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Tenant That Fell Exiting Building Entrance Receives $450,000 Settlement

May 13th, 2024 by

O.M. had left her apartment to head outside. She had made it to the lobby of her apartment building and had walked to the entrance/exit when she tripped and fell due to a defective step. She suffered injuries to her right wrist and left ankle requiring immediate hospitalization and right wrist surgery.

O.M. contacted a colleague who recommended Hill & Moin LLP. She called their office and they conducted an intake and commenced an investigation. They worked diligently on her case and started a lawsuit even during the COVID pandemic. Incredibly, O.M.’s case was settled for $450,000.

When O.M. was informed of the bountiful settlement, she was surprised and ecstatic. She described her great experience with Hill & Moin. She stated that everyone on the Hill & Moin team was always there for her to address her concerns and questions with patience and assurances. She couldn’t have been happier with Hill & Moin’s representation on her case and highly recommend them to anyone seeking legal representation for personal injury.

The “Distracted Walker” Phenomenon and Shared Liability in Slip-and-Fall Accidents

May 10th, 2024 by

New York City is known as the best city in the country for walking and public transportation. Between 2013 and 2023, pedestrian deaths on NYC roads dropped by 45 percent. However, in recent decades, a new danger to pedestrians has emerged – not from vehicles but from distractions.

The “distracted walker” phenomenon refers to pedestrians who are so engrossed in their smartphones, devices, or conversations that they could overlook a hazard as they walk. One study found that 39 percent of New Yorkers admitted to personally walking distracted – a higher percentage than walkers in other US cities. If you get injured in a slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property while distracted, this raises serious questions about who is responsible.

In this article, we will discuss the phenomenon of the distracted walker in greater detail and consider how shared liability can affect compensation in a slip-and-fall accident claim in New York City. You may have more legal options available to you than you might expect.

The Dangers of Distracted Walking

A detailed study by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) found that almost 25 percent of Americans have witnessed a distracted walking incident, and 26 percent have been involved in an incident personally.

It’s common for distracted walking incidents to involve:

  •  Falling down stairs
  •  Tripping over curbs
  •  Stepping into traffic without looking
  •  Walking into objects, such as trash cans and lampposts

If you are fortunate, you may be able to walk away with bruising to nothing more than your ego. However, these seemingly minor, low-speed accidents can lead to catastrophic and occasionally fatal consequences.

The law on distracted walking in New York

Back in 2019, there were moves in the New York State Senate to ban pedestrians from crossing the road while using portable electronic devices. While these have not become law, walking while distracted could lead to jaywalking, which is illegal in New York City.

Also, if you get involved in an accident and injure someone or cause damage to another person’s property, you could potentially be pursued for compensation in a civil case. However, liability is often complex, and it is important to talk to an experienced New York City slip-and-fall accident attorney to understand your legal position.

Types of distraction while walking

Distractions while walking fall into three main categories:

  1. Manual: Distractions involving your hands, such as eating, smoking, or texting
  2. Visual: Anything causing you to take your eyes off where you are going, such as following a map, reading on a smartphone, or operating a music player
  3. Cognitive: When our minds are elsewhere due to stress, conversations, fatigue, or the influence of drugs or alcohol

It may not be realistic for any of us to be completely focused on the road ahead the entire time we are walking. However, it is usually best to avoid using a smartphone while walking on the street. Ask yourself, “Can it wait?” If it can, then deal with it later.

Also, be attentive to your surroundings, including other pedestrians. Noise-canceling headphones can make it harder to hear and respond to sounds on the road, such as approaching vehicles or emergency sirens. Therefore, it is probably best to avoid wearing them when walking in busy areas.

The danger of complacency

We all readily acknowledge that distracted driving is dangerous, even potentially lethal. Yet, many do not feel the same way about distracted walking. We may feel it is perfectly safe to text, watch videos, play video games, or engage in a serious conversation while walking.

The AAOS study discovered that while 78 percent of people agree that distracted walking is a serious problem, only 29 percent admit it is an issue for them personally. According to the majority, the problem is everyone else.

Who is at risk?

review of emergency department visits due to distracted walking found that from 2011 to 2019, there were an estimated 29,140 injuries suffered across all age groups. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given their high level of smartphone use, people between the ages of 11 and 20 suffered the most injuries.

While young people sustain the most slip-and-fall accidents, older adults are at the greatest risk of serious injuries. Women over the age of 55 are the most likely to sustain serious injuries due to distracted walking.

Injuries suffered from distracted walking

Sadly, every year, people lose their lives or get seriously injured from downplaying the risks and engaging in distracted walking. Slip and fall injuries may sound innocuous, but it’s possible to sustain injuries such as:

  •  Broken bones
  •  Sprains and strains
  •  Internal injuries

If you damage your spine, hit your head, or receive other catastrophic injuries, your life may never be the same again. For seniors, slip-and-fall accidents can be especially devastating. The CDC estimates that 1 in 5 falls results in a serious injury to people aged 65 and older. Each year, over 800,000 seniors are hospitalized due to a fall injury.

Whether your injuries are life-changing or less serious, it is crucial to seek advice from a slip and fall attorney. Even if you think you were partially responsible, do not hold back from seeking legal advice.

A lawyer can use his or her in-depth understanding of New York shared liability laws to determine whether you have the right to pursue compensation for the economic losses and pain and suffering you have endured. You can find out what your case may be worth during a free consultation.

