When the weather includes ice and snow, it may be virtually impossible for New York businesses to fully prevent an occasional slick surface from showing up in their entrances. Knowing this, you are usually very careful to watch your step. However, in one distracted moment, your foot hits a wet spot, and you go down.
You may feel inclined to blame yourself because you were less than vigilant in the moment, but often, liability rests with the business owner in spite of your lack of awareness. After your fall, you may receive compensation if you can prove the following:
- You sustained an injury.
- The owner was aware that a dangerous condition existed on the property, or should have been aware of it, and did not eliminate the hazard or provide warnings of it.
- The threat of a fall due to the failure to remove the danger was foreseeable to a reasonable business owner.
If you were looking at your phone and did not notice there was a wet floor sign nearby, there is a chance that a judge would determine your own careless actions caused the fall. Your own failure to recognize an obvious danger may preclude the ability to file a lawsuit.
This is not to say that a judge will definitely decide in favor of the business owner, though. There are always unique circumstances in any slip-and-fall case. For example, perhaps the wet floor sign was off to the side of the doorway and not immediately visible as you entered the building. Or, it may be that a lack of floor mats created surfaces that were slick beyond the normal expectations, and even a careful person was in danger of slipping.
Before ruling out a lawsuit to help cover the costs of your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages, you may want to talk to an attorney. Investigation of the incident is often an important factor in discovering evidence that proves your case, so it is a good idea to make the call as soon as possible after your injury.