Articles Posted in Slip and Fall Accidents

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Whether texting, listening to music or scrolling through social media posts, the number of distracted pedestrians has significantly increased in recent years. Almost anyone who travels around in busy sections of town can attest to the alarming number of people not paying attention while walking. Unfortunately, distracted pedestrians can easily place both themselves and others in considerable danger.

What are the Consequences of Distracted Pedestrians?

Since 2004, the number of severe injuries to pedestrians using their smartphones has more than doubled. Recent research reveals that over 60 percent of pedestrians are distracted by other activities while on foot. As a result, more and more people are randomly tripping over curbs, waking into oncoming traffic, and falling down steps. This can be particularly troublesome for motorists when distracted pedestrians attempt to cross streets while looking at their phones instead of oncoming vehicles. Drivers may be forced to swerve out of the way and into other cars. Crossing the street distracted is even more dangerous when motorists fail to pay attention.

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

Winters in New York often result in a significant amount of snowfall, and snow and ice are common causes of slip and fall accidents. People hurt in falls caused by slippery conditions may be able to recover damages from the parties that own or maintain the property where they fell if they can establish liability. Recently, a New York court discussed fault in slip and fall cases in a case in which the plaintiff suffered injuries due to snow and ice on the defendants’ property. If you were hurt after you fell on snow or ice, you might have a valid claim for damages, and it is in your best interest to consult an experienced Buffalo personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Fall

It is reported that the plaintiff slipped and fell on ice and snow that was piled onto a concrete island in the middle of a parking lot in a shopping center. The plaintiff was attempting to cross the island to get to a restaurant when he fell. He filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendants, the property owner, management company, and snow removal contractor. The defendant owner and defendant property management company filed motions for summary judgment, in which they requested that the court dismiss the plaintiff’s claims. The court denied the motions, and the defendants appealed.

Liability in Slip and Fall Cases

A defendant moving for summary judgment in a slip and fall case must establish that the evidence, when taken at face value, shows that it did not create the dangerous condition that caused the plaintiff’s fall, nor did it have constructive or actual knowledge that the condition existed. A property owner does not have a duty to protect or warn people about conditions that are not obvious and open and not in and of themselves dangerous. Continue reading

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