Shared Liability: Seeking Compensation When You Are Partly Responsible

In slip and fall cases, before you can seek compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other expenses, you must prove who was liable for the accident. This may be complicated in cases involving distracted walking, as there may be two or more potentially liable parties for the slip-and-fall accident that caused your injuries.

The good news is that even if you were partly responsible for your slip-and-fall accident, New York laws enable you to pursue compensation from the other party or parties.

New York shared liability laws

State laws determine how your own degree of fault affects the money you could get. For instance, New York is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that even if you were 99 percent responsible for an accident in this state, you may still be able to recover compensation from the other party.

However, on the flip side, this means the other party or parties also have the right to seek compensation from you. At the same time, under comparative negligence laws, your settlement will be reduced if you were partially responsible for your own injuries.

For example, if you are found to be 40 percent responsible for the accident due to distracted walking, you will only receive 60 percent of the settlement you would have received if you had not been responsible at all.

Conversely, the same would go for a case involving a distracted driver. If you and he were found to both be 50 percent at fault, in New York, you could receive 50 percent of damages.

Proving liability in slip and fall cases

Property owners and managers have a duty to protect visitors who enter their premises. To recover compensation from a property manager or owner, your attorney must prove that he or she could have foreseen an injury taking place and yet failed to take appropriate action. Simply put, you must prove their liability.

The property owner’s negligence could include:

  • Failing to clean or maintain their property
  • Failing to rope off a hazardous area
  • Failing to give notice of an existing hazard
  • Failing to remove debris or obstacles from walkways

However, if the property owner can produce surveillance camera footage or other evidence that you were distracted at the time, you may bear partial responsibility for what happened.

An experienced slip-and-fall attorney could investigate your case and build a strong slip-and-fall claim for compensation. From there, your lawyer would negotiate with the other party’s insurance company or attorneys to agree on a fair settlement for both parties. If necessary, a slip-and-fall lawsuit could be filed and you could go on to pursue damages in court.

Trust the Experience of Hill & Moin Slip and Fall Attorneys

A slip-and-fall accident involving a distracted walker can be complicated, especially as such cases often involve shared liability and foreseeability of a hazard. However, do not let the complexities put you off seeking justice and the compensation you need to get your life back on track.

At the New York law firm of Hill & Moin, our attorneys are ready to listen carefully to your story. While it may be complex, we can provide the advice you need to decide whether you want to take your case forward. If you hire us, you may rest assured that we will do all we can to give you the best possible chance of receiving the compensation you deserve for your slip-and-fall accident.

If you are ready to learn more about the Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ to your slip-and-fall, schedule a free consultation with us. Call us 24/7 at (212) 668-6000 or complete our online form, and we will contact you soon. 

Don’t wonder about your rights!

Legal Assistant Hurt At Work Wins a 1.8 Million Dollar Settlement

May 3rd, 2024 by

It was a chilly, late winter afternoon when A.R. was outside enjoying the refreshing air during her lunch break. After taking some time to relax and stretch her legs, she made her way toward the high-rise building where her office was located. As she approached the door, she did not notice that there was ice forming above the exterior door that she was about to cross beneath. As she began to pass blow the overhang near the door, she was unexpectedly struck by a large chunk of falling ice. Disoriented and confused, she continued into the building and returned to her office. Upon seeing A.R. in distress and pain, her coworkers were quick to insist on medical care. Before long, she was on her way to seek emergency medical care. Luckily for A.R., medical treatment was not the only help she was put in touch with. A trusted friend urged A.R. to reach out to the attorneys of Hill & Moin and A.R. was thankful that she did. She described the steady communication, bedside manner of support staff, and overall ease of working with Hill & Moin as an “A+”. She added that, having had experience working in the legal field herself, she couldn’t have asked for a better team to handle her case. When all was said and done, the counsel of Hill & Moin was able to pin down a staggering 1.8-million-dollar settlement for the pain and suffering A.R. had withstood. With her freshly awarded funds, A.R. has plans to save and invest in her future and those of her children as well.

Documenting Evidence After a Slip-and-Fall Accident

April 22nd, 2024 by

After a slip-and-fall accident, it may seem like the existence of the hazardous conditions that caused your slip-and-fall incident won’t be enough to prove the at-fault party’s negligence. While the circumstances surrounding each slip and fall claim are unique, there are several steps that you can take when seeking fair compensation for what you have suffered.

The most important step you can take for your slip and fall lawsuit or premises liability claim is to document evidence. This can involve documenting where the fall occurred, the fall injuries, and more to prove the negligence of the property owner. Exactly the kind of evidence that can help your slip and fall case may be unclear until the case progresses further, so make sure to hold on to everything related to your fall case until it is resolved.

Slip-and-fall accidents are responsible for over 1 million emergency room visits annually in the United States. If you were hurt in a slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. To learn more about your Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ, contact the lawyers of Hill & Moin, LLP, today at (212) 668-6000. We can help you understand the best course of action for your case.

What Evidence Can Help Your Case?

Medical records are key pieces of evidence for your slip and fall case. These records help document your injuries, proving the extent and severity of the damage caused by the negligent property owner.

Medical records include:

  • Doctor’s notes
  • Hospital bills
  • Test results
  • Medication receipts
  • X-rays and other imaging tests
  • Your appointment log with various medical professionals

In addition to medical records provided by a hospital or clinic, a daily personal log of any pain or discomfort you suffered can support your fall claim. This log can include your experiences, such as emotional distress and any limitations caused by your injuries.

An eyewitness account can also greatly help in a slip and fall case. Locating a witness to your accident who is willing to testify on your behalf can make a big difference in proving your side of the story.

