If you become injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident, it is imperative that you obtain medical assistance immediately. You may have sustained a serious injury.
Once your medical needs have been addressed, it is also important that you contact an attorney to insure that your legal rights will be protected. Just because a person trips, falls and becomes injured does not necessarily mean that person will recover a monetary amount in a personal injury action. There are many diverse legal issues, court rules, and time constraints that may bar your ability to recover. We strongly urge you to meet and speak with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident to ascertain and protect your rights.
Persons injured in slip and fall or trip and fall accidents may recover for various types of damages including past and future pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, loss of future earnings and much more. Some of the factors that need to be investigated in a slip and fall case include the following:
- The location and the circumstances of the accident: Was it inside a building or outside? Were you on the sidewalk? Crosswalk? Roadway? Did your accident occur on private property or public property? Was it day or night? Was it light or dark?
- The weather conditions: Was it sunny, raining or snowing at the time of your accident? Had it rained or snowed earlier? When had it started? When had it stopped? Was there any accumulation?
- Witnesses to your accident: Who are they? How can they be located? What is their relation to the landowner? What did they see? When did they see it?
- Photographs of the defect: Who took them? When were they taken? What do they show?
- Prior injuries to others because of the same defect: When did that accident occur? How did that accident occur? Were the property owners aware of that accident? When did they become aware of it? Who was injured?
- Who is the owner of the land on which you were injured? Is it a private owner? Is it a corporation? Is it a municipality, i.e. a city, town, village, or school district? In New York State, the court rules are different for these different types of entities. Different time limits must be adhered to regarding any notification to the defendant of the accident and service of legal papers upon the defendant. Should you fail to adhere to these strict rules your opportunity to bring an action may be lost or, once commenced, may be dismissed.
- Who is legally responsible for the safety of those on that property? In some cases that responsibility may not fall solely on the landowner. Also responsible may be tenants, outside contractors, or others. FKMS has experienced investigators who will ascertain all responsible parties.
- Did those responsible have notice of the defect that caused your fall? What kind of notice? When did they receive that notice? Did someone tell them about it? Did they try to repair or remove the defect? Did they cause or create the defect? Was the defect present for a long enough period of time so that a reasonable person would have known about it?
- What kind of defect caused your injury? Was it a pothole? Was it a raised portion of the sidewalk? Was it an improperly shoveled sidewalk/crosswalk? Was it a spill in a store? Was it a defective stair/handrail in a building? The laws are varied depending upon the type of defect. The attorneys at FKMS have extensive experience in investigating and litigating each type of case.
- Did those responsible affirmatively cause the defect? Did they negligently shovel a sidewalk? Did they fail to warn of a dangerous condition? Did they negligently make repairs to a floor, stair, sidewalk, etc.? Do you even know how the accident occurred? Top law firms typically have experienced investigators who can reconstruct the accident to ascertain what caused you to fall.
There are many other factors to be considered in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident. Most factors will not be evident to the injured person at the time of the accident and most times can only be uncovered during the investigation and litigation phases of a personal injury case.
In short, if you have been injured as a result of a slip and fall accident, it is important to consult with a team of experienced attorneys. Often, time is of the essence and making that call can go a long way towards helping you recover the compensation you deserve. Do not hesitate to find out all legal remedies available to you under the law.
If you are injured in a slip or trip and fall accident, call the attorneys at FMKS. We will schedule a free consultation to discuss your accident, explain the law and protect your rights.