Interview With Ira Perlman Concerning Slip-And-Fall Accidents
Below are attorney Ira Perlman’s answers to questions on slip-and-fall accidents. For more information, schedule a free initial consultation. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling 212-689-5000 today.
Interviewer: Where are the most common places that slip-and-fall accidents happen?
Ira Perlman: Unfortunately, many slip-and-fall accidents occur outside on the public way or on sidewalks around the city. This is because, unfortunately, various owners and other responsible parties fail to maintain sidewalks after inclement weather. These accidents can occur inside due to dirty, oily or greasy floors that create wet and slippery conditions.
Many situations can give rise to slip-and-fall accidents. These occur most readily when icy conditions are prevalent outside and the responsible parties are not taking care of the exterior of their property. Notwithstanding full knowledge of these dangerous conditions, they don’t put down salt, sand or anything else to prevent slip-and-fall accidents.
Interviewer: What types of surfaces often lead to slip-and-fall accidents?
Ira Perlman: A slip-and-fall accident can occur on ice, grease, or oil on the ground surface or a floor, both inside and outside someone’s property. Other foreign substances can give rise to a slip and fall as well. In a supermarket, for instance, a spillage of some sort, such as salad dressing, detergent or soda could create a slip-and-fall accident if there is a failure to clean it up. If the personnel responsible for maintaining the location do not follow their own required rules and procedures and hazardous conditions are allowed to remain unattended, these could give rise to very unfortunate circumstances for an unsuspecting patron.
Interviewer: Why would a victim of a slip-and-fall accident that was obviously the store’s fault still need a lawyer?
Ira Perlman: A person would absolutely need a lawyer because, unfortunately, the insurance companies that insure stores, companies, businesses, buildings and other properties involved where an accident occurred will rarely ever offer or pay a victim what he or she is entitled to in terms of full and fair money damages for injuries, harm and other losses suffered.
A person would be under a great misconception to think he or she could navigate settling or adjudicating a slip-and-fall claim without a lawyer, because these cases and claims are often complicated. Even when lawyers who handle these cases routinely on a monthly and yearly basis are involved, the insurance companies still put up a fight and delay any opportunity to settle the case for a fair sum of money until they are often compelled to do so at the end of the litigation.
Interviewer: What are the immediate steps a person should take if they have been hurt in a slip-and-fall accident?
Ira Perlman: The most important step is to take a picture or a photograph, whether with a cellphone or a camera, of the condition that gave rise to the slip-and-fall accident. This is because, firstly, a picture will obviously speak a thousand words, and secondly, these conditions are usually cleaned up after the accident. Once somebody finds there has been an accident, they take the steps to clean the condition quickly and timely – what they should have done prior to the accident.
Once they have cleaned it, there won’t be any evidence other than the victim’s own word or testimony. Juries have a responsibility to weigh everybody’s testimony. Without objective proof of the condition on the premises, the jury will go on the person’s word, which is sometimes difficult to prove if a victim is not articulate, not likeable or doesn’t come over well.
Secondly, the victim needs to report the accident immediately to somebody at the location who has a responsibility to maintain and operate that area. If that person is not available, the victim should call the police. A report should be made but is not fatal or required in order to make a claim or case.