIs present life-altering consequences for cognition, emotions, motor and language skills and more.
- Soft tissue damage: Unfortunately, far too many people who suffer trip and fall accidents consider their injuries to be just sprains and don’t seek legal action. However, even strains and sprains can have far-reaching consequences. For example, injuries to a knee ligament may require rehabilitation or even surgery, and make it difficult or impossible to perform your job duties.
Where Do Trip, Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
A trip, slip and fall accident can happen to you anywhere at any time. Most commonly, these unfortunate events occur at:
- Private homes (Apartment Buildings): Every home owner is responsible for the safety of his or her guests. Slip and falls that result from a cluttered floor or dangerous stairway can cause injuries that are just as severe as they would be if they happened elsewhere. Unfortunately, many people are reluctant to file a lawsuit in these accidents for personal reasons, especially when it involves a fiend, relative or neighbor. It’s important to realize that most home owners have homeowner’s insurance so when you sue them, you are likely suing the insurance company for compensation.
- Workplaces: Falls account for some of the most common occupational injuries. State and federal regulations require employers to provide workers with adequate safety equipment, training and other safeguards to avoid falls and injuries at manufacturing plants, construction sites and office environments.
- Restaurants: Employees and customers at sit-down and fast-food restaurants face hazards from spills, slippery floors, clutter, trash and debris.
- Stores: Owners and managers at shops, malls, grocery stores and shopping centers are responsible for ensuring that aisles are not blocked, spills are promptly cleaned, and warning signs are visible when custodial work has left floors wet and slick.
Common Causes of Trip, Slip and Fall Accidents
Trip, slips and falls are often described based on how they occur. Common examples include:
- Holes: Trenches, holes, uneven, unleveled and other hazardous conditions in parking lots or other paved areas should be covered, filled or marked with fencing or warning signs.
- Insufficient lighting: Inadequate light makes it challenging to recognize changes in a walking surface or to see stairway steps or other obstacles. Moving from a well lit area into darkness can also result in a momentary loss of vision that can result in a fall.
- Damaged floors and stairs: Loose floorboards and floor tiles, torn mats and carpet, loose or broken handrails or stair treads can all pose significant risk to people. Whenever a walking surface can shift under a person’s weight while they are stepping or climbing stairs, falls can occur.
- Cluttered floors: When floors are cluttered, the risk of tripping and falling increases. Clutter can include store merchandise left in aisles as well as equipment, supplies, trash or other debris that can create a walking hazard.
- Wet and slippery floors: Tracked-in snow and liquid spills should be immediately cleaned. Once floors are properly mopped, signs should be put out to warn people of potentially slick surfaces.
In addition to the common causes of slip and fall accidents listed above, accidents caused by snow and ice and dangerous sidewalks are among the most common reasons why pedestrians trip, slip and fall.
Trip and Falls on Cracked and Broken Sidewalks
Broken, cracked or otherwise dangerous city sidewalks can result in severe injuries. When sidewalks are not adequately maintained by property owners, those who travel along them are at risk of tripping and falling.
New York law requires residential and commercial property owners to maintain sidewalks in a safe condition and remove hazards that could cause someone to slip, trip and fall. Unfortunately, these dangerous conditions are often overlooked, creating a hazardous environment for pedestrians. Sidewalk accidents can be caused by:
- Lack of warnings or caution signs in work zones
- Utility caps or gas caps sticking up from the sidewalk
- Failure to adequately remove snow and ice
- Damaged metal sidewalk gratings
- Buckling caused by tree roots
- Loose brick walkways
- Large cracks
- Uneven pavement
Unfortunately, children, senior citizens, mothers with strollers and other individuals with mobility challenges are most likely to suffer sidewalk accidents. If you or someone you love has slipped and fallen or tripped and fallen on a New York sidewalk, it is important to contact Reid Wissner today to schedule a free consultation to determine the strength of your claim.
Slip and Fall Accidents Caused by Snow and Ice
New York winters can be downright frightful for people traveling by foot: relentless snowstorms, freezing rain, blustery winds and sub-zero temperatures can all contribute to a serious risk for pedestrians.
The accumulation of snow and ice on sidewalks, parking lots and driveways can create a multitude of hazard zones, resulting in serious and potentially lifelong injuries. Unfortunately, many people who slip and fall on slick and icy surfaces are often too embarrassed to file legal claims because they mistakenly believe that the accident was their fault. However, that is often not true.
