Slip and Fall Accidents
“Slip and fall” accidents on property can happen in several different ways: a fall on an icy sidewalk, a trip on a loose stair, or a fall-down on a beverage spilled on the floor, among other situations. Regardless, if the injured person can prove a case of liability against the business operator or landowner, they may be able to recover substantial monetary compensation through a personal injury claim. Rockland County slip and fall lawyer Valerie J. Crown can help you determine whether you may have a case against a negligent property owner. She represents people throughout Greater New York who are struggling to deal with the consequences of serious injuries, and she is dedicated to holding defendants and their insurers accountable for the full scope of the damages incurred.
A customer or business patron has the burden of proving a case of negligence by a preponderance of the evidence in order to recover damages. Generally speaking, a negligence case requires proof of four distinct elements: the defendant’s duty of care toward the plaintiff, the defendant’s breach of duty, the plaintiff’s damages, and a link of causation between the breached duty and the damages. Depending upon the circumstances of a slip and fall case, the plaintiff may also be required to prove other matters, such as the fact that they had permission to be on the property. (Property owners are not usually liable for injuries to trespassers, although there are a few exceptions to the general rule, such as some situations involving children.)Property Owners Owe Certain Duties to Business Patrons
While each case turns on its specific facts, the basic legal issue is whether the defendant took reasonable steps to ensure the safety of people who came onto the premises for a business purpose. A slip and fall attorney can help Rockland County residents collect evidence to prove each element of the claim. Businesses are expected to make periodic inspections of the property in an attempt to find hidden safety issues. If the owner is aware of an unsafe condition, they need to take reasonable steps to rectify the problem. If this is not possible, they at least need to warn customers of the problem. While the existence of a duty is usually a legal issue that a court must decide based upon the relationship between the parties, it is typically up to the jury to decide whether that duty was breached in a particular situation.
Sometimes an accident is caused by the combined negligence of a business owner and a guest. What happens in this situation is controlled by a state’s comparative fault or contributory negligence laws. Since New York is a “pure comparative fault” state, a plaintiff’s damages may be reduced in proportion to their fault, but the plaintiff’s own negligence is not a complete bar to recovery. They still may be able to obtain at least some compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.Discuss Your Case with a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Rockland County or Surrounding Areas
Most personal injury cases hinge in large part on the discovery and preservation of relevant evidence, and this is no less true in slip and fall cases. For this reason, it is very important to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident on someone else’s property. Otherwise, valuable evidence may slip away, devaluing your case or compromising your chances of a successful outcome. At the Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, we work hard to help each client prepare their case for trial, always being prepared to take the case to a jury if necessary. To schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation, call us today at 845.708.5900 or contact us online. Rockland County slip and fall attorney Valerie J. Crown is here to listen to the details of your situation with compassion and care. She also represents people who need a motor vehicle collision lawyer or advice regarding other personal injury claims in Rockland, Westchester, and Orange Counties, among other areas.