A slip and fall can result in serious injury and in some instances victims even die. This is especially true when a fall causes brain injury. To pursue a slip and fall lawsuit, substantial damages must exist. In other words, a severe injury must have occurred in order to build a case. However, not every instance of severe injury provides a basis for legal action.
Why? The answer is: if the victim's own carelessness led to the fall, then there is no party to hold responsible for the injury. If evidence did not exist that showed the property owner was negligent, a victim could not hold the property owner accountable for damages.
Based on New York law, most property owners are liable if hazardous property conditions lead to a serious slip and fall injury. This holds true when the property owner knew about the hazard and failed to warn about it or repair it in a timely manner.
A common argument in a slip and fall case is that the victim's own carelessness caused the accident. Opposing counsel may allege that you weren't paying attention because you were talking on your phone. Another argument might be that the area was off-limits and visitors were not allowed there. Or, opposing counsel may argue that there was not enough time for a reasonable person to discover the hazard and repair it.
In New York, personal injury law is based on contributory negligence. Courts consider any lack of responsibility on the part of both plaintiff and defendant and assign a percentage of fault. For example, if the victim’s was assigned 20% fault and the property owner was assigned 80% fault, the victim could only recover 80% of the damages being sought in the lawsuit.
Based on New York law, there are time limitations for filing a lawsuit for a slip and fall injury. You must file the lawsuit within three years of the date of the accident.
If you have been seriously injured and believe the property owner was at fault, you should consult with an experienced accident lawyer. You can discuss the prospects of pursuing a claim.