According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI,), falls account for more than eight million emergency room visits each year, making it the leading cause of visits. Over 5% of victims sustain fractures and falls are the leading cause of time lost from work in the United States. That’s why when you’re injured by falling on somebody’s property, it’s worth considering whether your accident could have been prevented if they had used reasonable care. Property owners are not required to keep their property in perfect condition, but they must inspect it at reasonable intervals to ensure that it is free of hazards that might cause serious injuries to people lawfully on their property or warn of hazards that cannot be avoided. Slip and fall cases are complicated and difficult to prove, that’s why it’s important to hire an experienced New York slip and fall attorney to represent you.
1. Call 911 For The Police And An Ambulance
Calling the police to take a report will establish where and when the accident happened, and can also help show how it occurred. When the police arrive, be sure to show them the location and hazardous condition, pointing out any people involved that contributed to the accident. The police aren’t always willing to come to the scene of a slip and fall accident in New York City, but it’s worth it to try to get them to come to the scene and to tell them that you’re injured and require an ambulance.
2. Pictures That Show The Dangerous Condition
After a slip and fall accident in Manhattan, it’s important to take pictures of the scene to show what caused the accident. These are some examples of photos that would be helpful in proving fault:
- Vegetable or fruit on the floor of a grocery store;
- Puddle of water with no warning signs nearby;
- Cracks or holes in the flooring, sidewalk, or street;
- Ice or snow on pathways or stairways;
- Missing guardrails or handrails;
It’s important to take both close-up photos that show the details of the dangerous condition and wider photos that establish the location.
3. Proof of Being Legally On The Premises
An essential part of proving fault for a slip and fall accident in New York City is showing that you were legally on the premises. For example, if you fell in a parking lot as you were walking to your car, the proof of payment will show that you were a customer. This is also true for shopping malls, restaurants, and other types of businesses, so it’s a good idea to keep your receipts in a safe place until you can provide them to your New York slip and fall attorney.
4. Proving The Owner Had Notice
The property owner is not required to ensure that their property is completely safe. The law only requires that reasonable measures are used. One of the ways courts decide what’s reasonable is to examine how much notice there was of the condition. For example, a movie theater is not responsible for the injuries caused when a patron spills a drink and somebody right behind them slips on it. It’s not reasonable to expect the theater to notice the slippery condition and repair it that quickly. On the other hand, if the spilled drink remained on the floor for hours, it’s reasonable to expect them to notice it and clean it up.
5. Proving Injuries Were Caused By the Accident
It’s necessary to prove that the injuries you sustained were caused by the accident. The best way to do this is to go to the hospital by ambulance, but other types of medical care can also help prove that your fall caused your injuries. If you don’t go to the hospital, it’s crucial to get some kind of medical attention as soon as possible at an urgent care center or private doctor. Part of proving fault in a slip and fall accident is proof that you were injured, so if you never get the medical treatment your case will be extremely weak. Every experienced slip and fall attorney in New York City will remind you to document your injuries with visits to health care professionals.