Practice Information Center - Slip/Trip and Fall Injuries

In many cases, you can recover for injuries you suffered in a slip and fall accident even if you were partly at fault. If you have been injured in a fall, contact an experienced attorney to discuss your situation.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Slip and Fall Accidents

Q: What is a "licensee"?

A: Under common law principles, a licensee is a person who enters a premises with the landowner's express or implied permission for his or her own purposes, rather than for the landowner's benefit. An example of a licensee is a social guest.

Q. I was invited to a neighbor's house for a party and was injured while I was there. Can I recover for my injuries?

A: Under common law principles, a property owner's duty to an entrant depends on the entrant's legal status as an invitee, licensee or trespasser. A social guest, such as a person invited to a party, is considered a licensee. In this example, the neighbor had a duty to warn you of a dangerous condition that creates an unreasonable risk of harm, provided the condition is known to the neighbor and is unlikely to be discovered by a guest. Thus, if your injuries were caused by a hidden condition, such as a loose floorboard, that your neighbor knew about, but did not warn you about, you may be able to recover for your injuries.

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Slip and Fall Accidents - An Overview

A slip and fall accident generally refers to a situation in which a person slips and falls or trips and falls due to a dangerous condition on someone else's property and is injured as a result. These cases fall under the broader category of cases known as "premises liability" cases, which refer to situations when an individual is injured on property or premises owned or maintained by someone else and the owner or possessor of the property is held liable for the injury. Slip and fall accidents can happen in a wide variety of places and involve various dangerous conditions. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, an experienced personal injury attorney at Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. in New York, NY, can determine whether you have a case.

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Duties to Entrants Owed By Landowners and Occupiers

Under common law principles, which are still followed by many states today, property owners and occupiers owe different duties or have special responsibilities depending on how the people entering their property are classified. Entrants to land are classified as invitees, licensees or trespassers. Because how you are classified dictates what duty the landowner owed to you, your classification may ultimately affect your ability to recover for your injuries.

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Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents are extremely common and can happen in a variety of environments, including grocery stores, restaurants, office buildings, shopping malls, parking lots and sidewalks. While slipping and falling in a public place can be embarrassing, it can also be quite painful and result in serious injuries.

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Slip and Fall Accidents Involving Snow or Ice

Icy and snowy conditions are some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents. Slick surfaces on sidewalks, outdoor steps and parking lots can be hazardous for pedestrians, especially if the hazardous condition is not obvious, as is the case with black ice.

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Liability of Retail Stores and Other Businesses

Retail stores and other businesses typically attract a large number of people who enter onto their premises to browse and shop or conduct other business. A large number of customers and other commercial traffic enter stores, offices and businesses every day, and slip and fall accidents are common in these venues. If you were injured after slipping or tripping and falling in a retail store or other business, the storeowner or business operator may be liable for your injuries.

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Slip and Fall Accidents Resource Links

Preventing injuries from slips, trips and falls
Article on preventing slip and fall injuries from the National Ag Safety Database.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Information and links about preventing workplace injuries and illnesses.

Fall prevention: simple tips to prevent falls
Article by the Mayo Clinic staff discussing fall-prevention measures.

Prevention of slips, trips, falls and injuries
Article about preventing slips and trips and common injuries, provided by St. Luke's Health System.

National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI)
The mission of the NFSI is to aid in the prevention of slips, trips and falls through education, research and standards development.

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