What Happens if I Slip and Fall in Queens, New York?

When you hear the phrase “slip and fall,” what comes to mind? Do you envision a major accident or a minor mistake? And whose mistake is it? Presumptions about slip and fall accidents and their seriousness might stop some victims from seeking compensation in Queens – but it shouldn’t.

So, after an accident, stand your ground and report it to the property owner. Call 911 if your injuries are serious or if you need to involve the police. To avoid tripping up during your lawsuit and jeopardizing its chances of winning, focus on getting medical attention for your injuries right away. Snap photos of the accident scene, including any obstruction or hazard that caused you to trip, slip, or fall. File your case fast so you don’t miss the deadline, and carefully size up settlements to ensure they’re fair before accepting.

Shifting the Perception of Slip and Fall Accidents in Queens, NY

Instead of only calling these accidents “slip and falls,” let’s reframe the situation. In reality, these accidents are premises liability issues. You didn’t just trip and fall because of your own clumsiness or inattention but because the property owner was negligent.

This is the key aspect of these cases. In slip and falls, victims trip or lose their footing because of hazards or obstructions. For example, if you were at a restaurant in Queens and slipped because the staff failed to clean up a spilled drink, the restaurant would be to blame since you would not have fallen had it not been for the staff’s failure.

Moreover, the phrase slip and fall often fails to capture the serious nature of these accidents. Slipping on a spilled drink in a restaurant might seem embarrassing in the abstract, but in reality, victims might get severely hurt. These accidents often cause sprains, fractures, and soft tissue injuries that need treatment.

Some falling accidents have the potential to cause life-altering injuries. For example, falling off of a homeowner’s balcony because of a broken railing could cause traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and fatal injuries.

So, right after you trip, slip, or fall due to negligence, focus on why the accident happened. Don’t leave the scene out of embarrassment; you’re the victim and should document the incident to the best of your ability.

Standing Your Ground After Slipping and Falling in Queens, NY

Slip and fall accidents might go unreported or undocumented because victims don’t know to call the police. For example, while you might call the cops for a car crash, would you do the same for an accident at a neighbor’s house? Should you? What if the person at fault doesn’t want you to?

The bottom line is that it is in your best interest to document an accident, even if it seems minor. If you are hurt, you may need medical care, and the cost of that care shouldn’t come out of your pocket. Especially if you need emergency medical treatment, call 911.

If you do not call the police, you should, at the very least, report the accident to the property owner in writing. For example, if you are hurt in a retail shop, tell the manager and file a report with the store. Ask for a copy, and give that to your Queens personal injury lawyer.

If the person whose negligence injured you tries to convince you not to involve the police or otherwise report the incident, that’s a red flag. They’re acting in their own interest, not yours. If you feel uncomfortable reporting the accident on the spot because of the at-fault party, you may be able to do so at a later date.

Winning Your Slip and Fall Case without Tripping Up

After the accident, it should ideally be smooth sailing until you make your financial recovery. Victims can use a few tried-and-true tactics to avoid tripping up at any point during their slip and fall injury lawsuits in Queens.

Cement Your Injuries

If you are at all hurt after falling on someone else’s property, go to the hospital. You have to cement your injuries in your medical record, so to speak, so that you can prove when and how you sustained them. If you delay care for whatever reason, you could hurt your case.

Snap Pictures

Slips, trips, and falls happen because of negligent property maintenance, meaning there is a reason you fell. It could be a broken handrail, a loose floorboard, or a puddle from a leak in the ceiling – whatever it is, photograph it. The person to blame might clean up the mess right away, so taking pictures may be your only way to preserve evidence.

File Fast

You should also bring your case soon after the accident. You will only have three years to file your lawsuit under C.V.P. Law § 214(5), and missing the deadline will bar you from recovery, so don’t risk it.

Size up Settlements

Don’t get too excited by the first settlement offer you get. The at-fault party might offer you a low amount, hoping you will accept it right away. Rely on your attorney to assess settlement offers against their calculation of your damages. What seems like a large settlement at first might not cover enough of your losses upon closer look. All of that said, with enough evidence to leverage and through staunch negotiations, victims can favorably settle slip and fall cases without having to go to court in Queens.

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