Based on statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one million Americans are injured in slip and fall accidents each year. The CDC also divides slip and fall accidents into two categories — elevated falls and same-level falls. Same-levels falls are the most common and result in more injuries to more people. Elevated falls, however, are the most serious and cause more serious injuries. As a result, not all slip and fall cases are worth the same amount of compensation. The following reviews some of the most common factors that attorneys evaluate when reviewing slip and fall cases and deciding on the amount of compensation that a case is worth.
How Long the Situation Existed
Some slip and fall accidents occur before steps can be taken to correct the underlying problem. Other times, hazardous situations that lead to slip and falls have existed long enough that reasonable actions could have been taken to correct the problem. If it can be demonstrated that the party who caused your accident had ample time in which to remedy the conditions that led to your accident, you have a much greater chance of obtaining compensation.
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Whether Routine Checks Were Performed
Routine checks or maintenance of property must be performed to prevent unsafe conditions that could lead to injuries in visitors. If a person performed reasonable routine checks or maintenance of property to prevent a hazard, this can influence whether or not that party should have detected the hazard and thus prevented the slip and fall.
Steps that Could Have Been Taken
Some slip and fall accidents occur due to factors that could have been easily remedied if the responsible party had more control. Other accidents are due to factors that are much more difficult to remedy. If your accident occurred as the result of factors that could have been quickly or easily corrected, you likely have a stronger argument that you deserve compensation.
Good lighting can greatly reduce a person’s chances of ending up in a serious accident. If the slip and fall accident occurred in a location where the lighting was good, then you may experience more difficulty in pursuing adequate compensation for your injuries.
Victim’s Degree of Fault
New York is a comparative fault state, which means that the degree of fault attributed to an accident victim can lead to reduced compensation. If the injured party contributed to causing his or her own accident in any way, this responsibility can end up reducing the amount of compensation that the victim is ultimately owed. The degree of fault that an accident victim had in causing an accident will be assessed by engagement as well as warnings provided to the plaintiff. If the accident victim was engaging in activities like talking or texting on the phone at the time he or she fell, the victim might be found to have played a substantial role in causing the accident.
How the Victim Was Dressed
While it might seem like a less serious issue, the clothing and shoes that a slip and fall victim was wearing can end up influencing the amount of compensation that he or she receives. For example, a court might determine that an accident victim’s high heels contributed to a fall. If a person was wearing flat shoes, however, there might be a stronger argument for obtaining compensation.
Whether Warnings Were Posted
One issue that can impact the amount of compensation a person can recover is whether a store attempted to warn others of the hazardous condition that led to the accident. Not just whether signage was posted, but also the number of signs posted can end up impacting the compensation that an accident victim receives. While courts might determine that a store owner failed to satisfy his or her duty to warn, it might also be the case that a sign was too far away or that posting only one sign was insufficient.
Extent of Economic Damages
After slip and fall accidents, the amount of medical bills that a person faces is taken into consideration. These bills include things like emergency services, physician treatment, prescription costs, and other costs associated with medical care. Almost always, the greater the damages that a slip and fall accident victim faces, the larger the amount of compensation that the victim can claim.
Extent of Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages refer to non-monetary losses like pain, suffering, inconvenience, emotional distress, and loss of companionship. Unlike economic damages that are associated with things like lost wages and medical bills, non-economic damages are generally more difficult to calculate. Cases involving things like mental anguish and traumatizing memories associated with the slip and fall are much more likely to result in a greater amount of compensation.
Remember What You can do to Avoid Slip and Fall Accidents
People who want to avoid ending up injured due to a slip and fall accident can take several important preventative actions, which include:
● Make sure to wear the proper shoes for your work environment. Many types of slip-resistant shoes are available. Another good way to make shoes less slippery is to scuff the shoes before using.
● Avoid working, shopping, or walking in the dark. Using adequate lighting is one of the best ways to avoid tripping over objects.
● Make sure to be vocal and inform others that you are walking. This way, other people will not end up creating hazards that result in slip and fall accidents.
● Remember to wear flat footwear when walking through unfamiliar areas because this can greatly decrease your risk of being injured in a slip and fall accident.
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Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, one of the best steps that you can take is to retain the assistance of an experienced Long Island personal injury attorney. Contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP today to schedule a free consultation.