Trip and Fall Accident Attorneys In Long Island
If you were injured in a trip and fall accident on Long Island, you may be wondering whether you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Injuries from a trip and fall accident can be serious, particularly in older adults. Filing a trip and fall lawsuit can obtain compensation for medical bills related to your injury, as well as pain and suffering.
The Long Island trip and fall attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have decades of experience successfully representing clients in personal injury lawsuits. The firm offers free, no-obligation legal consultations. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee, meaning you only pay lawyers’ fees if we win your case.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is when a property owner is responsible for injuries caused by their negligence. Fall and fall accidents are a prime example of premises liability, but this area of law encompasses any unsafe condition that causes harm. For instance, a malfunctioning security gate could also be considered an unsafe condition that leads to injury.
In a trip and fall or trip and fall accident, the unsafe condition can include various fall hazards such as:
- Slippery floors
- Uneven sidewalks, broken cement
- Snow and ice, such as “black ice”
- Stairway hazards such as a broken handrail
- Objects on the floor
- Unsecured carpet
- Cluttered hallways or aisles
Trip and fall injuries can occur anywhere. Examples include the sidewalk in front of a private property, stores, restaurants, apartment buildings, parks, and office buildings.
Not all trip and fall accidents warrant a lawsuit. Premises liability only applies when the injury was caused by the owner’s negligence.
Fall, Trip and Fall Injuries
A trip and fall accident can cause injuries ranging from mild to very serious or debilitating. In severe cases, a trip and fall injury can even be life-threatening. This is particularly true in older adults, who are susceptible to fall injuries.
Examples of trip and fall injuries may include:
- Broken bones such as a broken arm or hip fractures
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Internal injuries such as bleeding
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Suing for a Trip and Fall Injury
What determines whether you can sue for a trip and fall injury? The main factor is negligence, or carelessness. In a trip and fall lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed him or her a duty of care. The injured party must then show that the defendant breached their duty, which proximately caused their injury. The plaintiff must have suffered damages due to their injury.
How does a property owner breach their duty of care? Being negligent with regards to premises liability means that a property owner knew there was an unsafe condition on the property and had a reasonable amount of time to fix it, but did not. If someone is injured due to this condition, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages for medical bills and pain and suffering.
When suing for a trip and fall injury, the plaintiff must also show that they were on the property lawfully. For example, you became injured as a houseguest or as someone hired to do work on the property.
In most cases, injured trespassers cannot sue a property owner for a trip and fall injury, even if the owner was negligent in addressing a dangerous condition. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. An owner may be liable if they knew a trespasser was on their property and acquiesce to their presence.
Children are another exception if there is an attractive nuisance on the property, such as an unfenced pool. In this case, a personal injury lawsuit may be filed even if the owner did not know about child trespassers.
You can also file a trip and fall accident lawsuit against the government, but these suits are different from ordinary personal injury claims. For more information, contact one of our experienced Long Island trip and fall attorneys.
Falling Injuries are Common and Serious in Older Adults
Anyone can suffer serious injuries from a fall, but the risks are even greater in older adults. According to the New York State Department of Health, falls are the leading cause of injury, fatalities, hospitalization and emergency department visits in adults 65 years and older.
The New York State Department of Health says that every day, 2 older New Yorkers die, 140 are hospitalized and 223 visit the emergency department due to falls. Additionally, the number of fall injuries are on the rise in New York state. Deaths from fall injuries rose 15 percent between 1999 and 2008. And the rate of fall-related hospitalizations increased 19 percent.
Between 2006 and 2008, 900 New York state residents over the age of 65 died from fall injuries; 51,231 were hospitalized.
In children ages 14 and under and adults aged 25 years and older, falls are the leading cause of hospitalization for injuries.
What to do After a Trip and Fall
Your health always comes first. If you suffered a trip and fall, seek medical attention immediately. Get a full medical exam as soon as you are able. You may not realize the extent of your injuries until later, so get medical treatment right after you are injured regardless. Describe all your symptoms to the medical professional and relay the details of how you were injured. Be sure to follow your physician’s instructions.
If you are able, we strongly recommend that you take photos of the hazard that caused your injury. Ask someone else to take pictures for you if you cannot. This will provide proof of the unsafe condition. You should also take pictures of your injuries. Your medical records will also serve as proof.
If there were any eyewitnesses, obtain their contact information. Do not wash any clothes or shoes you were wearing at the time of the accident, as they may contain evidence. You only have a limited amount of time to sue, so contact a personal injury attorney immediately.
Filing a Long Island Accident Lawsuit
If you or someone you know is interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit involving an accident that occurred on Long Island, contact one of our Long Island accident attorneys today. Parker Waichman offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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