Every year, thousands of slip and fall accidents occur in the United States. A slip and fall accident occurs when a person loses his or her balance due to a slippery surface or because they trip over an object or an uneven surface on a certain property.
These accidents arise due to a wide variety of circumstances, which range from wet or slippery floors to poorly lit stairways. Unsafe terraces and balconies, poorly equipped showers and bathtubs and other dangerous conditions.
JACOBY & JACOBY, ESQS. are the slip and fall attorneys Long Island residents can trust to obtain justice on their behalf. This firm is a vigorous fighter on behalf of the victims of slip and fall accidents.
Property owners have a duty to maintain their property in a condition which is safe for those people who have been invited there. An unsafe condition can lead to catastrophic
consequences, including serious injuries or even fatalities. Victims of falls may end up with significant bills for medical care as well as lost income due to missed work. Each slip and fall incident involves unique facts and circumstances. In order to find out if you are entitled to compensation for the negligence of a property owner, consult the slip and fall attorneys at JACOBY & JACOBY, ESQS.
If a property owner knew or should have known that a dangerous condition existed on their premises and failed to fix this defect, the owner will be required to compensate you for your injuries or the death of a loved one. However, insurance companies will look for every excuse to either pay a minimal settlement or deny your claim entirely. Slip and fall accidents are complex and aggressively defended. You should never have to deal with such claims on your own. It is extremely important to have a skilled attorney who will fight for justice on your behalf. This firm’s extensive courtroom, litigation and trial expertise make it a force to be reckoned with. JACOBY & JACOBY, ESQS., uses unique legal strategies and modern technology to successfully pursue every case from the initial investigation through trial and to hold wrongdoers accountable.
LOCATIONS OF SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS
- Amusement parks
- Apartment buildings
- Coffee shops
- Condominium complexes
- Construction sites
- Department stores
- Education institutions (schools, colleges, universities)
- Fast food restaurants
- Ice cream parlors
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Office buildings
- Parking garages
- Parking lots
- Public restrooms
- Shopping malls
- Swimming pools stores
Types of Dangerous Conditions on Premises
- Cracked walking surfaces
- Cracked floors
- Cracked cement and concrete sidewalks
- Damaged walking surfaces
- Broken glass
- Tree branches
- Negligently maintained floors, walkways and sidewalks
- Wet floors
- Plumbing leaks
- Spills of liquids (e.g. water, juices, soda, ice cream, oil, etc.)
- Dangerous bathroom and pool conditions
- No warnings “slippery when wet”
- No anti-slip strips on steps
- No handrails or broken handrails
- No mats on the floor
- No mats inside bathtubs
- Dangerous stairways
- Steep staircases without handrails
- Slippery steps
- Poorly lit stairwells
- Unsafe terraces and balconies
- Dangerously low safety rails
- Poorly secured railings and barriers
- Uneven floor surfaces
- Uneven sidewalk surfaces
- Uneven pavements
The above dangerous conditions can occur either (1) due to an unsafe and defective construction (i.e. the defects have been present since the construction of the property or (2) because of the property owner’s negligent failure to maintain the premises in safe condition (e.g. the failure to clean or perform necessary repairs).
Types of Slip and Fall Injuries
- Amputation and loss of limbs
- Back and neck injuries
- Blindness and eye injuries
- Crush injuries
- Cuts and scrapes
- Disfigurement and permanent scarring
- Fractures and broken bones (non-displaced, displaced and compound fractures)
- Hearing Loss
- Hematomas (internal bleeding)
- Internal injuries
- Joint damage
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Skin Injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injury and paralysis
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Wrongful death
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a slip and fall accident, you need the assistance of the best slip and fall attorneys on Long Island who will retain the best-qualified experts and present the most compelling case aimed at achieving the maximum level of compensation.
If You Need Medical Treatment – Do Not Delay Getting It
If you sustained an injury as a result of your fall, promptly seek medical attention. If it is a medical emergency, you must go or request to be taken to an emergency room (ER), urgent care clinic, or walk-in clinic. Do not delay getting medical care! Insurance companies (as well as jurors at trial) frequently make the assumption: if you did not make any effort to seek immediate medical care for your injuries, that means you did not really get hurt.
Also, when you do seek medical attention after a slip and fall accident explain in detail how you got injured. If there is an inconsistency between the description of your injuries in the medical records and your contentions – the property owner’s insurance company will be reluctant to pay anything to settle your claim. Should your case proceed to trial, an inconsistent claim is not going to be well-received by the jury.
For example, let’s assume that a person contends that he or she suffered a back injury after a slip and fall accident. However, the medical records show the following: when this person went to an urgent care clinic merely hours after the incident, he or she reported persistent back pain that had been present for months and did not report any recent history of trauma. Such a significant inconsistency would severely limit (if not completely eliminate) the likelihood of obtaining compensation through either a settlement or trial verdict.
Even if you have a history of a prior injury, disease, or pain involving the same area that was hurt in the accident (which is frequently called a “pre-existing condition”) – you are still entitled to be compensated for the aggravation of your condition. Therefore, if you got hurt as a result of a slip and fall accident, make certain that you advise your medical providers that you had an incident involving a fall.
