Slip-and-fall accidents are a staple of physical comedy, with professional actors and stuntmen slipping or tripping all over themselves with nothing more than an amusing bruise or scratch. Unfortunately, in the real world, a sudden slip-and-fall can result in a variety of dangerous injuries, especially for elderly people and those with certain health conditions. You should always take a slip-and-fall accident seriously, even if it seems like someone was not hurt by it.
What is a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
A slip-and-fall accident, also known as a trip-and-fall accident, is the term for any kind of accident caused by someone slipping or tripping on something, resulting in an injury. Slip-and-fall accidents are among the most common kinds of accidents, with more than one million people across the country going to the hospital every year due to injuries related to a slip-and-fall. Unsurprisingly, it is also one of the most common sources of personal injury lawsuits, with thousands of these suits being filed every year in New York alone.
How a Slip-and-Fall Accident Can Hurt You
Far from the amusing injuries found in many comedic films or TV shows, slip-and-fall accidents can result in serious harm. Not only can a bad fall result in bone fractures or sprains, but it can also result in damage to ligaments or tendons, joint damage, or even potentially a traumatic brain injury (TBI) if someone falls on their head. These injuries can take weeks or months to recover from, and some can have long-term health consequences for the victims of these accidents.
What Can Cause a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
Slip-and-fall accidents happen all the time, and can be caused by a number of different issues. These potential problems include, but are not limited to:
- Wet or icy floors
- Loose carpeting or mats
- Loose or damaged floorboards
- Potholes in parking lots
- Damaged sidewalks
- Debris on floors or walkways
- Stray cords or wires
- Broken handrails
- Damaged or defective stairs
- Poor lighting
Slip-and-fall accidents can occur as a result of any of these factors, or as a result of some combination of issues. The more potential hazards there are, the more likely it is for you to suffer an accident. For example, if you are walking down a staircase with poor lighting, broken handrails, and uneven stairs, that makes it much more likely for you to slip and fall than if there were merely bad lighting.
Why Sue Over a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
Not every trip or slip necessarily results in a lawsuit. Instead, a key factor in deciding whether to sue is if the fall was the result of someone’s negligent behavior. In particular, property owners have a duty to ensure their property is free of the kind of hazards discussed above. When they fail to address those hazards in a timely fashion, it substantially increases the likelihood of an injury.
For example, store owners are supposed to clean up spilled food or liquid to ensure someone does not slip on them, and they are supposed to place signs denoting areas that may have been freshly mopped or waxed. They are also supposed to repair or replace any sections of the floor that are worn out or damaged. However, before you decide to sue, you should consult an attorney with experience in personal injury law, who will be able to determine what course of action you should take.
Our seasoned New York personal injury attorneys bring more than two decades of trial experience to your case. We serve all five boroughs of New York City, as well as Nassau and Suffolk County. We have helped thousands of clients recover through settlements and courtroom verdicts.