Property owners have a responsibility to visitors to keep their property safe. If they fail to uphold this responsibility, injured parties can file a premises liability claim to recover injury compensation. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a slip or trip and fall on someone else’s property, a slip and fall lawyer in Holbrook, Long Island can help you hold the negligent property owner liable.
Call Gacovino, Lake & Associates, PLLC for a free consultation: 631-600-0000.
How Do I Know if I Have a Valid Case?
Simply falling on another person’s property does not entitle you to file a premises liability claim. A valid claim requires we prove the following:
The property owner caused the unsafe condition or knew/should have known about the condition. For example, the handrail at your apartment complex has been loose for weeks. Your neighbors have made several maintenance requests.
- The property owner did not remedy the situation or warn visitors of the hazard. Your property manager ignored the maintenance requests and did not place warning signs near the handrail.
- The hazard caused an injury. You fell down the stairs one morning when the handrail fell off the wall.
Who Is Liable for My Injuries?
A liable party can be difficult to determine after a slip and fall accident. In most cases, it depends on where it happened. Consider the following examples:
- A slip and fall at your friend’s house: Your liable party is likely your friend. You would file a claim with her homeowner’s insurance policy.
- A slip and fall at the grocery store: In most cases, your liable party is whoever owns the grocery store. You would file a claim with the store’s business insurance policy.
- A slip and fall in your friend’s apartment complex: It is likely that your liable party is the apartment complex’s property management company, but only if it was something that the company had control over (e.g., a broken handrail). If it was something inside your friend’s apartment, she might be liable.
- A slip and fall at the mall: Who is liable depends on where the accident occurred. If you slipped and fell at the food court, the mall is likely liable. If you slipped in a specific store, that store would most likely be your liable party.
The team at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, PLLC can help you determine and prove your liable party.
What If I Was Partially At-Fault for My Slip and Fall Accident?
To devalue or deny your claim, the property owner’s insurer will likely claim that you contributed to the accident. You can recover compensation if you were partially at-fault; however, your degree of fault will decrease your available compensation.
For example, say you were walking around the grocery store. There was a fairly obvious spill on the floor, but you were reading your grocery list and did not see it. You slipped and fell, sustaining a back injury. The grocery store manager knew about the spill but did not clean it up or place any wet floor signs near the spill. The investigation found the grocery store 60 percent at-fault, while you were 40 percent at-fault. You could only recover 60 percent of your demand (e.g., $12,000 of $20,000).
We Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve
Once we prove the property owner knew of the hazard and did nothing to remedy it or warn you of its existence, we must establish your damages.
With proper presentation of your losses, you can expect to recover the following:
- Special damages
- General damages
Special damages include:
- Current medical bills
- Expected future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity (if you had to take a lesser-paying job or retire)
- Miscellaneous costs, such as parking fees at your doctor’s office, gas to get to your physical therapy appointments, renovating your home to accommodate your disability, etc.)
Proving special damages often requires your:
- Medical bills;
- Medical records,
- Paystubs or W-2s;
- Any receipts related to your injury; and
- Testimony from vocational and medical experts to establish how your injury will continue to affect you down the road
General damages are effects of your injury that do not have a set dollar amount. They include:
- Mental/emotional anxiety
- Pain and suffering
- Inability to interact with friends and family normally
Act Quickly. If You Do Not File in Time, You Get Nothing
As with most personal injury claims, there is a statute of limitations. You must file and settle your claim within three years of your slip and fall on Long Island.
While three years feels like plenty of time, this is not something to be complacent about. In some cases, it can take months or even over a year to reach maximum medical improvement or receive a prognosis for your injuries. Gacovino, Lake & Associates, PLLC has litigated countless slip and fall cases over the past 25 years. Cases take time to build. If you wait too long, you might not have time to build a successful one.
If you or someone you care about has recently been injured in a slip and fall, do not hesitate to call. Reach us at 631-600-0000 for a free consultation to see how we can help.