Any financial repercussions from your accident, such as missed work, and relevant eyewitness statements should be carefully recorded and preserved as evidence of financial hardship.

What to Do Immediately After the Accident

You can begin gathering evidence for your slip-and-fall accident claim the moment that the incident happens. Preserving evidence, noting any witnesses present, and seeking immediate medical attention are just a few of the things you can do to try and ensure a fair settlement.

Here are a few steps you should take as soon as possible to ensure the best outcome in your case:

  1. Document the accident scene. Take pictures of the place where the accident occurred, any warning signs, or lack thereof, and your visible injuries. If you have fallen in a public place, there may be security camera footage of your fall, which a lawyer can access to support your claim. If the incident occurs on someone else’s property, gathering evidence on the responsible parties may require legal representation.
  2. Collect witness contact information. Depending on where your slip-and-fall incident took place, there may be people around who offer to help you or who saw what happened. Getting their names and contact information is vital so for gathering testimony to corroborate your version of events.
  3. Report the accident. Notify whoever is in charge of the place where your accident occurred – whether the property owner, store manager, or landlord. Be sure to include all relevant details in the accident report, including the circumstances leading up to it. Be sure to acquire a copy for your records.
  4. Seek medical attention promptly. Get medically evaluated as soon as you can after the accident, even if you don’t seem to have serious injuries. By seeking immediate medical attention, you can ensure that any injuries you have get the appropriate medical treatment and are logged in your medical record as evidence. That way, your medical expenses can be part of your personal injury claim.
  5. Contact a personal injury lawyer. Seek help with your premises liability claim. An experienced attorney will know the ins and outs, and his or her guidance can make a big difference in your recovery.

Performing the above tasks in the aftermath of your accident can help you receive the compensation you deserve. While each case is different, there are common denominators among fall cases. Talk to a qualified lawyer to make sure your case is on the right track.

What to Keep Track of As Time Goes On

Personal injury lawsuits are not always resolved quickly. As time goes on, and you are waiting for your settlement, you need to make sure that you keep good records. Every treatment, expense, email, or phone call can make a difference in the outcome of your case.

Here are a few points to remember as time goes on:

  • Keep detailed records of the ongoing medical bills and medical treatments you receive. Don’t skip your follow-up appointments, and keep track of what the doctors say about your prognosis. Seeking medical attention is essential both at the beginning of your claim and as it progresses.
  • Consult a personal injury lawyer. Even if you don’t do this immediately, it may not be too late to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer who has experience in handling slip-and-fall accident cases. A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options for seeking compensation for your injuries.
  • Be cautious when communicating with the negligent party’s insurance company or representatives. Even personally communicating with eyewitnesses can be dangerous to your case. It is best to let your lawyer handle all communication about your case on your behalf.
  • Keep track of missed work or lost wages due to the accident and any pain, suffering, or emotional distress you have experienced. These non-economic damages may be included in a settlement or court award.
  • Document how the accident is affecting your daily life. You don’t have to accept that your “new normal” is how things simply must be – you can fight for justice.

By keeping the former points in mind as your case progresses, you give yourself the best chance of a just recovery. Your personal injury claim for your slip-and-fall accident may require a thorough investigation to establish liability based on eyewitness accounts, visual evidence, and more.

How Hill & Moin Can Help You After a Slip-and-Fall Accident

At Hill & Moin LLP, our injury lawyers are ready to help those who have experienced slip-and-fall accidents. We understand how overwhelming it can be to navigate the legal process alone.

Areas that our personal injury attorneys can help you with your slip and fall injury case include:

  • Collecting the documentation you need
  • Gathering evidence
  • Knowing how to preserve evidence and identify witnesses
  • Taking witness statements
  • Documenting injuries
  • Establishing liability,
  • Helping you receive fair compensation

Our personal injury legal team has extensive experience in slip and fall cases and personal injury law, so we know how to prepare your slip-and-fall accident claim effectively. When we take on your slip and fall case, we can help you seek financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

When you hire a Hill & Moin slip and fall lawyer, we will fight to ensure the best possible outcome for your personal injury law slip and fall case. Since we have your interests at heart, working with us will feel like you have a lawyer in the family. We serve slip and fall injury victims in multiple New York City areas, including Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Staten Island.

Contact us today for a free consultation to learn about your Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ. Call (212) 668-6000 or fill out the contact form.

Don’t wonder about your rights!

Slip-and-Fall Accidents in NYC Subways and Public Transportation: Seeking Compensation for Injuries

March 12th, 2024 by

 

Navigating the bustling New York City subway system can be thrilling or convenient, but it also comes with its fair share of risks. Slip-and-fall accidents are not uncommon in these busy underground stations, where crowds hustle and platforms can get slippery.

From wet floors to uneven surfaces and debris left unattended, numerous factors can contribute to slip-and-fall incidents in the subway.

Public transportation is meant to provide convenience and efficiency, but safety should never be compromised. When negligence contributes to accidents on subways or buses, victims have rights that deserve protection.

Were you hurt in a slip-and-fall accident? You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. To learn more about your Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ, contact the lawyers of Hill & Moin, LLP, today at (212) 668-6000. We can help you understand the best course of action for your needs.

The Responsibilities of the MTA and Other Public Transportation Systems to Maintain Safety

New York City is a bustling metropolis with millions of people relying on its extensive subway and public transportation system every day. While these modes of transport are essential for getting around the city, they also come with their own set of risks, including slip-and-fall accidents.

