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How to Navigate Slip and Fall Cases in Buffalo

Man slipping and falling on stairs

Unfortunately, slip and fall accidents are common in Buffalo, especially during our harsh winters. We’ve frequently handled cases where individuals have suffered significant injuries due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property. Understanding the intricacies of slip and fall cases is crucial for anyone who has experienced such an accident. Here’s an overview to help you navigate this complex legal landscape.

Understanding Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents occur when a person slips, trips, or falls because of a hazardous condition on someone else’s property. This kind of thing can happen anywhere: in a grocery store, on a sidewalk, at a friend’s house, or even at a workplace. Common causes include wet floors, icy sidewalks, uneven surfaces, poor lighting, and unmarked obstacles.

Liability in Slip and Fall Cases

In New York, property owners have a legal obligation to keep their premises safe. When they don’t, they may be accountable for any injuries that occur as a result. However, proving liability in a slip-and-fall case can be challenging. It requires demonstrating:
  • The property owner owed you a duty of care. This is usually straightforward, as property owners generally owe a duty of care to those lawfully on their premises.
  • The property owner breached this duty. This involves showing the owner knew or should have known, about the hazardous condition but didn’t address it.
  • The breach caused your injury. There must be a direct link between the hazard and your injury.
  • You suffered actual damages. This includes medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs.

Common Defenses in Slip and Fall Cases

Property owners and their insurance companies often use defenses to avoid liability. They might argue that:

  • The hazard was open and obvious. If a reasonable person had noticed and avoided the danger, the property owner might not have been held liable.
  • Comparative negligence. New York follows the rule of comparative negligence, meaning that if you were partly at fault for your accident, your compensation might be reduced proportionately.
  • No notice of the hazard. The owner might claim they didn’t know about the dangerous condition in time to address it.

Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Accident

If you’re injured in a slip and fall accident, take the right steps ASAP. This can drastically impact the outcome of your case. Here’s what you should do:

  • Seek medical attention. Your health is most important. Additionally, medical records will be crucial evidence in your case.
  • Report the accident. Let the property owner or manager know what happened and, if possible, get a written report.
  • Document the scene. Take photos and videos of the hazard, your injuries, and the surrounding area. Gather witness contact information if anyone saw the accident.
  • Preserve evidence. Keep the clothes and shoes you had on at the time of the accident. They might be used as evidence.
  • Consult a personal injury lawyer. An experienced Buffalo personal injury lawyer can guide you through the legal process and help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

The Role of a Buffalo Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury lawyers in Buffalo are available to handle all aspects of your slip and fall case. This includes everything from investigating the accident to negotiating with insurance companies. They’ll work to gather evidence, interview witnesses, and build a strong case on your behalf. Their goal is to secure maximum compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.

Conclusion

Slip and fall accidents can have serious, long-lasting effects. Navigating the legal complexities of these cases requires experience and expertise. As NY personal injury attorneys, we’re dedicated to helping victims of slip and fall accidents get the justice and compensation they deserve. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to reach out for a consultation. We can work together to hold responsible parties accountable and ensure you receive the support you need to recover.

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