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Personal Injury Law (Accidents/Slip & Fall)/Tripped on stairs and hit my head

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Question
It was night time and the small restaurant has almost no lighting outside its very dark as I was walking up the stairs to the business I tripped on the last step and ended up hitting my head on there glass door very hard breaking it. Now they are charging me for fixing the door. Can they do that? The only problem is I was drinking before but that is not the reason for falling

Answer
Mike,

I am sorry to hear about your fall and hope you are okay. The most important issue is taking care of your health so I hope you received the medical care that you needed.

If a party suffered damages, be it you suffering an injury from the fall or the restaurant suffering the broken door, to pursue damages, one needs to prove negligence, recklessness or an intentional act. It will be hard for a restaurant to prove that a customer was negligent or reckless in tripping and falling into a door. Even if you were intoxicated, they would have difficulty holding you responsible, especially if they served you alcohol. I do not know all the facts involved here, so I cannot offer a formal legal opinion. I can suggest that you are under no obligation to pay this bill.

If you suffered injuries, you may have a claim against the restaurant, but you would have to prove that their negligence, perhaps in the design or upkeep of he steps, caused you to tall fall. The fact that you were drinking would compromise such a claim and make it hard to prove.

I hope this information helps.  

Personal Injury Law (Accidents/Slip & Fall)

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Carol L. Schlitt

Expertise

I am a New York personal injury attorney with over 20 years experience handling car accident and motor vehicle cases, slip and fill cases, medical malpractice, premises liability, pedestrian and bicycle accidents and personal injury cases. I have been named Municipal Attorney of the Year in New York City and had my cases listed among Top Ten Verdicts in New York. I publish the leading legal blog, New York Law Thoughts. I am active in the New York Trial Lawyers Association, and the Bar Associations of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Suffolk.

Experience

I am a New York personal injury attorney with over 20 years experience. I previously served as Associate Corporation Counsel in the New York City Law Department and was named New York Municipal Attorney of the Year. I served as Lead Trial Counsel for Manhattan Law firm of Acito and Klein. I have led my solo law practice for over ten years focused on personal injury and medical malpractice awards. My cases have been listed among the Top Trial Verdicts. I publish the leading legal blog, New York Law Thoughts. I am active in the New York Trial Lawyers Association and the Bar Associations of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Suffolk and I serve as a judge in the national collegiate moot court competition. I am admitted to practice in New York and the Federal District Courts, Eastern and Southern Districts.

Organizations
• American Trial Lawyers Association • New York State Bar Association • New York State Trial Lawyers Association • Bronx Bar Association • Brooklyn Bar Association • Suffolk County Bar Association • Holy Cross Alumni Lawyer’s Guild • St. John's University Alumni Association • National Association for Female Executives

Publications
My writings have appeared in Newsday, The Long Islander, the Times of Huntington and the legal blog, New York Law Thoughts.

Education/Credentials
I received my undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts and graduated from St. John’s University Law School. I have taken graduate courses at New York University.

Awards and Honors
• Named Municipal Attorney of the Year • Cases listed among the Top Ten Verdicts in New York State • My blog, New York Law Thoughts, has been listed as one of the leading U.S. Law Blogs

Past/Present Clients
I have had hundreds of clients over my 20 plus years as an attorney. All of my current clients are individuals living in the New York metropolitan area (Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester). I can provide references upon request.

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