Slip and fall accidents can cause severe injuries. You may incur substantial medical bills and lost wages because of a broken leg or back injury while shopping or enjoying time at a spa. The good news is that the property owner could be liable for your damages.
Property owners have a legal responsibility to maintain safe premises for the people who lawfully enter their property. Failing to maintain safe premises could result in a premises liability claim. Claims may be filed for slips, trips, and falls occurring on:
- Commercial property
- Business property
- Residential property
- Rented or leased property
- Schools and playgrounds
- Government buildings and facilities
- Public property
- Apartment complexes
- Shopping malls, restaurants, and retail locations
- Entertainment and sports venues
- College campuses
- Train, subway, and bus stations
- Office buildings
- Hotels and resorts
In addition to the property owner, tenants, business owners, and other parties could be liable for injuries caused by a slip and fall accident. Never assume that a fall is your fault. Always seek legal advice from a slip and fall lawyer.
Proving the Property Owner Is Liable for Damages
Property owners owe you a duty of care when you enter their property. If they are negligent in maintaining the premises, they can be liable for any damages caused by a fall or accident on their property.
Proving that the property owner is responsible for your slip and fall accident requires you to have evidence proving:
- The property owner owed you a legal duty of care
- The property owner breached the duty of care through their acts or omissions
- The breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of your fall
- You sustained damages because of the fall
The duty of care includes repairing dangerous conditions on the property, such as fixing damaged steps, uneven surfaces, and loose carpets and rugs. It also includes regularly inspecting the premises for hazards, such as slick floors, exposed wiring, and obstacles in walkways.
The duty of care includes providing adequate warning of hazards that cannot be immediately corrected. For example, placing signs at the entranceway warning of wet floors during a rainstorm or placing warning tape and barriers around a pothole in a garage until it is repaired.
The level of care can vary depending on why you were on the property.
For example, an invitee is anyone who enters the property with the owner’s permission for an economic benefit or enters property open to the general public. Therefore, the highest level of care is owed to an invitee.
On the other hand, a licensee is someone who has an implied or express invitation to enter the property without a commercial purpose. For example, someone visiting a neighbor or friend would be a licensee. The level of care is slightly lower, but residential property owners can still be held liable for slip and fall accidents.
Some trespassing on a person’s property may not be able to hold a property owner liable for injuries while on the property. However, children are an exception. A property owner could be liable if a young child wanders onto their property and is injured.
Injuries and Damages Caused by Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can cause a variety of injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Hip fractures
- Traumatic brain injury
- Wrist and ankle injuries
- Knee and elbow injuries
- Broken noses, jaws, and other facial injuries
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injuries
However, a person may experience extreme physical pain and suffering after a slip and fall accident. Other non-economic damages can include emotional distress, permanent impairments, diminished quality of life, and mental anguish.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Claim Against a Property Owner for a Slip and Fall Accident in Queens?
Generally, you must file a lawsuit against the property owner and other liable parties within three years from the date of your slip and fall accident.
The deadline for filing claims against the government is much shorter. You must give government entities in New York City and New York State notice of a claim within 90 days from the injury date. After that, you have one year to file a lawsuit.
It is always best to consult a Queens slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible after an injury. A lawyer calculates the precise deadline for filing a slip and fall claim so that you do not miss your chance to hold a property owner liable for a slip and fall accident in Queens.
Contact Our Slip and Fall Accident Law Firm in Queens, NY
We have two convenient locations in New York: