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Falling down is a constant source of comedy on television and in the movies. Maybe it’s for that reason that we tend to overlook the serious injuries that can result from a fall. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits in America, accounting for more than 8 million visits per year. For people 65 and older, falls are the second-highest cause of injury-related death. Here are some other troubling statistics from the NFSI:

  • 22% of trip and fall accidents resulted in absences from work longer than 31 days
  • 85% of worker’s compensation claims were the result of trip and fall accidents
  • Every year floors and flooring materials cause over 2 million falls that result in injuries

Movies and television aside, falls are obviously more dangerous than you might think.

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If you’ve been injured as a result of a slip, trip, and fall accident, your health and your future should be your top priorities. Not only do you need to recover from your injuries, but you also need to consider the long-term consequences of your accident. At Russo Law LLP, we help people who have been injured in slip, trip, and fall accidents get the compensation they need to move on with their lives. If you would like to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call us at (917) 675-6553 or contact us to learn how we can help.

Premises Liability Basics

The phrase “premises liability” refers to a property owner’s obligation to make his property safe for guests and other visitors. To put it another way, property owners may be liable for the injuries and other losses of their guests.

Generally speaking, premises liability cases are judged according to the negligence standard. This means that a property owner is deemed negligent when they don’t maintain their property with the level of care that an ordinarily prudent person would in the same circumstances. Applying the negligence standard results in us asking two basic questions in every premises liability case:

  1. Did the property owner know about the hazard that caused the fall and fail to make reasonable efforts to address it?
  2. If the property owner didn’t know about the hazard, should they have known?

If the property owner knew and failed to address the hazard or should have known, the property owner may be held liable for any injuries suffered by those who visit the property.

Common Causes of Trip and Fall Accidents

While it’s true that you could slip or trip and fall under almost any circumstances, there are certain hazards that are especially dangerous. These are issues that property owners have an obligation to be aware of and take steps to address. The following are examples of property conditions that routinely result in falls and injuries:

  1. Broken or lose steps on staircases
  2. Loose handrails
  3. Cracked, broken, or uneven tile, concrete, or other flooring
  4. Loose floorboards
  5. Wrinkled carpet or floor rugs
  6. Poor lighting
  7. Ice and snow that has been allowed to accumulate
  8. Water leaks or other spilled liquids creating a slippery floor
  9. Potholes in the parking lot

This is not an exhaustive list. You should talk to an experienced slip, trip, and fall attorney if you were injured in any fall that you suspect was the result of someone else’s failure to maintain the property.

The Property Owner’s Obligation to Fix Hazardous Conditions

Most of the conditions listed above, if not all of them, are conditions that the property owner should be aware of and should take action to address. But what action is the property owner obligated to take? The general rule of law is that they need to make efforts that would be deemed reasonable under the same circumstances.

In some cases, this means that the property owner may only need to post signs or other warnings alerting guests to the potential hazard. For example, they need to ensure the maintenance staff is placing “wet floor” signs after mopping. If there is a loose handrail, they may place a sign that warns guests until they can get it repaired. However, placing a sign and refusing to repair the handrail may not be sufficient.

It’s important to emphasize that the property owner’s efforts only need to be reasonable under the circumstances. In other words, their efforts don’t necessarily need to be successful or have prevented any fall from occurring. For example, a property owner who makes reasonable efforts to remove snow and ice during a blizzard may not be liable in the event that someone slips on the ice in the parking lot.

Every case is different when it comes to slip, trip, and fall accidents. A single, seemingly irrelevant fact can make a big difference in the outcome.

Trip and Fall Accidents Can Result in Serious Injuries

Slip, trip, and fall accidents can result in very serious injuries. We’ve helped our clients get compensated for the following injuries:

  • Facial and skull fractures requiring plastic surgery
  • Broken bones
  • Torn ligaments and tendons
  • Concussions and other brain injuries
  • Deep lacerations that require stitches or other surgery

According to the NFSI, falls are especially dangerous for people 65 and older - falls account for 87% of bone fractures and are the second leading cause of spinal and brain injuries.

Other Unforeseen Consequences of Trip and Fall Accidents

In addition to physical injuries, slip, trip, and fall accidents can cause many other serious problems in your life:

  • Short-term loss of income or even total loss of employment
  • Loss of mobility
  • Loss of sleep
  • Additional transportation costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Depression, anxiety, and other emotional or mental trauma

Injuries resulting from a fall can have long-term consequences that can make it incredibly difficult to get back to life before the accident.

Contact an Experienced New York City Trip and Fall Attorney

If you’ve been injured in a fall, you need to focus first on getting the medical treatment you need. After that, you need to think about your future - will you have what you need to get your life back?

The attorneys at Russo Law LLP help people who have been injured in a fall caused by someone else’s negligence. We can evaluate your case, explain your options, and help you decide what is best for you. From dealing with the insurance companies to arguing your case in court, we work with our clients every step of the way to get you the compensation you deserve. Call at (917) 675-6553 or contact us.

We'll fight for you while you focus on your health

Let Russo Law fight to get you the results you deserve.

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Thank you for contacting Russo Law. We've received your request and will be in touch shortly. For urgent matters, please contact our office directly at (917) 675-6553.