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What Are Slip and Fall Accidents?

While there’s no excuse for clumsiness, sometimes you may face an injury that is not your fault. Property owners have a responsibility to keep their property safe and hazard-free. If you experience an accident due to negligent defective condition or improper maintenance of a property, the property owner may be required to compensate you for your medical bills and for personal injury.

However, to receive compensation, you must navigate the confusing legal world of personal injury and tort law. This environment can be an awkward world to enter. To start, you will need to understand what a slip &/or trip and fall accident is, what you should do if you get injured and how to proceed after an accident.

The Difference Between Slip and Fall and Trip and Fall

It’s common to use phrases such as “slip and fall” and “trip and fall” interchangeably. However, they refer to two different types of accidents. As with all legal matters, it’s always best to be as clear and precise as possible, so it’s crucial to differentiate between these phrases.

The typical definition of a slip and fall is an accident in which a person slips and falls due to a slippery condition, and is injured while on somebody else’s property. For example, a person slipping on a walkway that hasn’t been de-iced counts as a slip and fall accident, as does slipping on an unmarked slippery floor in an office. Slippery conditions can also be caused by water, spilled liquids, garbage, snow, ice and even recently mopped floors.

Trip and fall accidents, on the other hand, are accidents in which a person trips over an object or uneven surface. Examples of this include uneven carpets, raised cracks in sidewalks, and even cables left lying in a corridor. Tripping accidents can also be caused by broken or depressed sidewalks, broken steps, cracked floors  as well as items haphazardly left in a store aisle. There is also a third category, step and fall. In this case, the fall is caused by an unexpected dip or hole in a path, such as a missing stair on a stairway or a pothole in the road.

One of the main responsibilities of a property owner or store owner is to ensure that the property is well-maintained and safe without dangerous, defective conditions and to properly repair and maintain its property.  If the accident is due to negligence on the part of the property owner, the victim may seek compensation for medical bills and personal injury.

Common Causes of Falls

  • Uneven flooring
  • Unmarked moisture on the floor
  • Uneven stairs
  • Exposed electrical wiring
  • Obstructions in commonly used paths
  • Inadequate or non-existent warning signs
  • Spilled food or drink in commonly used paths

Common Injuries

You may expect that a fall will usually result in a minor injury, such as some bruising and embarrassment, but unexpected falls can be surprisingly dire. Since the body has so little time to prepare itself, it will fall in unexpected ways, which can result in very serious consequences.

The most common injuries from falls include:

  • Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
  • Sprains
  • Fractures, including ankle, wrist and hip fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Back and spine injuries
  • Neck injuries

Determining Liability

In the event of an accident, it’s always essential to determine who was responsible. While it is your responsibility to watch where you’re going and not be clumsy, it’s the responsibility of property owners to keep their property safe and free of hazards. The best way to determine liability is to hire a reputable New York slip, trip and fall lawyer. A good lawyer will have experience with a wide variety of cases and will know what procedures to follow in the event of an accident.

If you or a loved one was recently injured because they had an accident on the job or in a public place near the Bronx, an experienced legal team can be a valuable asset, helping you effectively navigate the legal waters involved with any claims or lawsuits you may be contemplating. The law offices of Stuart M. Kerner, P.C. may be able to help you reach a settlement to cover your medical expenses and any rehabilitation costs, lost wages or future earning ability, and even compensation for pain and suffering or emotional damages. Calls us today so we can evaluate your case and help you move forward with your life at (718) 796-7900 to schedule a FREE Consultation online so we can evaluate your personal injury case.

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