Preserving Evidence in a Slip and Fall Accident
When circumstances permit, it is advisable to take the following steps to obtain and preserve valuable evidence:
- Photographs. These days, virtually all cell phones and all smart phones are equipped with cameras. It is important to take photos of the scene of the incident, including the dangerous condition, object or liquid that caused you to slip and fall. You should also take photographs of your clothes, shoes, as well as your injuries (cuts, bruises, hematomas, stitches, splints, casts, etc).
- Object that Caused the Fall. Save the specific object, which caused you to suffer a fall. For instance, if you slipped on a food item, put it in a plastic/Ziploc bag and place it in the freezer. Of courts, if you slipped on a liquid (e.g. water, juice, melted ice cream), it will be impossible to preserve this item. That is why taking detailed photographs is very important.
- Shoes and Clothing. It is also a good idea to preserve the shoes and clothing which you were wearing that the time when you suffered the fall. Place these items in a plastic bag and seal it. That way, any matter that got stuck to your shoe or stains on your clothing from the spilled liquid will be well-preserved.
- Accident/Incident Report. Ask if the place where you sustained your fall has a practice of generating incident reports. Managers and security officers are good resources to initiate the accident report process. Typically shopping malls and department stores have such a practice in place. The accident/incident report will provide a documentation of your version of events surrounding the fall and ti will be very useful in pursuing your matter. Finally, before you leave the premises, ask for a copy of the report.
- Witnesses. If there are people who witnessed your fall, make efforts to obtain these individuals’ contact information, including names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mails.
If you did not obtain any witness statements and did not take any photographs, the law firm of Jacoby & Jacoby, Esqs. will make best efforts to obtain and preserve as much evidence as reasonably possible under the circumstances. However, if you seek the assistance of a lawyer weeks or months after your accident, obtaining evidence becomes a significantly more challenging task because witnesses forget what they say, scenes of accidents get cleaned up and repaired and injuries heal. Although medical records do provide a documentation of injuries, witness statements, actual physical objects and photographs are extremely important when proving your case at trial.
Reporting Slip and Fall Accidents
If you suffered an injury as a result of a slip and fall accident, you should promptly report it:
- The accident must be reported to the property owner: Whenever possible, try to report your fall directly to the owner of the property. Owners of small businesses such as restaurants, are frequently present at the premises.
However, large-scale commercial properties are typically owned by corporations with complex business structures and hierarchies. Therefore, you are not likely to get an opportunity to speak with the owner of a larger commercial property such as a shopping mall, dealership or supermarket. In that case, ask to speak with the person in the highest position of authority – for example, a general manager, supervisor or the head of security.
If the fall occurred on public property (e.g. a sidewalk, park, etc) – make sure the incident is promptly reported to the municipality where the fall took place.
- Report your accident immediately – do not delay: Preferably, you should make your report on the day of the incident or at least on the next day. When a verbal report is not possible, consider sending a letter advising the property owner/management of your fall. If you wait to make a report, it may seriously impact your chances of getting compensated for your injuries. This is especially true if nobody saw you fall – i.e. there are no witnesses. Insurance adjusters doubt the credibility of people who report their claims late and, if these cases ever get to trial, juries feel the same way.
- If you fill out an accident/incident report, make sure it is accurate: Many properties and commercial establishments have policies in place, which demand that anyone who is injured on their property – must complete an incident report. By law, you are not obligated to complete any incident report. If you feel reluctant about filling out and signing an incident report – never be too shy to refuse to do it. This is your right! However, if you end up completing an incident report, make certain that your description is accurate.
- Avoid providing recorded statements to insurance companies: A claims representative from an insurance company may request that you provide a recorded description of your accident and the injuries you sustained. By law, just like you do not have to fill out a written report for property owners – you are not obligated to provide a recorded statement to insurance adjustors. Therefore, if you have not yet hired an attorney to represent you in your slip and fall case, it is never advisable to provide any recorded statements to insurance companies.
What Damages Can be Recovered in Slip and Fall Accident Cases?
Victims of slip and fall accidents can claim the following two main types of damages: Non-Economic and Economic damages. In some situations, those who have been injured as a result of a slip or trip and fall accident may potentially see Punitive Damages. For cases involving future care, Jacoby & Jacoby, Esqs. retain top expert physicians, life care planners and economists to evaluate clients’ needs and present the best case on their behalf.
If a slip/trip and fall accident resulted in the death of a loved one, then compensation can be sought in a Wrongful Death action.
Take Action! Promptly Contact Jacoby & Jacoby, Esqs. for a Free Consultation
If you believe a property owner’s carelessness resulted in a dangerous condition and caused your injuries or a loved one’s death, please call the law firm of Jacoby & Jacoby, Esqs., and request a free consultation. Jacoby & Jacoby, Esqs. are the slip and fall attorneys residents can count on to fight for justice on their behalf. Our firm will work in a tireless and compassionate manner in a personal injury or wrongful death case to make sure you are compensated for your injuries and losses.