Why Are New York Slip and Fall Cases Hard to Win?

Written by
Abraham Jaros
Updated on Monday, Sep 11, 2023

It may surprise you to learn that slip and fall cases can be difficult to win. Yet some slip and fall victims walk away empty handed, because these cases are not as simple as may people imagine.

Here are the hurdles that must be overcome in order to make a slip and fall case viable.

You Must Prove Negligence

In order for you to win a slip and fall case you must prove there was a “defective" or unsafe condition that the owner failed to address. According to the 1997 case Trincere v. County of Suffolk, “trivial" defects are not counted as negligence.

Of course, what constitutes a trivial defect is open to a great deal of interpretation, and much will depend on your NYC slip and fall lawyers skill at making the argument that the hazard was anything but trivial.

Personal injury cases do not exist to compensate people for every bad thing that might happen to them. If no negligence existed, the owner can essentially wash their hands of responsibility.

One hurdle in these cases is evidence-based: if there is no evidence that a defect was the actual cause of a slip and fall, or that a slip and fall happened in the first place, or that the injury occurred on the owner’s property, then you may have trouble recovering compensation.

You Must Prove the Owner Was Aware of the Hazardous Condition, or Created It

The owner must be responsible for the defective condition in some form or fashion. They must either have created the problem, or had actual knowledge or constructive notice of the defect.

If there’s laundry soap on the floor for less than a minute when you come along and slip on it then the owner might be able to successfully claim they didn’t have constructive notice of the defect, especially if you are talking about a store that has regular cleaning and inspection procedures in place.

Here in New York City, ice and snow storms often lead to slip and fall cases, and constructive notice can become a big issue in those cases. First, the storm must end before a property owner has any duty to do anything about it (Mazella v. City of New York), and second the property owner has a reasonable amount of time to address the condition after the storm ends.

If You’re Suing the City, You Must Move Quickly

Don’t forget that if you’re suing the city you must report the incident within 90 days. We recommend moving a lot faster than that.

Get Expert Help

While it’s true that your case may be hard to win, we don’t advocate giving up. If you have a legitimate slip and fall claim, then you have every right to pursue that claim. You just need an attorney who has extensive experience with slip and fall cases.

We know how to find and develop evidence that can help your case, and we know how to use the settlement process to get you paid.

Reaching out to our office as soon as you are medically capable of doing so is one way to strengthen your case. Contact us to schedule your free case review today.

Get the advice and guidance you and your family need

You do not have to go through this alone.

At Jaroslawicz & Jaros, we have over 40 years of experience helping accident victims in New York recover compensation. The clients we represent benefit from the personal attention of our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys.

We Have Recovered Over $2 Billion for Our Clients.

The attorneys at Jaroslawicz & Jaros have obtained verdicts and settlements of over $1 Million for hundreds of our individual clients. Since all New York personal injury law firms generally charge the same legal fee why not hire an experienced law firm with a proven track record?

When you retain the New York City accident lawyers at Jaroslawicz & Jaros, you will always work directly with your lawyer, and not with a paralegal or secretary. We will always be available to you! Our hundreds of positive client reviews and testimonials speak for themselves.

Experience and a track record of results

Contact the attorneys at Jaroslawicz & Jaros for a free legal consultation regarding your rights and your legal options. If we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis so that you don’t have to worry about any upfront costs.

Contact us today for a free consultation

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You can reach partner Abraham Jaros directly, either call his cell 917-842-9544, or email him at ajaros@lawjaros.com. Or call Jaroslawicz & Jaros at 212 227 2780 in New York, or toll free 800-269-2780, or submit an online questionnaire.