Parker Waichman LLP – Dedicated Long Island Slip and Fall Attorneys
Long Island slip and fall accidents happen every day. Whether a person falls on a wet floor in a grocery or department store, slips on an icy entryway at an apartment complex, or trips over an object in another person’s home, the resulting injuries can be equally debilitating. While many slip and fall accidents on Long Island do not result in serious injuries, some slip and fall accidents lead to catastrophic and fatal injuries.
Most people have slipped and fallen before and have been able to stand up and walk away with minor bruises, scrapes or cuts. Additionally, many slip and falls happen because of clumsiness. However, when a preventable slip and fall accidents happen that are the fault of another person or party, the injured person has the right to hold that person or party responsible.
The Long Island Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys of Parker Waichman LLP handle multiple slip and fall cases on a regular basis and have extensive experience helping clients receive compensation for their physical pain and mental anguish as well as compensation for lost income and medical expenses. Because slip and fall accidents have the potential to result in serious and often life-changing injuries, speaking with one of our attorneys is a good start to finding out if someone else should be held responsible for causing preventable injuries.
Parker Waichman LLP Has Recovered More than $2 Billion for Injured Clients
As a nationally-recognized injury law firm, Parker Waichman LLP has obtained more than $2 billion collectively for their clients through settlements and verdicts at trial. Our Long Island Slip and Fall Attorneys have a reputation for emphasizing client satisfaction, and they work diligently on behalf of their clients’ rights and interests. While case results cannot be guaranteed, Parker Waichman LLP routinely helps injured victims obtain compensation for what they have been through. Our law firm is honored to have received numerous positive peer-reviewed ratings including the following:
- 9.8/10 Rating by AVVO (Rating Every Attorney in the U.S.);
- “Preeminent Lawyers” AV Peer Review Rating (Martindale-Hubbell®);
- Highest Ranking of “5 Dragons” Based on Peer Review by Lawdragon; and
- Listing in Best Lawyers Publication Determined by Extensive Peer Review.
Because peer-reviewed ratings do not reveal everything about a law firm, it is important that anyone with questions about how Parker Waichman LLP has been able to help so many clients contact our legal team to learn more about who we are and what we have to offer.
Long Island Slip and Fall Injuries – Long Island Slip and Fall Lawsuits and Settlements
Understanding Premises Liability in Long Island
A slip and fall accident is evaluated under the category of premises liability. When slip and fall accidents happen on another person’s property, that property owner may be held liable for injuries sustained by others on the property. For a property owner to be found liable for another person’s injuries under New York law, the injured party is required to establish that the property owner knew or should have known about an unsafe or dangerous condition on the property, and did not take steps to eliminate the hazard. Dangerous and unsafe conditions on the premises include, among others, the following:
- Uneven floor or sidewalk;
- Wet or slippery floor;
- Unmarked object;
- Icy sidewalk; and
- Dangerous or defective stairs.
If a property owner is responsible for ensuring no liquid or objects are hazardous to visitors and customers and fails to remove the danger or hazard, he or she may be held liable if a person suffers injuries. However, there are situations where a property owner may only be held partially at fault. Additionally, if a customer is running through the store against the rules and falls on the floor suffering injuries, the customer may share some of the blame.
Long Island Slip and Fall Lawsuits and Settlements
To establish that a property owner is liable for a person’s Long Island slip and fall injuries, the injured individual must prove that a property owner was negligent. The failure to identify and remove a hazard that a property owner knew or should have known about is one form of negligence that an injured person may be able to prove. Premises liability cases are governed by the general rules of negligence under New York law, and a person injured in a slip and fall accident must satisfy the following elements:
- The property owner owed a duty of care to the injured individual;
- The property owner has breached their duty of care to the injured individual;
- The property owner’s breach of duty caused the individual to trip and fall; and
- The trip and fall accident resulted in injuries and other damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages.
By owning property and allowing individuals to come to that property, whether the property is a business, an apartment complex, or a home, among other properties, the owner takes on a duty to ensure the premises are reasonably safe. A property owner’s failure to identify a wet floor, an uneven surface or sidewalk, dangerous stairs, icy sidewalks, or a hazardous object left on the floor are all ways in which a property owner can breach its duty of care to individuals on the property.
