Albany Slip and Fall Attorney
A broken hip, a fractured pelvis, a bruised tailbone—when you headed off to work, the grocery store, or your doctor’s office this morning, the last thing you expected was to hear any of these words from an emergency room doctor. Unfortunately, because of someone’s carelessness, you may find yourself a victim of a slip and fall accident in Albany.
If you suffered an injury in an icy parking lot, on a wet floor, or on a floor that was treated with too much wax, the slip and fall accident attorneys at Finkelstein & Partners can help. We are here to help victims who suffered an injury due to the negligence of another party.
A Proven Track Record of Resolving Albany Slip and Fall Cases
For more than six decades, Finkelstein & Partners has been helping clients secure compensation for injuries sustained in Albany slip and fall accidents.
Here are some recent results we have obtained for our clients:
- $1.25 million settlement: Workplace injury
- $975,000 settlement: Union telephone worker slipped on ice at work
- $210,000 settlement: Beacon apartment complex owner fails to clear ice
- $450,000 settlement: No cones while mopping
- $150,000 settlement: Slip and fall
- $50,000 settlement: Slip and fall caused by a dog attack
- $700,000 settlement: Gas terminal fails to remove ice
Past results speak to our commitment to ensuring that our clients are not financially devastated following a slip and fall accident caused by someone’s negligent behavior. While our past results do not mean that we will be as successful in the future, they do indicate our willingness to fight for the rights of a victim of slip and fall accidents.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Suffered by Slip and Fall Victims?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every five falls results in a serious injury. While the most vulnerable population is those who are older than 65, there are more than 800,000 people hospitalized annually due to injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident.
The most common injuries are:
- Head injuries – Concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and fractured skulls can cause life-long problems for a slip and fall victim. Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries.
- Broken bones – Broken ankles, hips, and pelvic fractures are all common types of broken bones. However, damage to the spine, tailbone, and broken ribs can also come from a slip and fall accident.
- Emotional trauma – Even when a victim does not suffer a serious injury, they could face trauma that results in their avoiding certain situations to prevent falls. The irony of this is the more someone avoids being active, the higher the likelihood of a fall.
While not every fall victim suffers a serious injury, there are cases where victims suffer life-threatening injuries which result in death. When you or a loved one suffers an injury in a slip and fall accident, you should make sure medical care is immediate. This could be imperative, particularly because signs of trauma could be masked in the immediate aftermath of a fall.
Identifying the Parties Responsible for a Slip and Fall Accident
One of the most important things to remember about slip and fall claims is that they require proof of liability. To prove liability, one must establish who is responsible for the accident that resulted in the injury. In some cases, this may be easy—for example, if you slip and fall in a driveway, the homeowner is liable. However, in cases where you fall on a commercial property, such as at a mall, hotel, or in a building where your doctor’s office is, the responsibility for ensuring your safety may not be as straightforward.
Some responsible parties may include:
- Property owner – In the instance where the property owner is responsible for the maintenance including snow and ice removal, the property owner may face liability for your injuries. If the owner is the same as the occupier, this is the most common scenario. In the event the property owner is leasing the property, they can still be held responsible if they have a contractual obligation to maintain the property.
- Business owner – When you suffer a slip and fall accident inside a store, the store owner may be responsible for your injuries. The owner is responsible for making sure hazardous conditions are addressed as soon as they are identified to ensure the safety of those who enter their business.
- Person leasing property – Even when the landlord or owner of a property is responsible for maintaining a property, the person who is occupying the property may not be free from liability. For example, if you are entering the lobby of an office and the floor has a puddle of water from a leaking ceiling and there is no warning sign indicating a hazard, the person leasing that office should have seen the hazard and taken steps to mitigate the risk to anyone entering the office.
As you can see, sometimes establishing liability is a complicated issue. Remember, to prove negligence, there has to be a reasonable expectation someone was aware of the hazard. A store owner cannot be held responsible for a slip and fall accident that occurred because someone dropped and smashed a bottle of pickles in front of you, and you fell in the juice. In this example, the owner had no time to address the hazard and therefore is not responsible for your injuries. At Finkelstein & Partners, we have investigators who are experienced in reviewing the circumstances of a slip and fall accident.
What Compensation Can a Slip and Fall Victim Expect?
The first thing to keep in mind is that New York has statutes that limit one’s ability to collect for pain and suffering. However, there are economic damages for which a responsible party can face liability after you suffer an injury in a slip and fall case.