Whether you are rushing to catch a train or navigating crowded platforms, the potential for accidents is ever-present. In subway stations, overcrowding during rush hours can lead to pushing and shoving, which may result in someone losing his or her balance. Additionally, inclement weather conditions like rain or snow can make platforms slippery.

Inside trains or buses, sudden stops or starts without warning can cause passengers to lose their footing. Lack of handrails or grab bars for support can contribute to falls, particularly for elderly individuals or those with mobility issues. Sudden stops, starts, or sharp turns by bus drivers can throw off balance and result in falls.

Neglected maintenance, such as loose tiles, debris accumulation, or icy patches during winter months, are additional factors that heighten the danger of slip-and-fall incidents within public transportation premises.

Public transportation systems like the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) in NYC have a crucial responsibility to ensure the safety of their passengers. It is essential for these entities to maintain clean, well-lit platforms and walkways to prevent slip-and-fall accidents. Regular inspections should be conducted to identify and promptly address any hazardous conditions.

Proper signage warning about wet floors or uneven surfaces can help mitigate potential risks. Adequate training for staff members on how to respond to accidents is also vital in providing quick assistance when incidents occur. Additionally, ensuring that escalators and elevators are properly maintained is key to preventing accidents related to mechanical failures.

Sadly, these vital safety measures are sometimes neglected. When that happens, and a person is injured, the responsible parties must be held accountable.

Steps to Take Following a Slip-and-Fall Accident

If you have experienced a slip-and-fall accident in NYC subways or public transportation, take the following steps as soon as possible:

  • Document the accident scene by taking photos of any hazardous conditions that led to your fall. Obtain contact information from any witnesses who saw what happened, but avoid discussing the accident and liability or accepting blame with anyone at the scene.
  • Keep detailed records of all medical treatments received and expenses incurred due to the accident. Attend all follow-up appointments with your medical providers and follow their treatment plans.
  • Consult an experienced personal injury lawyer who has experience in handling slip-and-fall accident cases. He or she can help you understand your rights and options for seeking compensation for your injuries.
  • Be cautious when communicating with insurance companies or representatives from public transportation agencies. The defense may try to minimize your claim or offer a low settlement. It is best to let your lawyer handle all communication on your behalf.
  • Keep track of any missed work or lost wages due to the accident, as well as any pain and suffering you have experienced. These damages may be included in a settlement or court award.
  • Be honest and thorough when providing details about the incident and its impact on your life. Remember that seeking compensation for your injuries is your right – don’t hesitate to take action to protect yourself.
  • If a settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer may advise taking the case to trial. Make sure to attend all court proceedings and cooperate with your legal team throughout the process.

Seek Medical Attention After a New York Subway Accident

After a slip-and-fall accident in the busy New York City subway or public transportation, seeking medical attention is crucial. Even if you feel fine initially, hidden injuries can surface later on.

The adrenaline rush can mask pain, leading to delayed symptoms. Getting checked by a healthcare professional ensures that all injuries are properly diagnosed and treated promptly.

Prompt medical care ensures that your injuries are documented in case of any potential legal claims down the road. Ignoring minor injuries can escalate into bigger health issues if left untreated. Your well-being is paramount after an accident, so prioritize your health by seeking medical attention without delay.

Remember, your safety and health come first – don’t underestimate the importance of getting medical help post-accident. It is a proactive step towards recovery and potential compensation for damages incurred due to someone else’s negligence.

Metropolitan Transit Authority Work-Related Personal Injury Claims

Have you ever considered the risks that Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) workers face every day while keeping NYC subways and public transportation running smoothly?

The nature of the job requires constant vigilance amidst potentially hazardous conditions. Whether navigating crowded stations or dealing with malfunctioning equipment, MTA employees must always prioritize safety.

However, despite the MTA’s best efforts, accidents can still occur due to various factors beyond their control. From slip-and-fall accidents on subway platforms to slipping and falling while maintaining train tracks, these incidents can have a significant impact on the workers’ lives. A work-related injury for an MTA employee can be physically and emotionally challenging.

In such cases, seeking compensation for a Metropolitan Transit Authority work-related injury becomes essential for affected employees. The process for compensation, however, is not always straightforward.

Workers’ compensation vs. the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA)

Workers’ compensation is a safety net designed to cover employees injured during the course of their employment. However, for railroad workers, the landscape differs. While MTA/New York City Transit Authority employees fall under the umbrella of state workers’ compensation, those working for the Long Island Railroad, Metro North, and Amtrak are governed by a separate policy: the Federal Employers’ Liability Act of 1907 (FELA).

Under FELA, injured railroad workers are entitled to compensation but with a distinct set of guidelines. Unlike workers’ compensation, where the onus is generally on the employer to provide coverage for injuries sustained on the job, FELA requires the injured worker to demonstrate that his or her employer was at least partially negligent to qualify for compensation.

For railroad workers seeking compensation under FELA, the burden of proof lies in establishing employer negligence. This can present a challenge since it requires thorough investigation and documentation.

Navigating the complexities of FELA requires skilled advocacy. Injured railroad workers should seek guidance from legal professionals experienced in railroad injury cases.

Seeking Compensation for Injuries and Damages

If you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall accident on the NYC subway or public transportation, you may need compensation to cover any other expenses incurred due to the incident.

To seek compensation, consider filing a personal injury claim against the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) or other responsible entities. You must clearly prove negligence on their part and the dangerous conditions causing your injuries.

A skilled attorney will assess your situation, gather evidence, handle negotiations with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary. Please note the specific ways a personal injury lawyer can help with your case.

