If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident you may be facing medical expenses, a loss of income and other difficult circumstances.
As a result, you may be considering what your legal options are and whether or not you can file a lawsuit to recover compensation for damages.
Fortunately, many slip and fall victims who are injured on another person’s property are able to obtain compensation in a premises liability lawsuit.
However, winning a slip and fall lawsuit can be more difficult than you may think.
In this article we discuss the basic criteria that must be met in order to win a slip and fall lawsuit.
Slip & Fall Accident: Can I Sue For An Injury?
Premises liability is a legal concept which requires landlords and owners of property to maintain a reasonably safe, hazard-free environment on their property for all visitors.
Under premises liability law, a person who slips and becomes injured as the result of an unsafe condition on someone else’s property may be able to file a lawsuit against the liable party.
Winning A Slip & Fall Lawsuit
Winning a premises liability lawsuit can be quite difficult. Even if you were clearly injured as the result of a dangerous condition that existed on another person’s property, you may not be entitled to compensation.
In order to successfully win a premises liability claim, an injured victim must be able to prove that multiple conditions existed which led his or her accident and ultimately, his or her injury.
You must be able to prove the following criteria in a court of law if you wish to win your slip and fall lawsuit:
1. You Were Lawfully Visiting The Property Where You Were Injured
First and foremost, a slip and fall victim must have been a legal visitor of the property that you he or she were injured on.
If you were injured while shopping at the grocery store during the store’s regular business hours, then you would have been lawfully visiting the premises and as a result, may be entitled to recover compensation.
On the other hand, if you were injured while robbing a store or breaking and entering, then you would not be considered a lawful visitor and may not be entitled to compensation in a premises liability lawsuit.
In a premises liability lawsuit there are three types of potential visitors including:
Invitees: A person who visits a premises to conduct a lawful business transaction. An invitee is eligible to pursue compensation in a slip and fall lawsuit.
Licensees: A person who visits a premises for a reason other than a business transaction. This typically includes guests of a person’s house who are visiting for social purposes. A licensee is eligible to pursue compensation in a slip and fall lawsuit.
Trespassers: A person who is not explicitly nor implicitly invited to enter a property and enters unlawfully. Trespassers are not able to pursue compensation in a slip and fall lawsuit.
2. A Hazardous Condition Existed On The Property
In order to be successful in winning a slip and fall case, you must also be able to prove that a hazardous condition existed on the property.
For example, if you slipped and became injured as a result of your carelessness or reckless behavior, and no dangerous condition existed on the property, then you would probably be successful in winning your claim.
However, if you are able to prove that you slipped on a wet floor that was not properly marked with a warning sign, then you may have a chance of winning your claim.
3. The Responsible Party Should Have Known About It The Dangerous Condition
Even if you are able to prove that you were injured as a result of a dangerous condition that existed on the property, you still may not be entitled to compensation.
Premises liability requires responsible parties to prevent individuals “foreseeable” hazards.
An example of failing to prevent a foreseeable hazard would be if a building owner does to shovel snow on his or her sidewalk for several days and a person becomes injured after slipping on that dangerous sidewalk.
This can be one of the most difficult points to prove in a premises liability lawsuit and often requires the assistance of an experienced attorney.
4. The Hazardous Condition Caused Your Injury
Let’s say you were injured by a hazardous condition that the property owner should have known about and failed to prevent. Your job is not quite done yet.
In addition to proving that all of these conditions existed, you must also be able to prove that the hazardous condition caused you to suffer an injury.
For example, if there was wet flooring in aisle 5 at the grocery store and you slipped in aisle 6 which was free of any hazardous conditions, then you would not have a good chance of winning your claim.
However, if you are able to prove that the wet flooring in aisle 6 caused you to slip and become injured, then you would have a chance of winning your claim.
Experienced New York Attorneys Helping Win Slip & Fall Claims
As you can see, winning a slip and fall lawsuit is not the easiest task.
In fact, many slip and fall victims who deserve compensation for their injuries are unable to obtain that compensation because they do not seek legal help when filing a claim.
At Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, P.C. we have helped our clients win some of the most difficult slip and fall cases in New York.
We encourage you to call us today at (212) 285-3300 for a free consultation if you or a loved one were injured in a slip and fall accident.