Long Island Slip and Fall Accidents that Happen in the Workplace
When slip and fall accidents happen in the workplace, the injured worker may have the option of filing a workers’ compensation claim to receive time off from work to recover from the injuries and lost present and future wages in accordance with New York workers’ compensation laws. If an injured worker is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits (most employers in New York are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage), the injured worker must notify his or her employer no later than thirty (30) days following the accident. After notification to the employer, the next step is filing a workers’ compensation claim which must be filed within two years subsequent the date of the accident in most cases. The workers’ compensation process can be tricky, so it is a good idea to work alongside a Long Island Workers’ Compensation Attorney.
Injuries Associated with Long Island Slip and Fall Accidents
Long Island slip and fall accidents can result in permanent injuries, some of which are catastrophic and fatal. Such injuries include, among others, the following:
- Broken or fractured bones, especially legs and hips;
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
- Cuts, gashes, and open wounds;
- Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries, some of which may result in partial or complete paralysis;
- Internal bleeding; and
All Long Island slip and fall injuries may require expensive emergency treatment which may result in the need for surgery, long hospital stays, and the need for in-hospital rehabilitation. What may seem like a minor slip and fall accident can become dangerous very quickly, especially if a person has sustained a head or brain injury.
The Consequences of Long Island Slip and Fall Injuries Go Beyond Physical Pain and Suffering
Physical pain and suffering are only pieces of a larger puzzle when facing Long Island slip and fall injuries. Individuals who can recover quickly after sustaining slip and fall injuries are the lucky ones. When a person’s injuries are catastrophic and permanent, that person may no longer be able to work and participate in the same activities he or she participated in before the Long Island slip and fall accident.
The inability to work means the injured person must rely on another source of income (perhaps government benefits) to make ends meet. A lack of income can also harm family members who are dependent upon the individual to live day after day. Additionally, the medical expenses associated with slip and fall injuries can exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions of dollars over the course of a person’s life, another financial stressor that can ruin a person’s life.
The combination of physical injuries and financial stress can place a significant emotional toll on an injured person resulting in the development of depression and other conditions that can make the injured person miserable. Because the damages resulting from a Long Island slip and fall accident have the potential to change a person’s life forever, it is imperative that anyone injured in a slip and fall accident seriously considers working alongside a qualified Long Island Slip and Fall Attorney to discuss legal options.
The Statute of Limitations for Filing a Long Island Slip and Fall Lawsuit
Every state has laws that govern time limitations on filing a lawsuit, and New York is no exception. Because these time limitation laws differ from state to state, it is crucial that injured individuals are aware of the laws in New York so that they do not miss an opportunity to hold a negligent party accountable for causing slip and fall injuries.
The following statutes of limitations apply to Long Island slip and fall accidents:
- Personal Injury – A person who has sustained slip and fall injuries in Long Island has three years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit against the alleged negligent party, often the owner(s) of the property where the accident happened.
- Wrongful Death – If a person sustains fatal injuries resulting from a Long Island slip and fall accident, the representative of the deceased individual’s estate has two years from the date of the loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Some exceptions may apply to the statutes of limitation for personal injury and wrongful death. However, injured victims wishing to pursue legal action should not rely on any exceptions. Instead, an injured victim should immediately contact a Long Island Slip and Fall Attorney after injuries have been sustained because of a slip and fall accident.
How the Process Works When Filing a Long Island Slip and Fall Lawsuit
Lawsuits can be stressful, but when an injured person knows what to expect when pursuing legal action, the entire process can go much smoother. One of the most frustrating things about pursuing a lawsuit is the length of time it can take from the moment you speak with a Long Island Slip and Fall Attorney to the time the case results in a settlement or verdict at trial. Overall, anyone wishing to speak with an attorney about injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident should anticipate the following process:
- Free Case Evaluation – The first step to pursuing a lawsuit is having a qualified attorney evaluate the facts of what happened and the injuries that were sustained because of the slip and fall accident.
- Attorney/Client Decision to Move Forward – Based on the initial facts gathered from the potential client, an attorney will decide to either move forward with a case, or to decline the case. If a case is declined, the attorney will provide a detailed reason for why a case has been declined. For example, if the relevant statute of limitations has already expired for a slip and fall case, there may be nothing an attorney can do to move forward.
- The Complaint for Damages and Jury Demand – After the attorney and client have agreed to move forward, the complaint will be filed in either New York state court or federal court depending on where the defendant(s) is from. If all parties are from New York, the case will likely be filed in state court. If a defendant is from another state, the case may be filed in federal court.
