A slip and fall is a type of personal injury case that stems from an individual who has suffered injuries on someone else’s property. If you slipped and fell on public or private property, you may seek financial relief from the property owner by filing a lawsuit against them. Although slip and fall is a type of personal injury case, you would actually file what is called a premises liability lawsuit rather than a personal injury lawsuit.
New York law allows you to bring a lawsuit against a property owner when he/she fails to exercise reasonable care to keep their premises reasonably safe and an accident occurs on their property.
Liable Parties in a Slip and Fall Case
There can be a number of parties a premises liability lawsuit can be filed against for a slip and fall accident. These include:
Landlords of Residential or Commercial Property
If you fall while walking through an apartment complex or even through a shopping center, you may be able to sue the landlord if an unsafe or hazardous condition contributed to your fall.
Most landlords are responsible for ensuring their property is safe and free from dangerous conditions. Failure to do so could result in a landlord being held liable for compensating a victim who slipped and fell on their property.
Homeowners are also required to maintain their property so that it is reasonably safe. For instance, Chapter 90, §90-1 of Local Law No. F states that property owners in New Hyde Park are required to clear their walkways of ice and snow within a reasonable amount of time.
If you slipped and fell on public property, which is a property that is owned by the government, you may have a viable case against the entity responsible for managing the property. Some examples of public property include:
- Public parks
- Public playgrounds
- Public libraries
- Certain types of business establishments
If you fell inside a business establishment, the business owner may actually be liable for compensating you for the injuries you suffered. Business owners, like all other property owners, are expected to maintain their premises to ensure they are free from defects and hazardous conditions. Some examples include:
- Lifted carpet or tile
- Slippery or wet floors (e.g., a puddle of liquid soap that spilled on the floor)
- Holes in the flooring
- Loose cables
- Merchandise left in the middle of a shopping aisle
If you fell inside a business establishment, there are instances where you can hold the landlord liable for your injuries; however, this does depend on the factors that contributed to your incident occurring.
Proving Negligence in a Premises Liability Case
In order to file a premises liability lawsuit, you are going to want to have a lawyer assess your case to confirm you have a valid reason for suing. One way to determine if you have the grounds to sue is by proving the property owner was negligent. There are four elements that can help you prove negligence in a slip and fall case:
- The property owner owed you a duty of care.
- The property owner breached that duty.
- You suffered injuries.
- Your injuries were caused by this breach of duty.
You may be able to hold the property owner liable for your slip and fall accident if they were aware of the unsafe condition that caused your incident, or you can prove that they should have been aware of it.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Lawsuit for a Slip and Fall Accident
Each type of personal injury case carries a certain timeframe for which a victim can bring a lawsuit against another party. When it comes to slip and fall accidents, you generally have three years from the date of your incident to file a premises liability lawsuit in New York, according to the New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) §214. Once the statute of limitations has expired, you may be barred from filing a lawsuit and recovering damages.
If you fell on government-owned property, it is worth noting that the lawsuit process may differ from if you were filing a premises liability lawsuit against a business owner or landlord. Most government entities do require that you formally notify them of your intent to sue before initiating the lawsuit process. Additionally, you may also be allotted less than the standard three years that most individuals are given.
Find Out if You Have a Viable Case Against a Property Owner in New York
If you suffered a personal injury in a slip and fall accident that occurred on another individual’s property in New Hyde Park, New York, contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe at (516) 358-6900 for legal advice and guidance. Our team of attorneys can determine if you have the grounds to sue a property owner and whether you are entitled to recover compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900