You might pursue compensation for:
- Medical care – Victims in Albany are entitled to be reimbursed for the care they receive for injuries suffered in a slip and fall accident. This care includes all treatment in the emergency room, necessary surgical procedures, medication to avoid infection or stop pain, follow-up care, and other treatments including tests that may be required to identify sources of pain. Keeping an accurate record of all medical treatments is necessary to be certain your out-of-pocket expenses are submitted as part of your claim.
- Home modifications – In some cases, a victim could suffer an injury that requires their home to be modified. For example, a victim who suffers a spinal cord injury, or a TBI can no longer climb a flight of stairs without assistance. If the home requires a ramp to ensure the safety of a slip and fall victim, the costs associated with the ramp may be included as part of the victim’s claim.
- Lost wages and other compensation – We know when you are out of work, you are losing more than a paycheck. You could be losing other valuable compensation as well including the use of a company vehicle, cell phone plans, and deposits to your profit-sharing account. In addition to ensuring you are made whole for the wages you lose during recovery, we fight hard to make sure you are reimbursed for lost vacation and personal days, fringe benefit losses, and loss of bonuses and overtime. If you are going to be out of work for an extended time, we will estimate your future lost wages as well.
You can seek other compensation as part of your slip and fall claim. Speak with your team at Finkelstein & Partners and make sure we know about all of your losses, including costs associated with replacing necessary services, such as daycare, that you provided before your accident.
Insurance Companies and Responsible Parties May Attempt to Deflect Liability
You may think your case is very straightforward, and you can just file a claim and wait for a check from the insurance company of the responsible party. What you probably will not be prepared for is the lengths the insurer is prepared to go to reduce their liability.
Insurers avoid liability through:
- Denial of claims – An outright denial of a slip and fall claim means you have to go through the steps of appealing a decision. Insurance companies will deny a claim with the expectation not everyone will go through the trouble of appealing their decision. This expectation sometimes pays off for them meaning they never payout on a slip and fall claim.
- Victim blaming – Another common tactic an insurer might use is claiming the victim of a slip and fall injury is responsible for the fall. The claim is often the victim should have been paying attention, they should have been aware of a slick spot, or they should have expected a slippery sidewalk following a snowstorm. While these may be factual arguments, they lose steam when you understand property owners owe a duty of care to the people who visit.
- Injury existed before fall – Another common tactic is claiming the fall did not cause the victim’s injury, but that it existed before the fall. Even if you had a previous problem with your back or neck and it was exacerbated due to a slip and fall accident, you still have the right to be compensated for the additional treatment you seek for your injury.
Victims are seldom prepared for the range of excuses an insurance company will give to avoid paying a claim. Before you file a claim it is always a good idea to speak with an experienced slip and fall attorney about your injury. Doing so can help protect your rights and make sure you know what to expect from the insurance adjuster.
Costs Versus Benefits of Hiring an Albany Slip and Fall Lawyer
The last thing on your mind when you are recovering from a slip and fall injury is spending money you do not have. You are concerned about your finances because you are bringing in less income, and your bills are piling up. We understand this—this is why our commitment is simple: You do not pay for legal fees until we are successful in obtaining a settlement on your behalf. You do not pay for any legal fees unless we can obtain a settlement.
At Finkelstein & Partners when we take on your slip and fall case, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means you are not obligated to pay our fee unless we are successful in obtaining a settlement on your behalf. Whether this means accepting an insurance company settlement, or taking the matter to court, our fees are not due until your case is resolved successfully. Discuss these fees with your legal team. We are happy to explain any costs associated with you as part of our transparency guarantee.
Victims of slip and fall accidents often ask if it is necessary to hire a personal injury lawyer to help them file a claim. Our answer is complicated: While you can file a claim on your own, you are going to be at the mercy of the insurance company. They will employ a range of tactics including attempting to get you to accept blame, tell you that a low-ball offer is the “best” offer you will get, and make an offer while asking you to sign a waiver of liability which means they do not have to pay for any future costs associated with your injury.
Do not fall into these well-designed traps by insurance companies. Remember, they hope you will not hire a lawyer because those who are not represented by competent legal talent often are unaware of their rights. The insurance company has a team of lawyers representing their interests—these interests are not in line with what is best for you and your family.
Call the Albany Slip and Fall Law Firm of Finkelstein & Partners Today
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident in New York, contact our offices today or call us at any time at (518) 452-2813 for a free case evaluation. We will make sure you know your rights and options. You should not have to bear the financial burden associated with a slip and fall injury at a mall, in a supermarket, your workplace, or any place when a property owner could have prevented your accident.
1707 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12205