It could happen to you: You’re absentmindedly shopping for groceries when you slip on a wet spot and fall hard on your back. After you seek immediate medical attention, two things start to become clear.

First, you start to realize that the medical bills, coupled with time away from work, might quickly become more than you can afford. Second, and maybe most importantly, you might not know who exactly is responsible for your injuries.

Determining negligence in New York

As explained by FindLaw, New York is a comparative negligence state. If someone else injured you, even if the injuries were only partially their fault, the court might decide that person is responsible for helping you with part of your recovery. This could lead some unethical people to attempt to get you to take full responsibility.

A slip-and-fall accident that occurs at a store probably isn’t entirely your fault and might be traced back to negligent act by the store owner or employees. These sorts of premises liability cases have three basic parts:

  • The injury itself, meaning the losses you incurred
  • A duty someone owed you, such as a storeowner keeping the store safe for their visitors
  • A failure to act prudently with regard to that duty, such as stores knowingly using leaky freezer displays

Recovering damages

The way the system works in New York could allow you to recover part of the finances you need to cover your bills, even if it turns out you were hold some blame in the accident. If you were intoxicated, for example, the court might decide that a slippery floor had less of a role in causing your injury than if you had been sober. However, the law could still recognize that unsafe conditions were a contributing factor.

If your injuries are the result of someone else’s negligence, you may want to pursue full compensation. Doing so requires careful strategy and meticulous investigation, as it’s uncommon for someone to be willing to take accept full responsibility for your injuries without a fight. Be sure not to make any statements — public or private — or sign any insurance agreements until you know who is really to blame for your injury.