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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

Can I Recover Damages After a Slip and Fall Caused by My Own Carelessness?

Most of the time, slip and fall accidents are caused due to negligence on the part of the property owner, business entity, or its employees. However, what happens when a slip and fall accident occurs due to your own carelessness? Can you still recover damages from the responsible party?

If you think you were careless in your slip and fall accident, consider speaking with a lawyer. Our New York slip and fall lawyers at Leitner Varughese PLLC help injured victims recover damages even when their own carelessness contributed to the accident.

Examples of a Person’s Carelessness in Slip and Fall Accidents

The following are some examples of a person’s carelessness in slip and fall accidents:

  • Wearing inappropriate footwear. If you are wearing shoes that are not suitable for the environment you are in, such as high heels on a wet surface, you increase your risk of slipping and falling.

  • Texting while walking. Many people are distracted by their phones, which can cause them to not pay attention to their surroundings and trip or slip on a hazard.

  • Ignoring warning signs. Warning signs are put in place for a reason. If you see a sign that says “Wet Floor” and you continue to walk on it, you are knowingly putting yourself at risk of slipping and falling.

  • Running or jumping. When we are in a rush, we tend to quicken our pace, which can lead to tripping or slipping. Jumping or running in an area that is not meant for such activities can also cause accidents.

These are not the only examples of carelessness in slip and fall cases. If the property owner says you were careless, do not admit fault until your lawyer investigates the accident.

Can You Recover Damages After a Slip and Fall Caused by Your Carelessness?

Recovering damages after a slip and fall accident caused by your own carelessness can be challenging, but it is not impossible. In New York, the courts follow the rule of pure comparative negligence, where damages are awarded based on the proportion of fault assigned to each party (NY CPLR § 1411). If your own carelessness contributed to the accident, the amount of damages you might recover will be reduced based on the percentage of your fault.

For example, if you slip and fall in a grocery store because you were texting while walking and the store had not cleaned up a spill yet, you might be found 60% at fault for the accident, while the store is found 40% at fault. If your damages are $10,000, you will only be able to recover $4,000, which is the remaining 40%.

What Evidence Do You Need to Prove Your Slip and Fall Case?

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident caused by your own carelessness, you will need to prove that the other party had some responsibility for the accident. You will need to gather evidence such as:

  • Photographs of the accident scene and your injuries

  • Witness statements

  • Incident reports filed by the property owner or manager

  • Medical records and bills

  • Any other documentation that can support your claims

It is essential to seek medical attention immediately after the accident, even if you think your injuries are minor. Some injuries take time to develop, and delaying medical attention can hurt your case.

Contact a Lawyer to Get Legal Help

Slip and fall accidents caused by our own carelessness can be challenging to navigate when it comes to recovering damages. You might want to consult with a lawyer to understand your options for compensation. Reach out to Leitner Varughese PLLC to get legal guidance. Call 212-671-1110 to set up a case evaluation.


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