contact us Contact Us Today! call us Contact Us Now!

Slip and Fall Lawyer Buffalo, NY

In Buffalo, NY, slip and fall cases represent a significant portion of personal injury claims, drawing attention to the importance of safety and accountability in public and private spaces. At Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy, we understand that these incidents are not just minor accidents but can have profound impacts on the lives of those affected, leading to serious injuries, emotional distress, and financial burdens. Our expertise in navigating the complexities of New York’s legal landscape ensures that victims of slip and fall accidents receive the thorough representation they deserve. By meticulously investigating each case, we aim to hold negligent parties accountable and secure the compensation our clients need for recovery.

Our commitment at Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy extends beyond legal representation. We are dedicated to advocating for safer environments in Buffalo and across New York State, working tirelessly to prevent such accidents from occurring in the first place. Through legal advocacy and community engagement, we strive to make a difference in the lives of individuals and families affected by slip and fall accidents. Our approach is rooted in a deep understanding of the law, a compassionate outlook towards our clients, and a relentless pursuit of justice. Trust us to navigate the legal system on your behalf, providing the support and expertise necessary to achieve a favorable outcome in your slip and fall case.

slip and fall

Immediate Steps After a Slip and Fall Accident

Experiencing a slip and fall accident can be both shocking and disorienting. At Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy, we emphasize the importance of taking specific actions immediately following such an incident. These steps are crucial not only for your health and safety but also for strengthening any potential legal claim you may have.

Seek Medical Attention

Health should always be your top priority. Even if injuries seem minor, it’s essential to be evaluated by a medical professional. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and having a medical record from the outset is invaluable for your case.

Report the Incident

Whether the fall occurred in a commercial establishment, public property, or a private residence, it’s important to report the accident to the manager, owner, or relevant authority. This ensures that there is an official record of the incident, which is critical for any legal action.

Document Everything

We advise clients to document every aspect of the incident and its aftermath. Take photographs of the location, the conditions that led to the fall, and any visible injuries. If there were witnesses, collect their contact information. Keep a detailed account of your injuries, medical treatments, and how the accident impacts your daily life.

Preserve Clothing and Footwear

The clothing and shoes you wore during the accident can serve as significant pieces of evidence. Preserve them in the state they were in right after the fall, as they may help demonstrate the conditions you encountered.

Engaging with a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Buffalo, NY

Once you have taken the initial steps following a slip and fall accident, it’s critical to consider the legal aspects. Engaging with a slip and fall lawyer in Buffalo, NY, can provide you with the expertise and support necessary to navigate the complexities of your case.


At Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy, we offer consultations to understand the specifics of your situation. This initial meeting allows us to assess the viability of your claim and advise on the best course of action.

Understanding Your Rights

New York laws regarding slip and fall accidents can be complex. We ensure that our clients fully understand their rights and the legal pathways available to them. Our team is dedicated to providing clear, comprehensible advice and representation.

Building Your Case

Our approach involves a comprehensive investigation of the incident, gathering of evidence, and meticulous preparation of your claim. We work closely with medical professionals, safety experts, and other relevant specialists to build a robust case on your behalf.

Negotiation and Litigation

Many slip and fall cases are settled out of court, but our team is prepared to take your case to trial if necessary. We are skilled negotiators and litigators, committed to achieving the compensation you deserve for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Who Is Liable For My Slip and Fall Injuries

Determining liability in slip and fall injuries is a critical aspect of personal injury law that requires an in-depth understanding of premises liability principles. At Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy, our seasoned team of slip and fall lawyers in Buffalo, NY, has a comprehensive grasp of these legal nuances. Our expertise allows us to meticulously assess each case, ensuring that our clients are well-informed about who may be responsible for their injuries and the steps necessary to secure just compensation.

The Concept of Premises Liability

Premises liability is the legal framework that determines the responsibility of property owners and occupiers for accidents and injuries that occur on their property. The core of these cases revolves around negligence, which, in the context of slip and fall incidents, means a failure to maintain the property safely or to warn of dangers.

Duty of Care 

Property owners owe a duty of care to anyone who enters their premises. This duty varies depending on the visitor’s classification (invitee, licensee, or trespasser), with the highest duty owed to invitees, such as customers in a business setting.