Investigating the accident

Your lawyer will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident. He or she can obtain:

  • Surveillance footage
  • Interview witnesses
  • Review any relevant documents or reports, and;
  • And more

Proving negligence

To receive compensation for your injuries, you must prove that the transportation system was negligent. Your lawyer will gather evidence to support this claim and work to establish liability on the part of the responsible party.

Calculating damages

Personal injury lawyers have experience in calculating damages for their clients. They will take into account:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Personal property damaged in your fall
  • Other factors to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries

Negotiating with insurance companies

Insurance companies are notorious for trying to minimize payouts to injured individuals. Your lawyer will handle all communication with insurance companies on your behalf and negotiate for a fair settlement.

Representing you in court

If negotiations fail or a fair settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer will represent you in court. He or she can present your case and argue for maximum compensation on your behalf.

How a Hill & Moin Personal Injury Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights

The dedicated attorneys at Hill & Moin understand the complexities of navigating the legal system after an accident. We work diligently to help our clients recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses incurred due to someone else’s negligence.

If you have been injured in a subway or public transportation accident in New York City, contacting Hill & Moin, LLP, for a free consultation can be your first step towards recovering the compensation you deserve.

Why not schedule a free consultation to learn more about your Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ? Call us at (212) 668-6000 or complete the online form.

Don’t wonder about your rights!

Establishing Liability in Slip and Fall Cases: What You Need to Know

February 2nd, 2024 by

A slip-and-fall accident can happen suddenly and when you least expect it. NYC Health has reported that unintentional falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations in New York City.

Property owners have a certain level of liability and responsibility for the safety of their visitors. A slip-and-fall involving a property hazard can leave you seriously injured. If you can prove the property owner’s negligence caused or contributed to your accident, the property owner could be held liable for the losses related to what happened.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a slip-and-fall accident? If so, Hill & Moin LLP is here to help. Contact us today at (212) 668-6000 to schedule a free initial case consultation.

What You Need to Prove in a Slip and Fall Case

Some people assume that if they fall and are injured on someone else’s property, the landowner will automatically be liable for their medical bills and other losses. However, this does not always turn out to be the case.

If you sustained an injury in a slip-and-fall accident, you will need to establish that the business, home, or landowner failed to take reasonable steps to protect you.

For your slip and fall claim to be successful, you must be able to prove the following.

A person’s status on the property

Property owners have a legal duty of care – an obligation – to keep their premises safe for visitors and guests. However, the duty of care that a property owner owes to an individual depends on the person’s status on the property at the time of the accident.

The three types of visitors to a property are:

  • Invitees: An invitee is someone who was invited onto the property – even with an implied invitation. Examples of invitees include hotel guests, patrons of a restaurant, customers in a store, patients at medical facilities, and contractors hired to do work at one’s home.
  • Licensees: A licensee is someone who visits the property for his or her own purpose. Examples include a friend or family member stopping by to visit or a door-to-door salesman.
  • Trespassers: A trespasser is someone who enters the property without consent. Typically, property owners do not have an obligation to warn trespassers of dangerous property conditions. However, the specific laws regarding this will depend on the state where you reside.

A hazard existed on the property

The first step in establishing liability is proving that a hazardous or dangerous condition existed on the property.

The following are examples of property conditions that contribute to slip-and-fall accidents:

  • Ice and snow on parking lots, sidewalks, and stairs
  • Torn or ripped carpet
  • Poor lighting
  • Debris in walkways
  • Recently mopped or slick floors
  • Broken or missing handrails

The property owner was aware of the hazard

You will also need to prove that the property owner caused the hazardous property condition, knew about it, or reasonably should have known about it. This element of a premises liability case is the breach of duty of care – often the most difficult to prove.

For example, if your fall was caused by a structural defect, such as a broken handrail, you will want to find proof of how long the handrail had been broken. If it had been for some time, the property owner probably should have been aware of the issue.

The property hazard was the cause of the injury

For a slip and fall claim to be valid, you must also prove that your injury was a direct result of the dangerous property condition. The property owner’s negligence in failing to maintain his or her property must be directly related to your injury.

For example, if you claim that you sustained a back injury, you must prove the injury was directly caused by the slip-and-fall rather than some unrelated incident.

The accident victim suffered damages as a result of the slip-and-fall

You will also need to show that you have sustained damages as a direct result of the property owner’s negligence. This is because, if there are no damages to show for it, then there is nothing to be compensated.

Financial losses incurred as a result of a slip-and-fall may include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost earnings
  • Pain and suffering

Evidence Used to Establish Liability in Slip and Fall Cases

A slip and fall case is only one type of premises liability claim. As the plaintiff in a premises liability case, the burden of proof lies with you. This means that you must gather evidence showing the property owner’s negligence is related to your injury.

The following are different types of evidence used in slip and fall cases.

Photos

If possible, take photos of what caused your accident immediately afterwards. It is important to take photos as soon as possible – otherwise the evidence could be removed.

For example, if your fall was caused by ice or snow, this evidence will be gone as soon as it is cleared or melts. Or if you slip on a liquid spilled in a grocery aisle, the store owner will likely make sure the spill is cleaned up quickly after the incident.

Video footage

One of the most solid forms of evidence in slip and fall cases is a video recording of the fall taking place.

Most businesses and some residential buildings have CCTV surveillance footage recording the premises. A personal injury lawyer can help you request a copy of the footage from the building owner.

If CCTV footage is not available, it is possible that your fall may have been caught on a security system doorbell camera or by someone recording a video with a smartphone.

