People are injured every day in Westchester when they fall due to a dangerous slippery condition or tripping hazard. Building owners and their contractors are responsible for the dangerous slip/trip hazards they create. They are also responsible for those dangerous conditions on their property that they should have discovered and fixed. The insurance company should compensate the injured person with money to cover the economic losses and pain and suffering caused by the landlord’s negligence.
Take photos! When someone is injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important that they take photos of the scene for evidence. To preserve evidence and protect your compensation claim following an accident, reach out to a seasoned personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The lawyers at Tomkiel & Tomkiel have a history of getting results for clients. In 2017, Matthew Tomkiel recovered the third largest premises liability settlement in the state. A Westchester trip/slip and fall lawyer knows what legal steps need to be taken in order to preserve evidence and establish your claim. If you were injured in a stripping or slipping accident, call today to schedule a free consultation.
Types Hazardous Conditions that Cause Slip and Falls
There is no legal definition of a slip an fall. Generally, a slip or trip and fall accident is when a person falls due to a dangerous or defective condition on the walking surface. This may include hazardous conditions on sidewalks, stairways, parking lots, the floors of commercial establishments, etc. In order to bring a claim, you must show that the dangerous condition was caused by the negligence of someone else. Slip and fall hazards that a landowner could be held responsible for include:
- Slips and leaks in the doorways of commercial buildings
- Soapy residue from improperly mopped floors
- Stairways that lack handrails
- Broken sidewalks
- Construction debris in pedestrian areas
There are also many other conditions that could show negligence on behalf of the landowner. These type of hazardous conditions could lead to severe injuries such as spinal cord injuries, broken bone injuries, and head injuries. For example, if a person puts out their hand to break the fall, it might result in a wrist fracture. An attorney can help determine when a slip and fall was the result of someone else’s actions and help you determine what to do after an accident. A Westchester trip/slip and fall attorney could help you recover following one of these types of accidents.
Snow and Ice
Every winter in Westchester someone is injured because snow and ice are left in heavily trafficked pedestrian areas like sidewalks, 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.
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. If the landowner did not warn of the hazard, you may be eligible for compensation and you should contact a Westchester trip/slip and fall lawyer.
Building Owner’s Responsibility to Inspect
When the Westchester 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 failure to do so is negligence. However, the landlord and their maintenance crew may also be negligent for failing to discover the dangerous condition on their own.
It is negligent to allow a dangerous condition to exist on the property for an unreasonable amount of time without discovering and repairing it. In Westchester, 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.
Filing a Case in Westchester
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.
You Must Act Quickly to Find a Qualified Westchester Slip and Fall Attorney to Help Protect Evidence and Establish the Claim
If you have suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident, you may be wondering what to do after the accident. It may be helpful to obtain a Westchester trip/slip and fall lawyer at Tomkiel & Tomkiel. An attorney should be able to gather evidence and then establish your claim so that you could receive full and fair compensation. It is important to know that you should not give any statements over the phone or in writing until you are under the protection of a qualified lawyer.