Slip and Trip: The Art of Proving Premises Liability in New York

Slip and Trip: The Art of Proving Premises Liability in New York

By Steven Miller
Senior Partner

Accidents can happen anywhere, and when they occur on someone else’s property, it often leads to questions of responsibility. In New York, premises liability is a legal concept that holds property owners accountable for accidents that occur on their premises. One common type of premises liability case involves slips and trips. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the art of proving premises liability in New York, specifically in cases related to slips and trips.

Understanding Premises Liability:

Premises liability is a legal doctrine that imposes a duty on property owners to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. This includes addressing potential hazards that could lead to accidents such as slips and trips. In New York, to establish premises liability, certain elements must be proven:

  • Duty of Care: Property owners have a legal duty to keep their premises reasonably safe for visitors and other persons on their property. 
  • Breach of Duty: There must be evidence of a breach in the duty of care. This could be the failure to address known hazards or neglecting necessary maintenance or creating a defective condition. 
  • Causation: The unsafe condition must be proven to be a substantial factor in causing the accident. Establishing a clear link between the property owner’s negligence and the injury is crucial.
  • Damages: The injured party must have suffered damages, such as physical injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.

Common Causes of Slips and Trips:

Slip and trip accidents can occur due to various factors, and proving liability often involves identifying the cause. Some common causes include:

  • Wet or Slippery Surfaces: Spills, wet floors, or icy sidewalks can lead to slips and falls.
  • Uneven Surfaces: Cracked sidewalks, uneven flooring, or poorly maintained walkways can cause tripping hazards.
  • Inadequate Lighting: Poorly lit areas can make it difficult for individuals to see potential hazards.
  • Lack of Warning Signs: Property owners are responsible for warning visitors about potential dangers, such as wet floors or uneven surfaces.

The Art of Proving Premises Liability:

Successfully proving premises liability in slip and trip cases involves a combination of legal strategy and gathering compelling evidence. Here are some key steps:

  • Prompt Documentation: If you’ve been injured, document the scene as soon as possible. Take photographs of the hazard, any warning signs (or lack thereof), and your injuries.
  • Witness Statements: Obtain contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident or were aware of the hazardous conditions.
  • Surveillance Footage: Check for security cameras that may have captured the incident. This can be powerful evidence in establishing the cause of the accident.
  • Medical Records: Seek medical attention promptly and keep detailed records of your injuries, treatments, and related expenses.
  • Expert Testimony: In some cases, expert testimony may be necessary to establish that the property owner’s negligence was the cause of the accident.

Navigating premises liability cases in New York, especially those involving slips and trips, requires a thorough understanding of the legal landscape and a strategic approach to gathering evidence. If you find yourself a victim of a slip and trip accident, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through the process of proving premises liability and seeking the compensation you deserve. Remember, holding property owners accountable not only helps you recover but also contributes to the overall safety of public spaces.

Accidents happen, but justice prevails. At MMS Personal Injury Lawyers, we’re your dedicated advocates in the pursuit of compensation for your injuries. Our experienced team specializes in personal injury cases, ensuring you get the support you deserve. Contact us now!

About the Author
Steven Miller is a skilled Personal Injury attorney based in Garden City, NY. Steven has experience in a variety of practice areas, including . If you have questions about this article, contact Steven today.