Over the decades, initiating a personal injury claim over a slip-and-fall has become somewhat of a joke in America. People assume those who file a lawsuit because they fell in a store or parking lot are just looking for free money.
What people don’t understand is that slip-and-fall accidents can be incredibly serious. Although some of these accidents result in minor scrapes, life-threatening injuries can also occur. For example, victims who hit their heads when they fall may suffer from traumatic brain injury or death. Severe compound fractures requiring months of treatment can also happen in a slip-and-fall accident.
When can victims pursue compensation?
Contrary to popular belief, certain elements must exist to initiate a personal injury claim over a slip-and-fall in the New York metro area. These elements include:
- The property owner or possessor knew about the dangers but failed to correct the problem.
- The property owner or possessor is responsible for the dangerous conditions.
- The dangerous conditions existed long enough for the property owner or possessor to discover the problem and correct it before the incident.
In other words, the owner is only liable if he or she knew of the problem and negligently failed to remedy the situation.
For example, say a property owner fails to remove weeks of ice or snow accumulation from the parking lot. Someone slips on the ice, falls and suffers a severe head injury. The owner may be liable because he or she knew about the problem yet failed to correct the situation.
When you must face massive medical bills because of an injury someone else caused, you have the right to seek damages in a legal setting. A personal injury lawyer often fills a critical role in these cases by helping you find the evidence necessary to prove negligence.