Slip and fall accidents frequently occur in New York, and in many instances, they cause significant harm. Some people hurt in such incidents can recover damages, but whether they are owed compensation depends on numerous factors, including what caused them to fall and how long the dangerous condition was present. In a recent New York ruling, a court discussed each party’s burden of proof with regard to negligent claims arising out of slip and fall accidents. If you suffered injuries on someone else’s property, you could be owed damages, and it is smart to meet with a dedicated Buffalo personal injury attorney to discuss your harm.
The Plaintiff’s Fall
It is alleged that the plaintiff lived in a building owned by the defendant. As she was leaving the building one day, she slipped on the landing and fell down a flight of stairs that led to the front door. She was injured in the fall and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging they negligently permitted a dangerous condition to exist on the property, which caused her to suffer injuries. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff could not specify what caused her to fall and, therefore, her claim must fail. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, and the defendant appealed.
Proving Liability in Slip and Fall Cases
Under New York Law, if a plaintiff in a slip and fall case cannot identify the cause of his or her fall, it is fatal to any negligence claim arising out of the incident, as it would require the judge or jury determining liability to make a finding of proximate cause based on pure speculation. In the subject case, the defendant argued that the plaintiff did not know what caused her to fall, and therefore, her negligence claim should be dismissed. Continue reading