Breach of Duty and Causation 

To establish liability, it must be shown that the property owner or occupier knew or should have known about a hazardous condition, failed to rectify it or provide adequate warning, and that this negligence directly led to the accident and the claimant’s injuries.

Identifying Liable Parties

The identification of liable parties in slip and fall cases can be complex, often involving multiple potential defendants. This intricacy underscores the importance of engaging a skilled slip and fall lawyer in Buffalo, NY, who can thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your case.

Property Owners and Occupiers

Typically, the owner or occupier of the property where the accident occurred is the first party examined for liability. However, the specific legal obligations and potential culpability can differ based on the property’s nature (commercial, residential, public) and the terms of any relevant agreements, such as leases.

Maintenance and Cleaning Companies

In some instances, third-party companies responsible for maintaining or cleaning the premises may share in the liability, especially if their negligence contributed to the hazardous condition that caused the slip and fall.


If the slip and fall incident resulted from a defective product (e.g., a faulty stairway or a malfunctioning escalator), the manufacturer of that product might also be liable under product liability laws.

Slip and Fall Compensation in Buffalo, NY

Slip and fall accidents can result in significant physical, emotional, and financial strain. In Buffalo, NY, understanding the compensation you might be entitled to is crucial. At Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy, our experienced slip and fall lawyers in Buffalo, NY, are committed to guiding clients through the complexities of the claims process to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve.

Types of Compensation Available

  • Medical Expenses: This encompasses all costs related to medical treatment following a slip and fall accident, including emergency room visits, hospitalization, surgeries, medications, and physical therapy. Future medical expenses should also be considered if ongoing treatment is necessary.
  • Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. This includes the earnings you would have received had the accident not occurred. In cases of severe injuries that impact future earning capacity, compensation may also cover future lost wages.
  • Pain and Suffering: Unlike tangible economic losses, pain and suffering compensation addresses the physical pain and emotional distress experienced as a result of the accident. Calculating this type of compensation can be complex, as it involves subjective evaluation.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If the injuries sustained in the slip and fall accident prevent you from engaging in hobbies, sports, or other activities you once enjoyed, you may be compensated for this loss.
  • Punitive Damages: In rare cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious or reckless, punitive damages may be awarded. These are intended to punish the defendant and deter similar conduct in the future.

Factors Influencing Compensation

Liability and Negligence

Establishing the property owner’s liability and proving negligence is foundational to securing compensation. Evidence that the property owner knew of the hazardous condition and failed to address it strengthens your claim.

Comparative Negligence

New York follows a “comparative negligence” rule, meaning that if you are found partially responsible for the accident, your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault.


Comprehensive documentation of injuries, medical treatments, and related expenses is crucial. Detailed records bolster your claim and facilitate the accurate calculation of compensation.

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents are among the leading causes of injury in both public and private settings. Recognizing the common causes of these accidents is essential for prevention and for understanding one’s legal rights in the event of an injury. At Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy, our team of experienced slip and fall lawyers in Buffalo, NY, is well-versed in the myriad circumstances that can lead to such incidents. Here, we detail the most frequent causes, underscoring our commitment to assisting victims in navigating the complexities of slip and fall claims.

Wet and Slippery Surfaces

One of the most prevalent factors contributing to slip and fall accidents is the presence of wet or slippery surfaces. This category includes:

  • Spills of liquids or foods in grocery stores or restaurants
  • Recently mopped or waxed floors without proper warning signs
  • Accumulated rainwater or snow near building entrances
  • Icy sidewalks and parking lots not adequately treated with salt or sand

Uneven or Damaged Flooring and Walkways

Flooring issues often go unnoticed until an accident occurs. Common problems include:

  • Loose floorboards, rugs, or mats
  • Potholes in parking lots
  • Uneven sidewalks

Cracked or buckling flooring

  • These hazards can catch individuals off guard, leading to falls with potentially serious injuries.

Poor Lighting

Inadequate lighting can obscure vision, making it difficult to navigate safely and identify potential hazards. Areas prone to poor lighting issues include:

  • Parking garages
  • Stairwells

Hallways and walkways in buildings

  • Improving lighting can significantly reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents in these areas.

Cluttered or Obstructed Walkways

Obstructions in walkways can pose significant risks, especially in high-traffic areas. Common obstructions include:

  • Cords and wires stretched across walkways
  • Merchandise or equipment left in aisles

Open drawers or cabinets in office environments

  • Maintaining clear pathways is essential for preventing accidents.

