A “slip and fall” doesn’t sound like a serious accident… so why are there so many cases of million-dollar slip and fall accidents?
If you or a loved one are suffering from a recent slip and fall accident, you know that medical bills pile up fast. These types of accidents result in a range of injuries – from a bump on the head to broken bones, brain injuries, or even paralysis or death. Over eight million people go to the hospital each year for slip and fall accidents. In fact, half of all accidental deaths are caused by a fall.
In short, as much as a “mere” slip and fall doesn’t sound very serious, the results often are – and that’s not even taking into account money lost due to missed work time, the inability to do your job anymore, or pain and suffering.
If you or someone you love has suffered a slip and fall due to another’s negligence, you should not have to pay for their mistake – and you don’t have to. Below, we’re going to cover the many reasons why you should take action by filing a slip and fall lawsuit.
Costs of a Slip and Fall Claim Extend Beyond Hospital Bills
As mentioned above, slip and fall settlements can reach millions of dollars. From an outsider’s perspective, that might sound dramatic, but victims of slip and fall accidents know that those costs may be justified by the time a case is over.
Every slip and fall case is different, but New Yorkers may be able to file a claim to cover the cost of the following damages:
- Medical bills (hospital visits, outpatient appointments, medication, physical therapy, surgeries, etc.)
- Loss of income/future earnings at work
- Inability to complete daily tasks (childcare, driving to work, etc.)
- Pain and suffering
- Legal fees
A slip and fall can have a major impact on the way you live your daily life. The responsible party should be held accountable and made to cover the cost of that impact.
Negligent Property Owners May Be Held Accountable
Slip and fall accidents fall under the umbrella of “premise liability” cases. When you take a business or property owner to court for a premise liability case, a judge will look at the following elements:
- Did the defendant have a duty to you? This duty could be the responsibility of keeping a property free of hazards. This element also looks at your role as a guest. Were you on the property legally?
- Breach of duty. New York has specific laws detailing how property owners should maintain their property and how they should address hazards. If you and your personal injury lawyer can prove that these laws applied to the defendant and the defendant did not follow them, you are one step closer to winning the case.
- Injury due to breach. It is not enough for a property owner to have failed to fulfill certain duties. Damages will be awarded to you only if that breach directly caused the injury in question.
- Damages due to injury. This is where the cost of the case comes into play. Similar to the causation required to prove the breach caused your injury, you will have to prove your injury caused the damages in question. How did your injuries result in a loss of income or pain and suffering? What, specifically, were those damages in financial terms?
If you can provide proof of all of these elements, you will be able to receive compensation from a negligent property owner.
The guilty party may also face punitive damages that penalize their negligence. These damages are usually given to property owners who have faced multiple violations and have been involved in multiple liability cases.
Suing for Premises Liability Can Protect Others
Property owners have a duty to keep their property safe for guests. That is why must follow rules about maintenance and safety. Premises liability cases do not just ensure proper compensation is distributed to victims – they can alert potential guests of hazards and poorly maintained buildings.
Think about the circumstances surrounding your accident. Could this happen to someone else in the future? If the answer is yes, it’s important to hold responsible parties accountable for creating a safe environment for others. If a landlord does not fix a poorly maintained property, for example, they will only put more people at risk for similar injuries.
If You Don’t Pursue the Claim Now, You May Miss the Deadline
Premises liability cases have a statute of limitations of three years after the injury occurred. In those three years, life could get in the way and you might lose your chance to seek compensation for your injuries.