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Slip and Fall Cases

Slip and Fall Cases The Syracuse slip-and-fall lawyers at Michaels Bersani Kalabanka practice law in one of the most snowy, slippery areas of the State of New York. In Central New York, slip and fall injuries happen more often in the winter months, but they can happen any time of the year. Wet floors in store entrances and other areas are all too common. Sometimes ice or soda machines can leak liquid onto the floor, or careless employees leave wet floors after mopping, or other shoppers drop fruits, vegetables or liquid products in aisles.

If a slip and fall case goes to a jury, the jury will be instructed that the owner of the property has to take "reasonable" measures to assure that his property is "reasonably" safe. So it all boils down to what is "reasonable". And juries differ as to what is "reasonable", so these cases can be somewhat unpredictable.

The same "reasonableness" standard holds true for slip and falls on snow and ice. Did the landowner act reasonably in trying to timely remove snow and ice by plowing and salting his parking lots and walkways? If you can prove that the ice or snow which caused your fall had been on the walkway for several hours during business hours, you can probably win your case. Most juries would find that unreasonable. Most juries would say the owner should have gone out and salted, or gone out and inspected the sidewalk, at least once during that time period.

A recognized defense to slip and falls on snow and ice in New York is the "storm in progress" defense. If a landowner can show that the slip-and-fall victim slipped on newly fallen snow or newly formed ice during an on-going snow or ice storm, then he is generally not held liable. The law deems it unreasonable to expect a property owner to remove snow and ice as it is falling and forming.

Our Slip and fall lawyers use Syracuse meteorologists and salting/plowing records at trial to prove our injured clients’ cases. Sometimes the weather history, and/or the salting/plowing records, will show that the ice must have formed, or the snow fell, many hours before our client slipped. This tends to show that the owner did not remove the snow or ice in a reasonably timely fashion.

Most slip and fall cases turn on whether the property owner had "notice" of the slippery condition. "Notice" is a legal term of art meaning that the property owner "knew or should have known" of the slippery condition.

Some slippery conditions can't be avoided. For example, all store and restaurant owners have to mop their floors from time to time. The floor will obviously be slippery when wet. But the issue then becomes, did the owner place adequate warnings or barriers to prevent customers and patrons from falling victim to the slippery conditions?

Sometimes you don't have to show "notice". This is true especially where the landowner did something affirmatively to create the slippery condition. For example, the landowner might have installed a downspout so that it poured rainwater onto an area of the pavement that then froze up when the temperatures dipped below freezing. Even though the property owner might not have had "notice" of the ice, he can be held liable for having negligently installed the gutter or downspout so that it directed water into an area where it would freeze and cause a slipping hazard. Our slip-and-fall attorneys get out to the scene, wherever that might be in the Syracuse region, soon after the accident to study and photograph drainage patterns on the property, before the owner has time to remedy or change them.

One aspect of slip and fall cases that confounds personal injury lawyers is that usually the slippery condition is gone, or is removed, before the lawyer can get photographs of it. It is much easier to prove a slip-and-fall cases with photos of the slippery surface. Now that many people carry cell phones with built-in cameras, more and more victims, or their loved-ones who are with them, think to take pictures of the slippery condition before it disappears.

The Syracuse slip and fall attorneys of Michaels Bersani Kalabanka have recovered millions of dollars for clients injured in slip-and-fall accidents and for other injuries to cover their medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and more. If you or a loved one has slipped, fallen and been injured, CONTACT US for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer who can inform you of your legal rights and maximize your compensation.

FAQs About Slip & Fall Cases
How to win Your New York Slip or Trip and Fall Case

Client Reviews
He is one of the top lawyers in central New York & has the accolades to show for this, but in my book he's the top lawyer in the country. I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with Mr. Bersani & to have had him on my team! Matthew
I admire the amount of background work he did which was instrumental in getting me a very good settlement. Also, having never been involved in a personal injury lawsuit, Michael was very patient explaining the legal issues. You're in good hands with Michael Bersani and the firm of Michaels Bersani Kalabanka. Richard
Dave took over my wrongful death case after it was badly messed up by another lawyer. He was dogged in his pursuit of all the information needed to make a solid case, and he succeeded in bringing it to a very satisfactory settlement. He was honest and straightforward, kind and compassionate through meetings, depositions, court appearances. I highly recommend him. Christine
Dave has handled our legal matters for over 20 years. Always there when we needed him. We were so happy with his professionalism and results that we referred him to several friends. If we ever need this type of service again, Dave will be the first and only call we make. Jackie