- Discovery – After a complaint is filed, the case will go through an investigation stage called “discovery” where the parties exchange information about the accident and resulting injuries. Such information comes in the form of documents (such as medical records, accident reports, and witness statements), and in the form of deposition testimony where the parties, fact witnesses, and expert witnesses testify under oath.
- Mediation/Arbitration – Many cases will go through mediation where the parties find out each side’s position and expectations. It is possible for cases to settle after mediation, but an agreement cannot always be reached. As such, the path may continue towards trial.
- Settlement Negotiations – The parties may continue to discuss settlement as a case gets closer to trial, and a significant number of cases are ultimately settled before a trial begins.
- Trial – If mediation and settlement negotiations have not resulted in an agreement to compensate an injured person, a case may go to trial. It can take one year or longer for a case to go to trial from the time a complaint is filed. Because New York is so populated and numerous individuals suffer injuries on a daily basis, the court system is booked out one to two years in advance, and sometimes even longer. Once a case gets to trial, a jury will decide whether an injured person is entitled to compensation. Settlement negotiations may continue throughout the trial, and some cases settle right before a jury makes its decision.
- Appeal – The losing party at trial may file an appeal, and the appellate process can take years. Therefore, many injured individuals choose to settle a lawsuit before it goes to trial so that the appeal process can be avoided.
It is important for anyone considering legal action to keep in mind that there are no guarantees that a particular case will result in the award of compensation either through a settlement or a verdict at trial. However, the Long Island Slip and Fall Attorneys of Parker Waichman LLP have a reputation for helping a significant number of clients receive the compensation they deserve for their suffering and continue to advocate for their clients day after day.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Long Island Slip and Fall Accidents and Lawsuits
Am I entitled to compensation if I am partly to blame for my Long Island slip and fall injuries?
Sometimes. Under New York law, a person injured in a slip and fall accident is not barred from receiving monetary compensation if he or she is partly to blame for the accident. Instead, the injured person’s recovery may be reduced by the percentage he or she is found to be at fault. For example, if a slip and fall case goes to trial and a jury finds that the injured person was 40% at fault and a property owner was 60% at fault, the injured person’s monetary award may be reduced by 40%. This apportionment of fault is called “comparative negligence.” As such, an injured person still has an opportunity to receive some form of compensation when pursuing legal action.
What happens if another customer on the property played a role in causing my slip and fall accident?
If a person other than a property owner played a role in causing a slip and fall accident, any potential lawsuit might also involve this other person. However, regardless of whether another person played a role in causing a slip and fall accident, a property owner is still likely to be a party to a lawsuit simply because the accident happened on the property owner’s premises.
If my slip and fall accident happens at work, should I file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit?
Workers Compensation benefits are meant to help injured workers recover so they can return to the workplace. Personal injury claims are based on fault, so if fault cannot be established, workers’ compensation may be the only option. However, if a slip and fall accident was caused by someone other than the employer’s fault, you may also be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit may be the way to go. However, the decision to pursue a workers’ compensation claim versus a personal injury claim, or both, should be discussed with a Long Island Workers’ Compensation and Slip and Fall Attorney.
If my slip and fall injuries are permanent, will I receive more compensation from a Long Island lawsuit or settlement?
It depends. All cases are different. For example, if a defendant does not have sufficient money to pay substantial compensation to you for your injuries, then it may be difficult to collect what you deserve from that defendant. Some insurance policies have limits on how much compensation is available to an injured person in a slip and fall accident, so the amount of compensation you receive may be out of your control. The injuries you sustained and other damages you incurred will play a part as well. At Parker Waichman LLP, our Long Island Slip and Fall Attorneys work diligently to help maximize the amount of compensation injured victims to deserve based on the severity of the injuries.
Contact Parker Waichman LLP Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you or a family member has suffered injuries resulting from a Long Island slip and fall accident, and you believe someone else is at fault for causing the accident, you should consider speaking with a Long Island Slip and Fall Attorney as soon as possible. At Parker Waichman LLP, our nationally-recognized Long Island Slip and Fall Attorneys have helped numerous clients recover for injuries they sustained because of someone else’s negligent conduct. If you would like to discuss your potential case with one of our attorneys, contact Parker Waichman LLP today by calling (800) YOUR-LAWYER (968-7529) to schedule your free consultation. We have attorneys and paralegals who speak many languages, including Spanish, to help our diverse client-base.
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