Outside of auto accident injury cases, slip and fall accident injuries are some of the most commonly filed personal injury claims in New York. While there seems to be a pervasive misconception that, if you hurt yourself from slipping and falling on someone else's property, you will be entitled to compensation, this is not always the case. Slip and fall cases are notoriously difficult to prove and, as such, there are difficult hurdles that must be leapt over in order to have a successful claim. If successful, a slip and fall case can provide a victim with much-needed compensation for related medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering.
Proving a Successful Slip and Fall Case
New York has a set of complex laws in place to address what must be proven in order for a property owner or manager to be held responsible for damages resulting from a slip and fall accident on the property. In order to successfully bring a slip and fall case, an injured party must be able to prove that:
- A dangerous condition existed on the property. While this has no precise definition, courts generally address this on a case by case basis while taking specific facts and circumstances into consideration.
- The property owner had knowledge of the dangerous condition prior to the accident. Knowledge could be actual or constructive. Actual knowledge would mean that the owner had direct notice of the dangerous condition. Constructive knowledge means that a reasonable property owner should have known about the condition. Constructive knowledge usually occurs in cases where there was a recurring dangerous property condition or a dangerous property condition that existed for a long time. In rare cases, the landowner knows about a property condition because he or she actually caused or created the dangerous condition.
- The property owner had enough time to fix the dangerous property condition but failed to do so. A common defense to a slip and fall claim is that the property owner did not have enough time to fix the dangerous condition. In the alternative, it may be claimed that the property owner did have enough time to remedy the dangerous condition and tried to do so, but, despite continued efforts, was unable to totally eliminate the danger. This defense may be raised in a case where someone slipped and fell on some snow where the property owner made every reasonable effort to clear the majority, if not all, of the snow.
In addition to satisfying all of the above elements of a slip and fall case, a slip and fall claim must be brought in a timely manner. This means filing the claim before the statute of limitations runs. A statute of limitations in a time limit on your right to bring a claim. Should you miss this critical deadline, it is unlikely that a court will hear your case. The clock starts to run from the date of the accident that caused the injury.
New York City Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured due to a dangerous condition on someone else's property, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm you have suffered. Talk to dedicated personal injury attorney Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. P.C. to discuss your options. Contact our office today.