Slip & Fall
When you go to an establishment such as a restaurant or retail store, you do not expect to suffer injuries. All property owners in the Syracuse and Rochester areas, especially those who invite customers onto their property, are supposed to conduct inspections of their property periodically to make sure that it is reasonably safe for visitors. A slip and fall accident may sound minor, but it can result in broken bones, complex fractures, soft tissue injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and other injuries that necessitate medical care. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our Syracuse slip and fall lawyers may be able to help you recover damages after a slip and fall.Claims Based on Slip and Fall Accidents
In New York, you can bring a premises liability lawsuit if you suffer injuries in a slip and fall accident. Slip and fall accidents occur whenever a visitor to property slips or trips on a substance or dangerous property condition, falls as a result, and suffers injuries. For example, if you are walking in a grocery store and slip on a banana peel, this is a slip and fall accident. The same is true if you trip on unsafe stairs and get hurt.
Whether you can recover damages depends partly on why you were on the property, whether your injury was foreseeable to a reasonable property owner, and whether the property owner took reasonable steps to fix the dangerous condition, clean up a spill, or otherwise warn visitors about it. You may be able to establish liability after a slip and fall accident if you can prove that the property owner or occupier knew or should have known about the potential harm or danger, the property owner or occupier did not take steps to fix the problem or provide warnings, and you suffered injuries because of the condition. For example, if you are at a restaurant where the janitor just mopped the bathroom, they should leave a warning cone or other warning in place so that you do not slip on the slippery floor. If the janitor does not, and you slip in the bathroom and fracture your hip, you may be able to recover damages with the assistance of a slip and fall attorney in the Syracuse area.
There are some situations in which a property owner will not be held liable for a slip and fall. Trespassers are not owed a duty of care when an owner is unaware of a trespasser's presence and never agreed to it. For example, if a trespasser breaks into a store and then slips on spilled milk that the owner left to be cleaned up in the morning, the owner cannot be held liable.
In many instances, liability can be established through circumstantial evidence. For example, if a person visiting a construction site can sense something slippery under their feet, and then they see a slippery area on the floor after a fall, this may show causation. Notice may be established through reference to a manager's notes or video surveillance footage. However, if you fall, you should be aware that surveillance footage is often taped over fairly soon, and it is important to retain a Syracuse slip and fall attorney right away so that they can send a letter to ask the store to preserve the footage and any other possible evidence.
It is common for property owners and storeowners to file for summary judgment to get a case dismissed short of trial. Slip and fall cases can be dismissed on the basis that there was no reason for the defendant to have actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition before the accident. For example, if you slipped on something that footage shows was spilled just two minutes before you fell, there probably would not have been time for the storeowner to clean it. A defendant may also seek summary judgment when a plaintiff is not sure what caused them to fall.Discuss Your Case with a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Syracuse
In New York, you typically have three years from a slip and fall accident to bring suit for spinal cord injuries, brain trauma, fractures, and other injuries. However, it can be important to retain an attorney and conduct an investigation into the reasons for the accident right away, since evidence vanishes over time. We represent injured people in Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, Auburn, Elmira, Norwich, Cortland, Delhi, Herkimer, Watertown, Lowville, Oneida, Wampsville, Utica, Canandaigua, Oswego, Cooperstown, Ithaca, and Lyons, as well as other areas of Upstate New York. Call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.