Tripping hazards are everywhere in New York, Westchester and the Bronx. Building owners and their contractors are responsible for the dangerous conditions they create. They are also responsible for dangerous conditions they should have discovered and fixed. Experienced local accident attorneys, Tomkiel & Tomkiel, will show you how to protect your claim and require the insurance company to compensate you for the economic losses and pain and suffering caused by the landlord’s negligence.
What to do After You Fall
- Take photos!
Ice and snow melt away quickly. Puddles from spills and leaks will probably be cleaned up right away by the building management after someone slips and falls. (Too bad they didn’t clean it up before you were injured!) If your injuries prevent you from taking photos have someone do it for you. It is important to capture the entire accident scene, not just the dangerous condition. Show the whole area in the photos including the fact that there were no warning signs.
- Look for security cameras.
If you see a security camera in the area, take a photo of it. It is possible that the security camera captured your accident. Hopefully the security footage also shows when the dangerous condition was created, or how long it was present before it caused you to fall. One of the reasons it is so important to contact Tomkiel & Tomkiel immediately for a free consultation is that we can serve the landlord with a Notice to Preserve Video Footage. Very often the security video footage records over itself or auto-deletes after a week. Don’t wait! Learn how to protect your claim.
- Make an accident report.
The biggest mistake in a slip and fall accident is failing to report it immediately. If the police or an ambulance are not called, it is important to document your injury with the property owner. Ask the store manager or the building super to make a report of what happened and to document that you were injured. Make sure to list each body part where you are feeling pain as a result of the accident. Anybody who saw the dangerous condition that caused you to fall is an important witness, even if they did not see the accident itself. Make sure their names are on the accident report.
- Get medical attention immediately.
Everybody hates the emergency room. However, if you wait several days to deal with that aching pain, the insurance company and their lawyers will use it against you. You must document your injuries as soon as possible in order to protect yourself if you are more seriously injured than you thought at first.
- Contact Tomkiel & Tomkiel for a free consultation.
Protect yourself and your family by learning what legal steps need to be taken in order to preserve evidence and establish your claim. The insurance company will be working against you as soon as they learn of the claim. Don’t delay.
Snow and Ice
Every winter in New York, Westchester and the Bronx, snow and ice are left in heavily trafficked pedestrian areas like sidewalks, stairways, parking lots and the entranceways to buildings.
Many snow removal contractors and building maintenance crews simply do an inadequate job of clearing snow and ice after a storm. Sometimes they fail to use salt or sand to put on top of the ice. Often, they pile the snow near the edges of paved walking areas. The snow melts during the day and the water refreezes at night into black ice.
If you are seriously injured from a fall due to snow or ice, it is important to immediately contact Tomkiel & Tomkiel to learn what to do to preserve your claim. We have access to certified weather records and consult with weather experts to prove your claim. The insurance company will try to deny the existence of the snow/ice or argue about when it formed or how long it was present in order to reduce the liability of their insured snow removal contractors and property owners. Contact us to learn what to do and protect your claim.
Other Common Defects That Cause Trips and Slips
There are many types of dangerous conditions that cause people to fall and suffer injuries. The most common in New York, Westchester and the Bronx tend to be dangerous conditions in walking surfaces and stairways in commercial establishments, supermarkets, apartment buildings and parking lots, etc.
- Liquid on the floor from leaks
- Defective or broken flooring materials
- Soapy residue from improperly mopped floors
- Stairways that lack handrails
- Broken sidewalks and stairways
- Construction debris in pedestrian areas
Regardless of the type of defect, it is important to immediately learn how to protect your claim by contacting Tomkiel & Tomkiel for a free consultation.
Landowner’s Responsibility to Warn
Landlords, their managing agents, snow removal contractors, and maintenance crews have a responsibility not to create dangerous conditions. Sometimes, the creation of a hazard is unavoidable where there is ongoing construction or when floors need to be mopped. In those circumstances, those who create the condition and those who control the premises have a responsibility to warn people about the hazard. This includes warning cones, signs, caution tape, et cetera. The warning must be adequate to notify an unexpecting pedestrian that there is a dangerous condition in their path. Contact experienced local accident attorneys Tomkiel & Tomkiel for a free consultation to learn more about what types of defects require warnings.
Building Owner’s Responsibility to Inspect
It is negligent to allow a dangerous condition to exist for an unreasonable amount of time without repairing it. In New York, Westchester and the Bronx, commercial landlords and managing companies have a responsibility to perform routine inspections of the property, especially in common areas such as hallways and entranceways where people are expected to pass.
When a property owner receives a complaint about a dangerous condition, they must take steps to repair it and to warn people to avoid the trip/slip hazard until it is repaired. The landlord and their maintenance crew may also be negligent for failing to discover the dangerous condition and do something about it before it injures someone.
A slip and fall case against the owner or a tenant in possession of a premises requires that injured person prove the landlord had “notice” of the dangerous condition. Generally, this means that the injured party must show that the hazardous condition was either created by the store owner, employee, tenant, etc., or that the defendant knew about the condition, or should have known because it was there long enough that a reasonable person would have discovered it before it could cause harm to the victim.
Generally, the most useful evidence to a slip and fall lawyer will be photos of the condition, an accident report, and medical record that document how the injury was caused. An attorney can serve notices to preserve any existing video footage of the accident before it is deleted. That is one reason why the most important thing to do after an accident is to contact an attorney immediately. People should also remember to take photos of the dangerous condition including wide-angle photos to show the general area where the condition is located, if possible.
The biggest mistake in a slip and fall accident is failing to report it immediately. It is also important to consult with an attorney before giving any statements to the insurance company. The insurance adjusters are trained to frame the facts in a light most favorable to the insurance company and avoid giving you the money you deserve.
If you have suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident, contact Tomkiel & Tomkiel for a free consultation to see what you can do to obtain full, fair and just compensation for your injuries.