Items of clothing

While it may seem odd, the clothing you were wearing at the time of the slip and fall case could be used as evidence. Do not wash or discard the shoes and clothing you were wearing at the time of the accident. Instead, place them in an airtight bag or container and give them to your personal injury lawyer.

If your fall was the result of debris or spilled liquid on the floor, any residue on your clothing could be used to provide evidence of the existence of the hazard.

Additionally, some defendants try to dispute a slip and fall case by claiming the plaintiff was wearing improper footwear. Preservation of the shoes you were wearing at the time of your fall can be used to dispute this defense.

Witness statements

If any people were present at the time of your slip-and-fall, ask them if they are willing to give a statement about what they witnessed. You could use your smartphone to record statements about their version of events.

Be sure to ask eyewitnesses for their contact information. Your personal injury attorney may need to contact them later on and request that they testify in court. Juries will often give a lot of weight to the testimony of neutral third-party witnesses.

Medical records

It is vital to seek medical treatment immediately following your fall even if you initially feel fine. Adrenaline and the stress of the moment can mask symptoms that become apparent in the hours and days following your fall.

Furthermore, failure to seek medical help right after the incident could lead to the defendant claiming that your injuries were pre-existing rather than directly caused by the slip-and-fall accident. Medical records provide a paper trail connecting your injuries to the slip-and-fall.

Incident reports

An incident report should be completed if your slip-and-fall took place on commercial property. Obtaining a copy of an incident report form from the supervisor on site and filling it out can prove useful to your case.

The incident report could give you a preview of the property owner’s potential defenses. For example, if the business owner puts in the report that you were to blame for the accident, you can expect that will be his or her defense if the case goes to trial.

Additionally, eyewitnesses to your fall that you were unaware of could be listed in the report. These witnesses could provide testimony beneficial to your claim.

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Gather Evidence for Your Slip-and-Fall Accident

After sustaining a slip and fall injury, you may be debating whether to gather evidence and file a claim on your own or seek the help of an attorney.

Some people hesitate to hire a slip and fall lawyer because they are concerned about the costs. However, most personal injury lawyers work on contingency. This means you will not pay any upfront costs to retain their legal services.

One of the many benefits of having a lawyer on your side is that he or she can help you obtain proof of your slip-and-fall and maximize your settlement in the following ways:

    • Conduct an investigation: To acquire evidence, one of the first actions your slip and fall attorney will take is to launch a full investigation into your accident. This may involve viewing security footage, speaking with witnesses, reviewing incident reports, visiting the accident scene, and more.
  • Subpoenaed evidence: A slip-and-fall accident lawyer can subpoena evidence that can be used to demonstrate liability. This could include video footage from surveillance cameras, maintenance logs, and repair records.
  • Consult experts: Lawyers sometimes collaborate with accident reconstructionists and engineers to get a clearer understanding of how an accident occurred. They may also consult vocational experts and medical professionals to thoroughly understand how your injuries affect your future.
  • Record testimony from friends and family: The damages you recover often depend on how your slip and fall injuries have affected your life. Your lawyer may ask your loved ones to testify how your injury has impacted your ability to join in family activities, take care of yourself, or engage in hobbies.
  • Protect your rights: The property owner, along with his or her representatives, may try to place full or partial blame on you for the slip-and-fall. They could claim that the hazard and danger were foreseeable or that you were exaggerating your injuries. Your lawyer will work to shift the blame from you and defend your rights.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies: Your personal injury attorney can handle all negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf. Your attorney will be familiar with the tactics insurers use to devalue a claim and know how to combat these in order to get you a fair settlement that fully compensates you for your losses.

Let Us Help You Establish Liability After a Slip-and-Fall Accident

At Hill & Moin LLP, we understand the serious consequences of a property owner acting negligently. A slip-and-fall accident lawyer can help you:

  • Identify all parties responsible for your injuries
  • Establish liability
  • Provide insight into what evidence might be available to strengthen your case

Our law firm serves multiple areas in and the vicinity of New York City, including Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Nassau County. We offer all potential clients a free case consultation. We take all personal injury cases on contingency. This means we only get paid if we recover compensation for you, so you don’t pay us out of pocket.

Our experienced legal team truly cares about our clients. With Hill & Moin on your side, it is “like having a lawyer in the family,” as our clients have told us. Contact us today at (212) 668-6000 to learn about your Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ.

Don’t wonder about your rights!

Suffered from a Slip and Fall Over Snow or Ice in NYC? Find Out How Legal Expertise Makes a Difference

January 16th, 2024 by

Picture this: NYC under a fresh blanket of snow – it’s like a winter postcard. But hidden beneath that snowy scene lies a sneaky hazard: ice. It’s easy to slip, fall, and get hurt on these icy patches. That’s where we come in. We’re here to help you understand what to do if you find yourself taking an unexpected tumble this winter.

NYC’s Winter Slippery Surprise

We all know NYC winters can be tough. That snow might look pretty, but it can turn into a slippery mess real quick. When you fall and get hurt, it’s not just about the pain. There can be medical bills, lost time at work, and a whole lot of stress.

What’s the Deal with Slip and Fall Laws?

Here’s the lowdown: If you slip and fall because of ice or snow, someone might be responsible for not keeping things safe. But proving that in court can be tricky. It’s all about showing that the person in charge of the place where you fell knew about the danger but didn’t fix it.

How Hill & Moin Can Help You

We at Hill & Moin are like detectives for slip and fall cases. We dig deep – taking pictures, talking to people who saw what happened, and looking at weather reports. We want to make sure we have all the details to tell your story right.

