Even though the chances are higher during the winter months, slip and fall injuries can happen in any season. Even though humans can be incredibly durable, we can also be extremely susceptible to injuries caused by sudden impacts and falls. Because of the high potential for significant injury, slip and fall injuries should always be treated seriously.
Some people, such as stunt people in movies, paratroopers, etc. fall for a living and have mastered the art of falling. But if you fall because of someone else's negligence and you are unable to fall correctly, you may have grounds to take legal action.
What is premises liability?
If a property owner has opened up their property for other people to use, they have a responsibility to ensure that their property is either free of hazards or that they have alerted people to the potential hazards.
For example, if a restaurant employee spills a cup of water on the floor, they have created a potential slipping hazard. The property owner, manager, and/or employees have a responsibility to either clean up the spill (removing the hazard) or to place "wet floor" signs around the area (alerting people to the potential hazard). If they fail to do this and someone is injured as a result, the property owner may be held liable for the injuries and associated expenses.
Some examples of potential hazards include,
· Ice and snow
· Cracks and holes in walking areas
· Wet surfaces
· Poor lighting
When it comes to exposing people to potential hazards, property owners have a duty to make sure that they are not being negligent in regard to hazard on their property. However, individuals on their property also have a duty to exercise reasonable caution and sound judgment. If a person was injured because they were acting recklessly or negligently, they may be solely responsible for their injuries.
It is relatively common, however, that both the property owner and the injured parties to have contributed to the situation that resulted in injuries. This is where the legal concept of comparative fault comes in. If both parties share the fault, no single party will be responsible for covering the cost of the damages.
New York statute of limitations
According to the laws of the state of New York, injured parties have a period of three years to file a civil claim to collect damages. This three-year period starts at the moment of injury. If a claim is put forth after the three-year period, it may be considered invalid and it may go unconsidered.
No matter how they happen, slip and fall injuries should be taken very seriously. If you find yourself in a situation where you are dealing with the results of such an incident, it is highly recommended that you seek out the services of an experienced legal professional. They will be able to work with you to achieve the justice you deserve.