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Comparative Negligence – Slip Trip and Fall

The Effect of Comparative Negligence on Your Slip, Trip and Fall Claim

Have you experienced a slip and fall accident while on someone else’s property? Each year tens of thousands of individuals experience injuries as the result of a slip, trip or fall, sometimes due to the negligence of others.

But what if the ‘fault’ surrounding the accident was, in part, of your own doing? In this guide, we explore the basics of a slip, trip and fall accident, and how comparative negligence is taken into consideration in the claims process in New York.

The Basics of a Slip, Trip and Fall Claim

Under New York laws, victims of a slip, trip and fall accident are required to prove that the owner of the property was negligent, failing to maintain the property and keep those on it safe from foreseeable harm.

Generally speaking, in order for an owner to be held ‘negligent’, the property owner must have failed to exercise what would be considered reasonable care to prevent said injury, or had done something to contribute to the risk or injury.

In other words, just because you fell and were injured does not mean the owner is automatically responsible.

Similarly, the fact that the property was in an unsafe condition isn’t enough to win a claim either. You must demonstrate that the owner was aware, or should have been aware, that the property was unsafe, and that they failed to take reasonable actions towards remedying the problem.

Comparative Negligence: the Law and Burden of Proof

I was Injured on Another’s Property – not my fault, right?

Comparative negligence is used to determine the extent to which the injured party (plaintiff) in a lawsuit for slip, trip and fall was negligent as it relates to the accident. Comparative negligence compares the negligence of the injured party vs that of the defense (property owner) in order to weigh how responsible each party was for the injury, and similarly, the amount of compensation that may be owed to the injured party.

In a slip and fall lawsuit, the property owner will attempt to show that the injured party somehow contributed to him or her falling. In order to do this, the property owner needs to demonstrate that the plaintiff did not exercise ‘reasonable care’ or that their actions were unsafe.

Examples of Negligence on Behalf of the Injured Party

  • Running down hallways or rushing up and downstairs
  • Not paying adequate attention to surroundings
  • Wearing improper footwear (i.e. high heels on a hiking trail)
  • Entering clearly marked prohibitive areas
  • Ignoring warning or caution signs
  • Hanging over a rail to snap a selfie

If the injured party is found to be comparatively negligent, it will reduce the amount of the final verdict for compensation to the extent of their comparative negligence.

Considering a Lawsuit for Slip and Fall in New York or the Bronx?

Reach out to the Law Offices of Stuart M. Kerner, P.C. and connect with an experienced slip and fall attorney with a documented track record of getting results.

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