Your Rights and What You Could Get

After a nasty fall, you might worry about money for doctor’s visits or the paychecks you miss while you’re healing. That’s totally fair, and you deserve help with that. We fight to get you money for all those things, plus compensation for the pain and hassle you’ve gone through.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Call a Lawyer

Here’s a heads-up: In New York, you can’t wait forever to decide to take legal action. There’s a time limit for filing your case. Plus, the sooner you get us on board, the better we can gather evidence to support your claim.

Wrapping It Up

Falling on ice in NYC is no joke. It can really turn your life upside down. That’s why having a team like Hill & Moin by your side is key. We know the ins and outs of these cases and are all about getting you what you deserve. Contact us anytime for a free consultation.

Russian Speaker Injured During Fall At Work Is Granted $448k For Injuries And Suffering

December 21st, 2023 by

As a Home Health Aide Anna V. spends her days helping others with essential life tasks when they cannot complete these tasks on their own. She never imagined that reporting for duty at her own job would be the reason she herself needed to look for help of her own – from a personal injury attorney. It was a routine day of service for Anna V. when she arrived at a patient’s residence to assist with her day, starting with a walk outside for some fresh air. Approaching the stairwell, she lifted her patient’s walker to carry it down the stairs. Suddenly, a faulty stair sent her hurtling down the stairs causing her to sustain injuries to her back, knees, and shoulders. In pain and feeling like she had nowhere to turn, she reached out to the personal injury attorneys at Hill and Moin, LLP for assistance. It’s a good thing she did, as Hill and Moin brought in a whopping settlement of $448,000 for what she had endured. When describing her experience dealing with the staff, Anna V. only had the best things to say. Despite being a Russian speaker, she found communication from paralegals to attorneys alike to be thorough and detailed, never leaving her with unanswered questions. With the monetary relief secured by Hill & Moin and her sights set on the future, Anna V. plans to boost her savings and open a trust account.

How Long Do You Have to Report a Slip-and-Fall?

November 22nd, 2023 by

Slip-and-fall accidents can disrupt not just your day but also your life. As someone who has been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, you have every right to seek compensation.

Filing a premises liability claim could help you cover your medical bills, ongoing treatments, and other damages. But you can only be compensated if you report and file your accident on time.

At Hill & Moin LLP, we help injured slip and fall victims report their cases, file their claims, and recover fair compensation. We want to help you understand New York City’s accident deadlines and report your accident on time.

This guide will give you a comprehensive overview of the reporting requirements for slip-and-fall accidents in New York City.

Time Limits for Reporting Slip-and-Fall Accidents in New York City

After a slip-and-fall accident occurs, you may feel too overwhelmed by your fall injury to focus on legal matters. We understand how easy it can be to miss the case report deadlines while focusing on your recovery.

Sadly, missing legal deadlines could interfere with your receiving compensation for your injuries. But knowing when to report a slip and fall case could increase your chances of receiving financial aid for damages.

The unique circumstances of each case greatly influence the time limit for reporting what happened. Property ownership is one factor that dictates report deadlines in New York City. Below are the deadlines for different types of property ownership.

Filing for an injury sustained on private property

A slip-and-fall accident on private property must be filed before the New York statute of limitations runs out. The deadline for your case is counted from the day of the incident, but it would be best to file as soon as possible.

Late filing can reduce the credibility of your slip and fall claim. For instance, if you have not received medical treatment within 7 months for an injury you claim was caused by a property owner’s negligence 7 months ago, you may be less likely to get the compensation you hope to win.

Delay in treatment may make it difficult to prove that your injuries are related to your fall. What’s more, the party liable for your accident, or their insurer, may argue that your injuries are far less serious than you claim

Notifying municipal entities of a slip and fall claim

New York City has many municipal entities that oversee city operations and services. A few of these include:

  • The City of New York (A municipal entity that is governed by the Mayor’s Office and the New York City Council)
  • New York City Police Department (NYPD)
  • The Fire Department of New York (FDNY)
  • NYC Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
  • The New York Department of Sanitation (DSNY)
  • New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)

What if one of these municipal entities is liable for your injury? The statute of limitations is shorter for accidents on New York City property, such as sidewalks or public parks. The legal time frame to file a personal injury claim against a municipal entity differs from the deadline for filing a lawsuit.

To be more specific, you are required to follow the timelines below:

  • Notice of Claim: This is a formal notification to the municipal entity of your intention to pursue a claim against them. You are required to file a Notice of Claim with the municipal entity responsible for the property where your slip-and-fall accident happened.
  • Filing a lawsuit: After filing the notice, you must wait for a period of time, as stipulated by law, before filing your slip and fall lawsuit against the municipal entity.

Pursuing legal action against public authorities

Public authorities like the NYC School Construction Authority and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey may have shorter statutes of limitations than municipal entities. If so, then when you have a potential claim against these entities, you also have less time to file a Notice of Claim and the corresponding lawsuit.

Other public authorities, like the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), may have slightly different notice requirements. Before preparing your lawsuit or Notice of Claim, speak to an experienced lawyer who will know the current statutes and time limits. Also, you can learn more about slip-and-fall accidents in public transit vehicles here.

Reporting a slip and fall case to the State of New York

The legal structure for premises liability claims against the State of New York is quite extensive. These cases are subject to the Court of Claims Act.

The Court of Claims Act is a set of rules and procedures outlining how people can file claims against the state. This Act gives you two main options when you make a claim against the State of New York, described below.

