Binghamton Slip and Fall Lawyer
Many things might have changed in Binghamton during the last several decades, but our dedication to people like you who were hurt due to no fault of their own has not.
Finkelstein & Partners, LLP has served New York for over 60 years. Finkelstein & Partners have always stuck to their values of defending the rights of regular people and getting the compensation they deserve. Today the firm has grown from its humble beginnings of a small office in Newburgh to a network of 85 attorneys and 120 professionals working together for clients across New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.
Every year, thousands of people are hurt on the job, on highways and interstates, and even just going about their business in private businesses. The responsible parties for many of these injuries could have prevented them, and unfortunately, the injured often have to struggle for years to get back to where they started before their accidents.
Slip and fall cases affect countless people every day, from construction workers working in unnecessarily dangerous conditions to older adults walking on icy sidewalks that property owners haven’t adequately cleared. The common thread of many of these accidents is someone cutting corners to save a buck at someone else’s expense.
That’s when Our Binghamton personal injury Lawyers are here to help you.
What specifically about Binghamton makes these accidents more likely?
Slip and fall injuries can happen anywhere, but a little responsibility can prevent most of them. Businesses must provide a safe environment for their patrons. Safety regulations hold grocery stores, banks, college campuses, and many others to safety standards and accessibility for the disabled.
If an area has the potential for a slip and fall injury, such as a leaking roof, spills, or snow and ice that a customer or employee tracked in, the proprietor must make it known that an area is dangerous. You can see this in action if you go to a department store and see the “Wet Floor” signs displayed when staff is mopping an area.
Job sites in the U.S. account for at least 27 percent of slip and fall injuries (non-fatal only). Loose gravel, oil, water, and slippery metal steps on a job site cause slip and fall accidents. Job sites require proper signs and training for those working in the area and safety equipment. Non-slip surfaces, harnesses, and work boots can limit slipping.
Falling from height, especially while carrying weight, worsens the severity of injuries at work sites. Construction areas, maintenance jobs, custodial work, and road crew jobs carry a lot of potential for injuries due to slipping and falling. These injuries are serious, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration advertises a list of fatalities due to work-related accidents here, including slip and fall injuries.
A few factors explain why Binghamton slip and fall accidents are so prominent. This area of New York receives a lot of humidity, which can quickly turn into severe snow or ice storms throughout winter. With heavy, wet snowfall, ice, and rain, once customers or employees track it into businesses, turn the whole area into a slippery mess. The same is true of sidewalks and streets.
Sidewalks become serious slipping hazards without proper shoveling and salting areas for pedestrians. As with the interior of shops, public buildings, and other areas, the proprietor must keep the area safe. With an aging population, Binghamton supports many older people who are especially vulnerable to slip and fall accidents.
Common Causes of Binghamton Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can occur in many locations: on construction sites, in businesses and hotels, and even on private property. Property owners should properly maintain their premises and warn guests about any potential hazards; however, they may fail to meet this duty and put visitors at risk.
Slippery flooring choices can prove incredibly dangerous, especially if they get wet. Since Binghamton sees just 152 sunny days per year, well below the U.S. average, rain causes a lot of opportunities for slippery flooring. Slippery flooring may need better maintenance to make it a more stable surface to walk on. Some types of coating intended to help preserve flooring can ultimately make it more slippery, creating unnecessary risk.
Walking across a spill can easily result in a slip and fall. In some cases, visitors may not even realize that a spill has occurred. Particularly slippery spills, including oil, can further raise the risk of a fall. In the case of a spill, if the property owner knew, had the chance to clean it up or warn visitors, and did not, the property owner may bear liability.
Lack of maintenance on flooring can raise the risk of many accidents. Often, poor maintenance can lead to slippery floors or rough floors with increased trip hazards. Poor maintenance can prove particularly hazardous on stairs. Uneven stairs, broken handrails, or slippery surfaces can significantly raise the risk of a dangerous fall.
