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Who is responsible for a Sidewalk Slip and Fall in Buffalo?

Posted on 12/20/23

Slip and fall accidents on sidewalks are not uncommon, but victims may be able to recover compensation for their losses if another party was responsible for the incident. However, determining fault for a slip and fall incident on a sidewalk is challenging. There are several factors that can influence liability, and there could even be more than one party responsible.

Potential Liable Parties After a Slip and Fall Accident in Buffalo

Some of the possible liable parties for a slip and fall accident in Buffalo include:

  • Property Owners. Property owners are often liable in slip and fall cases, especially if they neglected their duty to maintain a safe environment. This includes fixing known hazards or adequately warning visitors about potential dangers. If a slip and fall happened due to a poorly maintained walkway, unaddressed spills, or other hazards on the property, the owner could be held responsible.
  • Business Operators. If the slip and fall incident occurred in a commercial setting, like a store or restaurant, the business operator might be liable. They have a responsibility to ensure their premises are safe for customers. This includes regular inspections, prompt cleanup of spills, and adequate lighting.
  • Property Managers. In cases where a property is managed by an individual or a company (like an apartment complex or a shopping mall), the manager may be liable. Their responsibility includes regular maintenance and addressing known hazards. If they fail in these duties, they could be held accountable for accidents.
  • Local Government or Municipalities. If a slip or trip and fall happens on public property, such as on a sidewalk or in a public park, the local government may be liable. This is particularly the case if the accident was due to poor maintenance, such as unrepaired sidewalks or potholes.
  • Cleaning Companies or Maintenance Crews. If a third-party company is responsible for cleaning or maintaining the property and their negligence leads to a slip and fall (like leaving a wet floor without a warning sign), they could be held liable.
  • Landlords. In residential rental properties, landlords might be liable for these accidents, especially if they result from failure to maintain common areas or address reported hazards.
  • Employers. In workplace slip and fall accidents, an employer could be liable, particularly if the incident was due to a violation of safety protocols or workplace conditions that were inherently unsafe.
  • Contractors and Construction Companies. During construction, contractors and construction companies must ensure areas are safe for passersby. If the slip and fall was due to construction debris, uneven surfaces, or unmarked hazards, these parties could be liable.

Shared Fault – What Happens?

In New York, we follow what is called a “pure comparative negligence” rule. This means that individuals could recover monetary compensation even if they are partially responsible for causing their own injury, though they will receive reduced compensation depending on their percentage of fault. Shared fault laws also mean that fault can be spread amongst multiple liable parties, with each having to pay a different amount depending on their percentage of fault.

Call an Attorney For Help

If you or somebody you care about has sustained a slip and fall injury in Buffalo, you may be able to recover compensation. We strongly encourage you to contact a Buffalo slip and fall attorney for assistance as soon as possible so you can begin the process of recovering compensation. An attorney can help you deal with the insurance carriers and other parties involved so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.