Property owners have a duty to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. This applies to both people’s homes, as well as commercial establishments and parking lots. If someone is injured due to a dangerous condition existing on the property, this may constitute negligence on the part of the property owner or caretaker, or both! Cases that arise from this type of negligence are known as “premises liability” cases, commonly known as a “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” lawsuit.
In the Hudson Valley, many premises liability cases are connected to inclement weather, especially in the winter, but there are many possible causes. Some of the more common cases arise from falls on:
- Snow and ice
- Slippery floors after cleaning
- Improperly placed merchandise
- Tools or materials left in high foot traffic areas
- Improperly maintained staircases and ramps
In a blog post earlier this year, we found that searches for “slip and fall” in New York State tend to spike during snow events, so be extra careful out there when there’s ice and snow in the forecast. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident and want to know what to do next, read on:
1. Seek medical attention
If you’ve been injured, you need medical care. Cooperate with medical responders and listen to your doctor’s advice. If your injuries are serious enough to warrant significant costs, you will have records that you promptly sought medical care for injuries that were caused by the accident.
2. Notify the property owner about the accident and document it
If your injury took place on a commercial property, there’s a good chance the owner has some kind of reporting process in place. Attempt to file a report, and request that the property owner acknowledge their receipt of the report. If they don’t have an official process, send a certified letter to the property owner that has all of the pertinent information about your accident and a summary of your injuries.
3. Get a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Kingston or Poughkeepsie
Our firm has successfully gotten the maximum possible settlement in many slip and fall and premises liability cases over the last few decades. It costs you nothing to get a consultation; if you’ve been injured in a slip and fall on someone else’s property, give us a call at 845-600-000 to schedule a meeting at our offices in either Kingston or Poughkeepsie.
4. Don’t post about the accident on social media
Many people use social media as a way to let their loved ones know about what’s going on in their lives. However, posting any information about an accident or your injuries, even months after the fact, can be used against you in a lawsuit and prevent you from recovering your full damages. We wrote a blog post with a full breakdown of social media precautions for personal injury victims.
5. Take photos of the conditions and your injuries
If you’re injured, your first priority should be getting medical attention. However, photos of the conditions that caused your injury can be critical for recovering damages resulting from your injury. So if at all possible, take photographs yourself or have someone you trust take a photograph of the icy patch, wet spot, loose floorboard, or whatever caused your accident as soon as possible after your fall.
6. Don’t let insurance companies get to you
Once a property owner becomes aware of a serious accident on their premises, they will contact their insurance provider and tell them what happened. It is then the insurance company’s priority to minimize the amount of money they have to pay for your medical costs and other expenses. We push back against insurance companies, so give us a call at 845-600-0000 if you have any questions about what they’re doing with you. They will use all kinds of tactics that we laid out in a blog post earlier this year, including:
- Giving you lowball offers
- Requesting a medical authorization
- Influencing your medical decisions
- Rushing you into taking a bad offer
7. Think about witnesses
Did anyone see your accident happen? Are there people that work across the street, or within eyeshot of where your accident occurred? Can you think of anyone who might have been around at that time?
8. You deserve compensation for your injuries
Did anyone see your accident happen? Are there people that work across the street, or within eyeshot of where your accident occurred? Can you think of anyone who might have been around during the time you fell? Write down as much of this information as soon as possible so that your attorney can investigate any leads that would help your case.