A sudden slip and fall, especially from a height or onto a hard surface, can produce devastating injuries. Fractured hips, tailbones, and wrists are common, as are compressed vertebrae, displaced discs, skull fractures and brain injuries. At Peter M. Cordovano, P.C., I draw on more than 30 years of experience to manage two types of slip and fall cases: personal injury actions and workers’ compensation claims. The circumstances under which your slip and fall occurred are what determine your rights and the steps you must take to enforce them. But whatever the context for your case, I am determined to provide highly professional representation in pursuit of the best outcome possible.
Property owners have a duty of reasonable care toward visitors, which requires them to discover hidden hazards and correct them, either by removing the hazard or providing sufficient warning to keep a reasonable visitor safe. When a property owner is not reasonable in the performance of this duty, he can be liable for injuries that occur when visitors encounter hidden hazards such as:
Property neglect, poor maintenance, shoddy construction, and other unreasonable acts or omissions can produce hidden hazards. If a court decides the owner “knew or should have known” about the hazard but did not take reasonable steps to correct the problem, an injured party is eligible for full personal injury compensation for:
However, this type of slip and fall requires proof of negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. That is a difficult standard to meet, if you do not have a high level of experience in these types of cases.
Slip and falls are among the most common types of workplace accidents. If you suffer a slip and fall at work, you should be covered by workers’ compensation. This means you are eligible for benefits, such as payment for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment, wage replacement, and disability, if necessary.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system, so you don’t have to prove your employer was negligent in causing you to fall or that you weren’t careless in falling. However, you must be able to prove you actually fell and that your fall caused your injuries. Employers and insurance companies are wary of fraud, so claiming you took a fall when no one witnessed it can prove problematic. It’s very easy for an insurance company to accuse you of faking an accident to get benefits for an injury that happened off the clock. If the company denies your claim, you’ll need an experienced workers’ comp lawyer to manage your appeal.
Finally, workers’ compensation benefits do not provide full wage replacement or compensation for your pain and suffering. However, in rare cases, you may be able to sue if a negligent third party caused you to fall. But this is only possible when you do not have an employer-employee or co-worker relationship with the negligent party.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you should immediately contact an experienced personal injury attorney. If the fall happened at work, file a timely workers’ compensation claim with your employer. For reliable assistance in Ulster, Dutchess and Orange counties, call Peter M. Cordovano, P.C. at 845-834-8234 or contact my Highland office online to schedule a free consultation.