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Trip-and-fall hazards: Who’s liable when you get hurt?

Trip-and-fall hazards are around you all the time. However, when you’re on another person’s property, it is their responsibility to make sure you stay safe. That means that they should be aware of tripping hazards and make sure that their customers or clients are able to avoid them.

New York has all kinds of hazards, but in the winter there are some specific trip hazards to look out for. They might include things such as:

  • Rolled up/folded/bunched carpeting or entry mats
  • Damaged stairs from ice or snow
  • Cracks in flooring
  • Short steps up, such as in a door’s entryway, that are unmarked or that have markings that are not visible

What should businesses do about trip hazards?

When trip hazards are present, it’s important that businesses make sure that customers can see them. This means putting up signs or marking the hazards in an obvious way. For hazards like damage from snow and ice, like cracks, or bunched up entryway mats, it’s important to have staff members regularly check the facility for hazards and to correct them as soon as possible. If there is damage or a hazard that can’t be repaired, then a sign should go up or the area should be blocked off.

What can you do if you fall on someone’s property?

If you trip and fall in a store or shop because a hazard was present, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. If you can, let the store’s owner or manager know what happened and that you’ve gotten hurt. They should help you seek medical attention and be available to you if you want the store’s insurance information.

In most cases, it’s going to be the property owner’s responsibility to cover your medical care and other financial losses if they did not eliminate hazards and knew they were present. If you’re not sure if you have a case, you can discuss your case with your attorney and begin collecting evidence of your injury for the purpose of making a claim. Not every trip-and-fall injury will be a result of negligence, but it’s worth looking into your case.