Slip and Fall Accidents

slip and fall injuryThe Law Firm of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC handles all types of accidents wherein a client sustains injuries from a slip and fall or trip and fall accident on someone else’s property or business. The slip and fall or trip and fall accidents can be caused by numerous items: snow and ice; a wet floor or a substance spill in a supermarket or department store; uneven, raised, or cracked sidewalks in front of a private residence or businesses; or pot holes and cracked parking lots. If any of the above occur, the owner of the property may be responsible to an injured person if the reason for the creation or maintenance of their property is done in a negligent manner, improper manner, or not at all.

The negligence law with respect to slip and falls on snow or ice has been made complicated by case law from New York’s highest Court. If snow and ice is the cause of an individual’s fall, and the individual sustains injuries, the property owner maybe the only one liable. The snow plower contractor (even if they were the cause of improper removal of snow and ice) may not be liable to an individual unless their contract to plow is a full comprehensive and exclusive agreement with the property owner. The snow plower’s duty to third parties is not automatic, and a snow plower does not take the place of the property owner in the duties to clear snow and ice.

In those cases, no direct action against a snow plower can take place. Therefore, the individual party who is injured must sue the property owner, who in turn will bring in the snow plower in a third-party action. The Law Firm of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC handles all types of slip and fall cases. The following are some examples:

Slip and Falls : Due to ice or snow conditions, or a substance (water, liquid spill, product, or foreign substance) on the floor.

Trip and Falls : Due to cracked and uneven sidewalks, improperly maintained escalators or elevators, or an object not in its proper place.

Steps and Falls : Due to a hole in the ground or an improperly maintained step that broke or became loose.

Hit and Falls : Due to an object falling from a high place (i.e. construction sites) and hitting a person.

One of the biggest defenses to slip and fall cases is the legal theory of “Notice”. The person causing the harm must have notice (actual or constructive) of the defect that causes the fall. It must be proven that the property owner “knew”, or “should have known” of the defect or substance causing the fall. This can be proven in a number of ways, (1) by actual notice or creation of the defect or (2) the defect existed for such a long period of time that the property owner should have known of the defect. The property owner’s responsibility is to maintain the property in a safe manner, to prevent hazards to others, and a duty to warn of any of these hazards if they exist.

The slip and fall cases that arise out of falls on the property of a municipality or a school district due to improper maintenance of the property, has a specific period of time to commence an action. Any action by an injured person against a municipality or school district must commence a case within ninety days of the incident by filing a “Notice of Claim” against the municipality or school district and the lawsuit must be commenced within one year and ninety days from the date of the accident. In all fall down cases, photographs of the area must be ascertained to preserve the evidence.

The Law Firm of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC also handles falling object cases. These cases have become prevalent with the onset of the “box stores”, or warehouse outlets. Since these stores have stacked layers of merchandise and shelving (warehouses), it often occurs that the merchandise shifts or comes loose and falls from upper shelves hitting and injuring a passing shopper. The store owner who failed to maintain its merchandise in a secure and if necessary, netted area, may be responsible for the devastating injuries such objects cause to innocent shoppers.

At the Westchester County, White Plains Office of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC, our staff is committed to the client’s needs in explaining the process from gathering evidence in slip and fall cases, to care for the client’s healing emotionally and physically. Our firm will act quickly and competently in gathering evidence both physically and medically to move the case along, always remembering the client’s needs.

Our firm is known for its expeditious settlement or litigation of your claims. Our stride is always pushing for the greatest possible value for the client’s injuries. Mr. Robustelli’s 41 years of experience in dealing with claims adjusters and evaluators at insurance companies has given him the reputation for expense saving settlements never sacrificing the value of the injury.

If you have been injured in any type of slip and fall, trip and fall, step and fall, or objects falling from shelves, contact us for your free consultation in our Westchester County White Plains Office at (914) 288-0800, Orange County Monroe Office at (845) 782-9571 or from anywhere at our toll free number at (800) 727-7084.

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