Slip and Fall Lawyers in Syracuse, NY Representing Victims of Fall-Related Injuries
If you have suffered a slip and fall injury on someone else’s property due to a defective condition or other hazards, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. By law, a property owner can be held liable for dangerous conditions that may cause other people to sustain fall injuries. Such laws fall under the category of premises liability.
Slip and fall cases can result from any number of issues, including slick surfaces, possibly due to icy or snowy conditions. Syracuse, NY, is no stranger to heavy snowfall, which can lead to wet and slippery parking lots, sidewalks, doorsteps, foyers, and entryways.
Property owners have a legal obligation to maintain their property to ensure that their premises are free of the dangerous effects of snow and ice. They must take every reasonable measure that they can to safeguard their property against slip and fall accidents, whatever the cause.
If you or a loved one has sustained serious injuries from a slip and fall accident, you need an experienced personal injury attorney who can explain your legal rights and options.
Contact the law offices of Passalacqua & Associates, LLC at (315) 500-6425 and ask to speak with one of our experienced attorneys who can review your case and help to determine the best strategy going forward.
Does An Owner Have an Obligation to Keep Their Property Safe in New York?
Under state law, property owners have a legal obligation to ensure that all those who come onto their property are kept safe from potential hazards. There are certain criteria that have to be met when determining if the property owner was negligent in keeping their premises safe from injury. Some of them are as follows:
- The property owner was aware or should have been aware of the potential hazard: For example, if a store owner knows that the sidewalk is icy, they have a duty to take steps to make certain that their premises are free of slip and fall hazards related to the ice. They must take reasonable care to prevent visitors from slipping, tripping, or falling due to unsafe conditions.
- The length of time that the hazard has been present: Property owners should be routinely checking their premises to verify that obstacles and other potential hazards do not exist that could cause injury. For instance, if it can be proven that there was no handrail on the stairs for a month and a fall occurred, this could be a key factor in being able to file for injuries.
- Preventative Measures: A property owner must also ensure that conditions are not dangerous by taking preventative measures. One example of this would be making sure that a wet floor sign is appropriately displayed when water is present or a spill has occurred.
Who Can Legally Sue a Property Owner for a Slip and Fall Accident?
In premises liability cases, there are very strict rules as to who can actually sue for a slip and fall accident. It would seem to be common sense that anyone who is injured on someone else’s property would have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, New York state law clearly defines who may actually file a claim for fall-related injuries. The law states the following in regard to being legally allowed to file a claim:
The victim of the injury was legally permitted to be on the property: In order for a slip and fall claim to be valid, the victim must have been on the property in one of the following capacities:
- Invitee: This is an individual who has been expressly invited onto the property by the owner or landlord for the owner’s benefit. This can include business patrons, residents of apartment buildings, or maintenance workers.
- Licensee: A licensee is an individual who is on the owner’s property for their own purposes. The individual could be a family member or a friend.
Even though the licensee may have a personal relationship with the owner, in legal terms, there is no direct benefit to the owner. In simple terms, this means that the property owner is obligated to warn the licensee or other invited visitors of the presence of any dangerous or other potentially hazardous conditions that may exist on the property.
As stated previously, there are certain individuals who are not permitted to file an injury claim for a slip and fall accident, such as the following:
- Trespasser: A trespasser is an individual who has entered another person’s property without their permission. In cases where a trespasser is injured, the owner is not responsible for safety. Therefore, a trespasser cannot file a claim against a property owner for a slip and fall accident. It should be strongly cautioned that although the trespasser is not legally on the owner’s property, the owner should not do anything to intentionally cause them harm.
What Types of Damages Can I Recover From a Slip and Fall Accident?
The types of damages that can be awarded in a premises liability case can be both economic and non-economic in nature.
Economic damages: These types of damages are measured in financial terms. Some commonly awarded economic damages that are awarded in premises liability cases include the following:
- Lost Wages: When an individual is injured in a slip and fall case, they are often unable to work for an extended period of time. This can also include loss of future earning capacity as well.
- Medical Costs: One of the most important aspects of economic damages is to recover monetary compensation for medical bills such as hospital expenses, doctor visits, and any other medical costs.
Non-economic damages: These types of damages are often determined in terms of pain and suffering. This can include mental trauma that you may experience due to the accident as well as:
- Loss of enjoyment of life: You are no longer enjoying activities that you were previously able to enjoy prior to experiencing your accident.
- Loss of companionship: You have suffered any changes to your relationship due to your injuries.
Why Should I Hire a Premises Liability to Help Me File a Slip and Fall Claim?
When it comes to any legal matter that involves a potential lawsuit, you need to have strong legal representation. Often an insurance company will try to deny claims, and it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit to recover damages.
It should be noted that there is a three-year statute of limitations on most premise liability cases. Therefore, it is vital that you do not delay in filing a claim. If you were to miss the deadline to file a claim, your case would be dismissed and thrown out.
You need a personal injury attorney who will not be afraid to fight aggressively for you. If you have experienced a fall in a parking lot, a sidewalk, on stairs, or in another public place, contact the law offices of Passalacqua & Associates, LLC by calling (315) 500-6425 and schedule a free strategy session so that we may review the facts of your case and determine how we can best serve you.