Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere at any time, making them a highly unpredictable source of physical injuries and lasting bodily and emotional damage.
Although the wide range of variables associated with any slip and fall accident makes it impossible to predict when and where such an accident would occur, most of such accidents occur due to preventable causes that can be remedied with appropriate safety checks and precautionary measures to reduce the risk of severe injury and death.
While the high volume of foot and road traffic in New York City makes it a location ripe for such accidents, the risk of serious physical injuries increases significantly due to weather conditions like rain, snowfall, ice, etc.
Not only do these adverse weather conditions create safety hazards for slip and fall incidents but also further complicate a potential lawsuit by making it more challenging for the plaintiff to prove negligence on the part of a New York City property owner.
If you or your loved one got involved in a slip and fall on snow or ice in New York City, you might be able to recover compensation for your damages through a lawsuit against the property owner or administration.
Contacting an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer at Douglas & London in NYC is one of the best ways to understand the legal peculiarities of your case and ensure the chances of success if you successfully establish liability in a court of law.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, including cuts, bruises, lacerations, internal and external bleeding, skull fracture, long bone fracture, vertebral damage, spinal cord damage, paralysis, and more.
If the injuries are severe enough, they might lead to the death of the victim. While the risk of incurring such injuries is high in all slip and fall accidents, it is even greater for accidents that occur due to slippery conditions like snow and ice.
In addition to physical injuries, these accidents can also result in significant emotional harm and financial damages. Such accidents result in loss of income, medical bills, incidental expenses, and more. Since insurance might not cover the entirety of your medical expenditure, it might be wise to pursue compensation for your damages through a lawsuit against the negligent party.
Weather Conditions & Duty of Care
According to state and federal law, each property owner owes their visitors or patrons a duty of care, which entails the maintenance of adequate safety standards at a property.
The violation of this duty of care can result in the property owner being held liable for any damages that result directly or indirectly from a slip and fall accident. To obtain financial compensation for your slip and fall injuries, you need to prove in court that the property owner behaved in a negligent manner and that it resulted in your slip and fall accident and injury.
While the premises liability law is relatively straightforward in terms of legal jargon, its practical application can vary widely between different cases. It becomes even more challenging to prove liability when it comes to unpredictable weather conditions like snowstorms and ice.
While in some cases, it might be impossible to keep the property clear, in other cases, it might come down to the question of whether or not the property owner had enough time to address the potentially dangerous buildup of snow and ice at their property.
A property owner can be held liable for your slip and fall accident if it is proven in court that the property owner had a reasonable amount of time to ensure safe conditions despite the harsh weather.
You must prove that the property owner had or should have had the knowledge of said conditions and failed to take timely action. Furthermore, evidence of your physical and financial damages must be submitted while making a claim against the negligent property owner.
Most slip and fall lawsuits can take up to a year or more for complete resolution. A majority of slip and fall cases culminate in mutually agreed-upon settlements, with a relatively minor percentage proceeding to a court trial with or without the presence of a jury. The timeline of each case varies according to the individual factors and circumstances surrounding the slip and fall accident.
Strengthening Your Case
Regardless of the cause of your accident, the most important factor in strengthening your legal claim is abundant physical evidence. In any slip and fall accident where you need to prove liability, you need to have substantial evidence, including a thorough photographic record of your physical injuries, location of the accident, proof of the presence of snow or ice at the accident site, eyewitness statements, medical bills, receipts of incidental expenses stemming from your accident, and more.
While gathering and compiling physical evidence is inarguably one of the most important parts of building a solid claim against a defendant, nothing should come in the way of your health. It is essential to focus on getting better in the wake of an accident, especially if your injuries are severe and do not allow you to vigorously pursue evidence collection.
If you are unable to do so, a skilled legal team and family members or friends can help you collect the necessary evidence and help build a strong case against the negligent party.
Slip and fall accidents result in hundreds of thousands of emergency visits each year, with injuries ranging from minor cuts and bruises to severe physical trauma and death. Adverse weather conditions like snow and ice significantly increase the risk of such accidents and create potential complications for a future legal claim, where establishing liability might be challenging to prove.
Hiring a skilled slip and fall lawyer is one of the best ways to safeguard your legal rights and ensure that you will receive adequate monetary compensation for your physical and financial damages. A competent New York City attorney will help formulate a winning legal strategy depending on the unique circumstances surrounding your slip and fall accident and guide you through the complicated legal process.