Excessive items on the floors, especially along walkways, can substantially raise the risk of a fall. Business owners, in particular, should take care to ensure clear aisles to decrease overall accident risk.
Many business owners do not think twice about running a cord across a walkaway, especially if they have relatively few outlets and need access to power. Unfortunately, cords can pose a serious tripping hazard for visitors, especially those with underlying conditions that impact balance or mobility.
Ice and Snow
Ice and snow can pose a substantial fall hazard if not properly addressed. The Binghamton area sees an estimated 64 inches of snow per year, well above the United States average. When property owners fail to clear away ice and snow from a walkway, it could constitute an act of negligence and leave them liable for any injuries sustained.
Who Bears Liability for a Slip and Fall in Binghamton?
To file an injury claim after your Binghamton slip and fall accident, you must show that another party’s negligence led to your fall.
Liable parties may include:
- Property owners
- The business operating out of a specific premises, depending on who bears responsibility for maintaining it
- A vendor operating on the premises who contributed to an unnecessary danger
Private property owners can bear liability just like public property owners if their negligence causes your slip and fall. If you suffer a fall on private property, you will typically file a claim to recover compensation for your injuries through the homeowner’s insurance policy.
To show liability for the fall, the property owner must have committed some negligent act that led to the incident. For example, the property owner might have failed to maintain the property properly, clean up a spill, or clear away snow and ice, which frequently occurs throughout the Binghamton area.
Remember that, for you to file a slip and fall accident claim, you must suffer an injury from your fall. A slip and fall claim provides injured parties with compensation for the financial and non-financial losses they sustained because of the property owner’s negligence.
Injuries may vary but can include brain injuries, back and neck injuries, severe lacerations, or broken bones. Elderly individuals, for example, may have a high risk of sustaining a broken hip in a serious fall. Others may break bones in the hands and arms while bracing for the fall.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a slip and fall accident?
A slip and fall accident happens when the surface you are walking on is slippery enough to cause a fall due to lack of traction. Typically, your feet slip out from under you, and the full weight of your body impacts the ground with a lot of force. This can be caused by any number of things, from spilled liquids on the floor to loose gravel, ice, or standing water. When it does happen, the results can be very serious.
What is the main cause of a slip and fall accident?
If you discount the conditions resulting in a slip and fall accident, really the main cause of such an accident is neglect. As mentioned above, someone is responsible for maintaining a safe area. All too often, business owners, groundskeepers, and even city service crews must keep their premises safe for foot traffic or otherwise marked off as a dangerous area.
Even employers for construction sites have an obligation to their employees to provide safe working conditions or training and equipment to prevent injuries. When these factors are absent, you can find the cause of this neglect to a proprietor cutting corners to save money, which directly affects the health and safety of others.
How can a slip and fall accident
The forces exerted on the human body during a fall can injure and even kill people.
Here are some different injuries common to slip and fall injuries.
- TBI: Traumatic brain injuries account for a large portion of injuries. These occur when the brain shifts inside the skull due to blunt force trauma, such as falling and hitting the back of your head on the ground. This impact can shear blood vessels and arteries, which cause bruising and swelling inside the skull. These injuries worsen over time without prompt medical attention due to pressure and can cause permanent cognitive problems, strokes, paralysis, and even death. An MRI or CT scan is the best way to diagnose a TBI.
- Broken bones: Bracing yourself against a face makes you vulnerable to fractures of your arms, wrists, and even legs. Your ribs can snap due to the impact, and especially in the elderly, a slip and fall is a common cause of a fractured pelvis.
- Whiplash: Like a TBI, the forces against the skull and neck, with the head quickly being sent into motion, stopped, and then sent in another direction, can cause excessive strain on the neck, shoulder muscles, and even the spinal cord itself. Whiplash can cause numbness or tingle in the extremities or even paralysis.
