A slip and fall accident occurs when a property owner fails to maintain a safe and secure premises for the use of their customers or passers-by. Here in the Hudson Valley, slip and fall accidents predominantly occur during the winter months, when snow, ice, sleet and slush can accumulate in parking lots, sidewalks, or near the entrances to buildings. Beyond the physical pain and suffering of injuries caused by a slip and fall accident, our clients often accumulate substantial medical bills and lost wages.
Slip and falls are in an area of the law called premises liability, in which our team has recovered millions of dollars for our clients. If you or a loved one has suffered a slip and fall accident, give us a call at 845-600-0000 for a free consultation at our law offices in Kingston or Poughkeepsie.
We put together some facts about Hudson Valley slip and fall accidents below:
1. Google searches for “slip and fall” reach their highest levels during snow events
The most searches for “slip in fall” annually in New York State since 2014 all occurred during a:
2. How many snow events are there a year in the Hudson Valley?
Since 2004, we’ve averaged:
42″ of snowfall a year
10 snowfall events over 1″ a year
2 accumulations over 6″ a year
The most snowfall in a year: 2004-2005: 72″
The least snowfall in a year: 2015-2016: 11.7″
3. Slip and fall accidents mostly happen from snow, ice and slush in three places
Entrances to businesses
4. The duty is on businesses and municipalities to salt and shovel on a schedule after inclement weather
If you’ve slipped and fallen in an accident and need to recover damages, it has to be proven that the responsible party had a chance to fix the conditions, but didn’t. It varies from case to case, but generally, businesses and municipalities have a standard operating procedure for salting and shoveling during inclement weather. If there’s any deviation from the protocol prior to your accident, that’s a fact that’s in your favor.
If it’s actively storming, raining, snowing, or sleeting, it can be a more difficult case. Once the storm stops, businesses and municipalities have less than 24 hours to clean it up.
Having security footage can help too; sometimes it will depict other people slipping on the ice before you do. In our cases, we demand to see footage in at least the hour before your fall. Sometimes, you can see other people slipping on the ice beforehand, or even an employee walk by without salting or shoveling.
6. Slip and falls can cause worse injuries than car accidents
We often see worse injuries in slip and fall cases than in vehicle accident cases; people can have joint injuries, broken limbs, traumatic brain injuries, broken noses and more.
7. Slip and fall victims can be unfairly stigmatized
Commercial establishments and businesses are inviting people in to their spaces to make a profit. They have a duty to make sure they’re providing a safe environment for people to access their premises, even if they put out a “slippery floor” sign.
8. Slip and falls are more complicated in residential cases
In an environment like an apartment complex, it has to be proven that the property owner received notice of the bad conditions before the slip and fall occurred. This differs from a business environment, where the duty is always on to provide a safe environment, regardless of being notified.
Oftentimes, we’ll see landlords try to blame it on the “plow guy.” However, you still have to recover damages from the landlord, because they’re the party that owed you a duty to provide a safe environment; the landowner may attempt to recover damages from the plow guy.
9. If you slip and fall, take pictures of the conditions
Conditions can change rapidly, so if you or a loved one falls and suffers an injury, grab your phone and snap some photos of the surrounding conditions as soon as possible.
After a free consultation with our legal team regarding your accident, we will an investigator to scene where you fell to check for surveillance cameras and other information that may support your claim.
10. Retail slip and falls can happen in any season
We mostly see slip and fall accidents between November to April, whenever there’s ice on the ground.
Occasionally, there is a slip and fall inside a retail environment like a department store; maybe a bottle of laundry detergent got spilled on the floor, and it sits there for ten or twenty minutes, and the floor never gets swept like it’s supposed to.
Mainetti & Mainetti, P.C. is a personal injury law firm whose members have decades of experience pushing back for their clients against negligent parties. To schedule a free consultation, call 845-600-0000 or contact us.