It’s important to know that property owners have a legal duty to ensure their property, whether it be a public space, commercial business, private home or rental property, is free from dangerous conditions, including:
- Parking lots
Property owners are obligated to clear access to their own buildings, parking lots and walkways even when these areas have been blocked by snow that was pushed aside by a city plow. These areas must be cleared without moving the accumulated snow onto city streets.
Additionally, property owners are required to keep interior floors dry. This can be accomplished by consistently mopping up any ice or snow tracked in by visitors, customers or employees. “Wet floor” signs should be set out to alert others to potential hazards.
What Evidence Is Needed in a Slip and Fall Claim?
A slip and fall claim is simply a personal injury case that arises out of an accident in which the victim slips, trips, or falls. Like any other personal injury case, to be successful in a slip and fall claim, there are certain pieces of evidence that will be needed to prove your case. This includes medical records showing that you suffered injuries as a result of the accident, as well as witness testimony or other forms of evidence to show how the accident occurred. At Reid B. Wissner Law Offices, we can assist you in gathering the proper evidence to increase the chances of a more successful personal injury case.
How Long Does It Take To Settle a Slip and Fall Claim?
The time it takes to settle a slip and fall claim can vary greatly depending on the severity of your injuries and whether liability for the accident is disputed. If you have serious injuries such as broken bones, lacerations requiring stitches, or head trauma requiring hospitalization, it may take several months for you to recover, and the settlement process may be prolonged.
In cases where liability for the accident is not at issue, the time it takes to settle a slip and fall claim can vary depending on whether both parties can reach an agreement without litigation or if one party decides to file a lawsuit. A personal injury attorney, such as the team at Reid B. Wissner Law Offices in New York, NY, can help you understand how long it will likely take in your case and what factors will impact that timeline.
Can I Sue If No One Witnessed My Slip and Fall?
If no one witnessed your slip and fall, you might still be able to file a successful claim against the property owner or business due to negligence. However, this could involve interviewing potential witnesses about what they saw as well as hiring an expert witness who can testify about why the property owner or manager should have known about the hazard that caused your fall. Attorney Reid B. Wissner can help guide you through this process and advise you on what evidence will be needed to prove your case.
Should I Visit a Doctor After a Slip and Fall Accident?
There are several reasons why it is highly advisable to seek medical attention following a slip and fall accident, such as:
- To receive treatment for any injuries you may have suffered. Many symptoms of serious injuries can take hours or days to present themselves, so if you don't visit a doctor after your accident, you could actually be putting yourself at risk of complications from an injury that wasn't apparent immediately.
- To document the severity of your injuries if you need to file a claim against the person responsible for causing your accident. If you speak with an attorney about pursuing legal action but decide not to seek medical care after your fall, your claim may be subjected to scrutiny by the defendant's lawyer, who will attempt to use this against you.
- To build a stronger claim. How you present your case is one of the most important things that can impact your ability to recover compensation for your slip and fall accident. If you seek medical treatment immediately following the incident, this can help show the insurance company or the court that the injuries you sustained are valid and not fake.
Compensation for Trip and Fall and Slip and Fall Accidents
If you have suffered a serious injury due to another’s negligence or carelessness, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Reid Wissner has the knowledge, experience, skill and resources to effectively assert your rights in negotiations or in court. He will lead your case and deal directly with insurance companies to preserve your rights and claims. When pursuing compensation, he will consider both your immediate and future needs as he seeks to secure comprehensive coverage for your injuries and financial losses, including:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Future loss of earnings
- Pain and suffering
Reid Wissner is passionate about helping you get back on track. In every slip and fall premises liability claim he pursues the maximum compensation for your losses. After your free initial consultation, he will examine every aspect of your case, identify the parties responsible for your injuries and work diligently to hold them fully accountable.
Call Dr. Wissner For Your Trip & Fall Injury Case In NYC!
Reid B. Wissner Law Offices understands what a difficult time this can be for you and your family; let him focus on all of aspects of your case so you can focus on healing. To schedule your free slip and fall consultation, please contact us today by using the form on this page or calling 212-406-9288. We proudly help accident victims from throughout the areas of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.