- Pulled ligaments: Slipping and falling have claimed a fair number of ACL injuries and other torn ligament and muscle injuries, sometimes requiring surgery to fix.
- Shattered knees: Slipping and falling on your kneecap can break this bone, requiring extensive surgery and rehabilitation over several months.
- Death: Yes, you can die from a slip and fall injury, and each year many people do.
What does recovery look like?
Not every slip and fall accident is alike. Like any accident, you can find a best-case scenario and a worst-case, but recovery has the potential to be a long and arduous process.
Here are some key points to look for when faced with recovery.
- Hospitalization: These serious injuries can result in severe trauma, loss of consciousness, and extreme pain. Due to the potential impact on your brain or neck, at the very least, you will probably be checked out at an emergency room for a concussion or other concerns. If your injuries are more severe, you may need to go to the hospital for observation or recovery.
- Surgery: Any number of injuries due to a slip and fall accident might require surgery. From relieving the pressure from a TBI to fixing a spiral fracture in an arm bone, slip and falls accidents account for many surgeries.
- Rehabilitation: These types of injuries can be life-changing and physical therapy might be needed to regain motor functions. This process can last for several months or even years.
- Lost time at work: During the process of recovery, from ER to Hospital and even rehab, you are going to miss time at work, which can be detrimental to the financial security of you and your family. Severe enough injuries could result in temporary or permanent disability, in which case you will need compensation for this impact on your financial security. An attorney can advise you on how to proceed if this is the case.
- Pain management: Drugs and other treatments might be required long-term after a slip and fall. These are expensive and may further affect your health down the line.
- Psychological rehabilitation: The pain and suffering of an accident of this kind may also have psychological ramifications. Survivors of slip and fall injuries
What should I do if a slip and fall accident injured me?
First of all, seek medical attention. The injuries sustained during an accident of this kind are serious; some may even be very subtle and come back later to affect you. Second, gather information as soon as you can. Take pictures of the area of the accident and the conditions of the site that contributed to the injury. Get the names of first responders, including any law enforcement or witnesses to the accident.
Most people carry smartphones, which can be invaluable for collecting information such as phone numbers, names, and even photographic evidence. Also, keep a record of all receipts and bills connected to the accident. Medical bills, transportation costs, and even mileage to drive to doctor’s appointments will weigh heavily on a settlement.
When should I hire an attorney?
With a slip and fall case, you should hire an attorney as close to the time of the accident as possible. They can take care of the legal aspects of the case, including gathering information and using the information you have collected to work your case. Your attorney will be negotiating with any insurers or third parties who might be responsible and may even be necessary if the case goes to trial.
Typically, slip and fall accidents settle out of court, but an attorney can argue your case during negotiations and if it goes before a judge. Having an attorney as an ally allows you to focus on your recovery and the welfare of your family.
Contact Finkelstein & Partners LLP if a slip and fall accident injured you.
Slip and fall accidents are serious, and due to the expenses incurred by hospitalization, medical treatments, pain medications, lost time at work, and rehabilitation, you may face a lengthy and expensive process. Someone needs to be held accountable for your injuries and pain and suffering. Insurance companies will often low-ball victims of accidents to save their bottom line, in which case you need an attorney who will explore other avenues to get you the compensation you deserve.
Finkelstein & Partners have been fighting for the rights of people like you for decades. Our approach to working with clients is unique in that we partner you with a case worker, an attorney, and a legal team of paraprofessionals. This develops close relationships with our clients so we can meet their needs and ensure the court and insurance company hear their voices throughout the process. We have faced large corporations, local and state governments, and everything in between for our clients. We fight diligently to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact us online or call our Binghamton office at 607-763-1793. Consultations are free. Please speak with one of our professionals today about how we can help you.
Binghampton Personal Injury law firm
49 Court Street Suite 260
Binghamton, NY 13901
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Finkelstein & Partners, LLP – Winning Serious Injury Lawsuits Since 1959