NEW YORK — One of the most challenging aspects of a successful slip-and-fall case is proving who was responsible for the conditions that led to the victim’s injuries. To win this type of case, the victim or plaintiff must show that the property owner or defendant played a role in facilitating the injuries.
Not every instance of a slip-and-fall can be litigated. Successful cases stem from situations in which property owners should have been more careful to reduce hazards. If you hurt yourself in spite of the fact that safeguards were in place to reduce the risk of injury, you may not have a case. If your suffering could have been avoided had the property owner taken more precautions, your Bronx slip and fall lawyer must show that the property owner was liable for the accident. Your attorney must show that the property owner owed you a duty of care and neglected this duty.
What is the “duty of care” in New York?
A person who controls a property, whether a property owner, manager, or operator, has a duty of care under New York law to ensure reasonably safe conditions on the premises to protect visitors. This doesn’t automatically make all property owners responsible for every incident on their premises. In addition to their duty of care, visitors on their property have a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings and make reasonable efforts to avoid hazards.
When a property owner discovers an unsafe condition, they have to take steps to address the hazard. If they don’t, they could be liable for the resulting injury accident.
Who is liable for my slip-and-fall in the Bronx?
To win a slip-and-fall case, your attorney must prove the property owner failed to abide by the duty of care. A few scenarios can accomplish this:
- The property owner should have known of the dangerous condition because another “reasonable” person in his position would have known about it and fixed it.
- The property owner actually did know about the dangerous condition but failed to repair it.
- The property owner caused the dangerous condition.
The first scenario is the most common one as property owners are generally attentive to keeping their premises free from hazards. Your attorney will have to show that the property owner did not act as a reasonable person would have in a similar situation, because a reasonable person would have known about the dangerous condition. Establishing that the property owner “should have known” is the most difficult part of the case.
If your case goes to trial, it will be up to the judge or jury to determine whether the property owner should have known about the condition that prompted your fall.
Can I get compensation if I’m partially to blame for my accident?
In many slip-and-fall cases, it is not obvious how the accident could have been avoided. New York is a Comparative Fault state, meaning that if you were found to have contributed to your accident in some way, you can still recover damages; however, your damages will be reduced by the amount that you were considered comparatively at fault. A judge or jury must determine your percentage of fault.
Slip-and-fall cases can quickly become very complicated. If you’ve been hurt in a slip-and-fall in the Bronx, you may want to consult with an attorney about your legal options for compensation quickly. Your case is likely subject to the New York statute of limitations which provides a short period of time in which you may bring forth an injury lawsuit. Call our Bronx personal injury lawyers for a free consultation.
Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888