File a verified claim

Under this option, you are required to serve and file a verified claim, describing the details of the accident and your basis for filing a claim against the state. This option allows you to begin the legal process sooner and possibly reach a quicker conclusion by serving and filing your claim.

 File a Notice of Intention and a verified claim

You have the option to file a Notice of Intention after a slip-and-fall accident. This document serves as a preliminary notice to the state, letting them know you intend to pursue compensation for a slip-and-fall accident. After filing the notice, you may be allowed additional time from the date of your incident to file and serve a verified claim against the State of New York.

The law also specifies that you may sometimes make a motion to treat a Notice of Intention as an actual claim. This may be possible when the Notice was served on time, but the claim was not.

As you can see, the strict procedures for filing a slip and fall claim with different entities can be quite overwhelming. We advise slip and fall victims to seek the help of our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys.

If Hill & Moin takes on your case, we can help ensure that your documents are correctly prepared and filed in compliance with the Court of Claims Act’s requirements. And if your case needs to go to trial in the Court of Claims, we can help you fight for compensation.

The Statute of Limitations for Special Circumstances

While the personal injury statute of limitations of a few years is the general rule for slip and fall claims in New York, there are some exceptions. Special circumstances may allow for an extended deadline for fall victims. Understanding the unique circumstances that might apply to your case can help you and your personal injury lawyer build a compelling claim.

Filing a slip and fall claim for minors or disabled individuals

When minors or disabled persons are involved in slip-and-fall accidents, the statute of limitations differs from other cases. Here are some specific provisions:

  • For minors: When someone under 18 years of age is involved in a slip-and-fall accident, the statute of limitations “clock” doesn’t start ticking until the minor turns 18. This means the minor may have a few extra years to file a personal injury lawsuit for injuries sustained.
  • For disabled people: The statute of limitations can be modified if a disabled person is involved in a slip-and-fall incident. Most of the time, the modified timeline may depend on the type of disability and the circumstances of the case. In some cases, the statute may be temporarily paused until the disabled individual is deemed capable of pursuing legal action. The courts may consider factors such as the individual’s mental capacity and ability to understand his or her legal rights.

Reporting your slip-and-fall accident when you cannot identify the liable party

Generally, the statute of limitations counts down a few years from the date of your incident. However, in situations where the defendant cannot be identified, this time frame may present a challenge to your compensation claim.

Fortunately, the law acknowledges that an injured party may require extra time to gather evidence and uncover the identity of the responsible party. If it is unclear who this may be, you and your lawyers will have to work diligently to identify them.

Identifying the person responsible can be especially difficult. Here are a few reasons why you may have trouble identifying the responsible party:

  • Public spaces like retail stores and malls may have multiple parties responsible for the property; this makes it difficult to pinpoint a single owner
  • Property management companies or landlords may be responsible instead of the property owner, adding complexity
  • Some property owners may use corporate entities that hide their direct ownership

The reporting deadline for a wrongful death claim

In tragic situations where slip-and-fall accidents cause a fatality, the statute of limitations may differ from the general personal injury statute. Wrongful death claims are often filed on behalf of the deceased person’s surviving family members, seeking compensation for the financial losses incurred.

The specific timeline for filing a wrongful death claim in New York is generally counted from the date of the individual’s death. This allows surviving family members some time to grieve their loss before pursuing legal action through a personal injury lawsuit.

The Benefits of Filing a Slip and Fall Lawsuit Early

The sooner you file your personal injury claim, the more beneficial it can be for you. A delay in pursuing your claim may reduce the evidence and harm your chances of receiving compensation.

Promptly reporting a slip-and-fall accident is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Preserving evidence: When you file a claim early, the fresh evidence available makes your case more convincing. Over time, witnesses’ memories may fade or the property owner may fix the hazard that caused your injuries.
  2. Medical attention: Getting medical attention as soon as possible is important. These medical records could serve as evidence of the injuries sustained in the accident.
  3. Notifying property owners: Reporting the incident notifies the property owners of the slip-and-fall accident, which might prompt them to address the hazard. In this way, future accidents are prevented.
  4. Compliance with legal deadlines: Failure to report slip-and-fall accidents within the required statute of limitations window could jeopardize your ability to pursue compensation.

Contact a New York City Lawyer at Hill & Moin LLP Today

After a slip-and-fall accident has occurred, you may want to pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit. This task can seem intimidating, though, since there are many filing requirements and deadlines. As medical providers provide treatment and expect to be paid, the pressure to report your case on time can increase.

Our knowledgeable New York City lawyers want to relieve your burden and help you report your accident on time – in compliance with local premises liability laws. If need be, our lawyers are even prepared to go to trial to secure fair compensation.

Contact a slip and fall lawyer at (212) 668-6000 to schedule your initial free consultation today and learn about your Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ.

Don’t wonder about your rights!

Bronx Resident who tripped and fell on a Defective Sidewalk Receives $500 Settlement

November 15th, 2023 by

G.A. was on his way to visit his partner’s home when he tripped and fell due to a defective sidewalk. Upon getting up, he limped to his destination with a quickly swelling and bruised ankle. The continuous pain forced him to seek treatment at the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a fractured left ankle.
G.A. contacted a colleague who referred him to Hill & Moin LLP. He called their office and after conducting an intake, an appointment was scheduled to meet with the partners of the firm. The attorneys made a plan of action and began diligently working on his case. Even during the pandemic, the firm moved his case forward with confidence that they would deliver him a settlement beyond his expectations. The case settled for $500,000, which will change the trajectory of P’s life, since he will now be able to live his dream of owning a clothing store.