Faulty Stairs and Handrails

Stairways are a frequent site of slip and fall accidents, with causes including:

  • Worn or torn carpeting on stairs
  • Missing or loose handrails

Stairs of irregular size or height

  • Regular maintenance and inspection of stairways and handrails can help avert these hazards.

Our commitment as slip and fall lawyers in Buffalo, NY, is to ensure that victims receive the justice and compensation they deserve. Recognizing the common causes of these accidents not only aids in prevention but also informs the legal strategies we employ to support our clients effectively.

Common Injuries From Slip and Fall Accident

Slip and fall accidents, a prevalent cause of personal injury, can lead to a wide range of physical consequences. At Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy, our team of adept slip and fall lawyers in Buffalo, NY, has extensive experience in representing clients who have suffered from the gamut of injuries these accidents can inflict. Our understanding and expertise enable us to advocate effectively for the rights and compensation of those injured due to the negligence or oversight of others. Below, we outline the common injuries associated with slip and fall accidents, emphasizing the potential severity and long-term impact of such incidents.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Often invisible immediately after the accident, soft tissue injuries can range from minor sprains and strains to more severe tears in ligaments and tendons. Symptoms may appear days after the fall, complicating the diagnosis and treatment. These injuries can result in pain, swelling, and a diminished range of motion, potentially leading to chronic issues if not properly addressed.

Head Injuries

Falls are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), from mild concussions to more serious brain damage. Symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, confusion, and even loss of consciousness. The long-term effects of TBIs can be profound, affecting cognitive function, memory, and emotional well-being.


Bone fractures are common outcomes of slip and fall accidents, particularly among older adults. The wrists, arms, ankles, and hips are particularly vulnerable. Hip fractures, for example, can have serious implications, often requiring surgery and lengthy rehabilitation periods. Fractures not only cause immediate pain and immobility but can also lead to long-term health issues, including decreased mobility and increased susceptibility to future fractures.

Spinal Cord and Back Injuries

The impact from a fall can cause significant back and spinal cord injuries, ranging from herniated discs to severe spinal cord damage that can result in partial or complete paralysis. These injuries often require extensive medical treatment, including surgery and physical therapy, and can lead to permanent disability.

Cuts and Abrasions

While perhaps less severe than other types of injuries, cuts and abrasions can still result from slip and fall accidents, particularly when sharp objects or rough surfaces are involved. These injuries may require medical treatment to prevent infection and ensure proper healing.

Emotional Trauma

In addition to physical injuries, slip and fall accidents can also lead to psychological distress, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The emotional impact of an accident can be just as debilitating as the physical injuries, affecting an individual’s ability to return to their normal life and activities.

Slip and Fall FAQs

What is the statute of limitations for slip and fall cases in Buffalo, NY?

In Buffalo, NY, the statute of limitations for filing a slip and fall lawsuit is generally three years from the date of the accident. This legal deadline is critical; failing to file a claim within this timeframe typically results in the loss of the right to sue for damages. It’s important for individuals to be aware of this deadline to ensure they preserve their legal rights and any opportunity for compensation.

Can I file a slip and fall lawsuit if I was trespassing at the time of the accident?

While trespassers have fewer rights compared to invitees or licensees under New York law, they are not entirely without protection. Property owners may still be liable for injuries if it can be proven that they acted willfully or maliciously in causing harm. However, these cases are significantly more complex and require a nuanced legal approach to determine liability.

How does New York’s comparative negligence rule affect slip and fall cases?

New York operates under a “comparative negligence” system, meaning that if the injured party is found to be partly at fault for their own injuries, their compensation can be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a court finds that the injured party was 30% responsible for the accident, the compensation awarded would be reduced by 30%. This rule emphasizes the importance of a thorough legal strategy to minimize the fault attributed to the injured party.

Are property owners liable for slip and fall accidents that occur due to natural snow and ice?

In New York, property owners have a reasonable amount of time to clear snow and ice following a storm before they can be considered negligent. This “storm in progress” rule recognizes the challenges of immediate removal during ongoing inclement weather. However, once the storm has ended, property owners are expected to take prompt and effective action to mitigate the risk of ice and snow accumulation.

What should I do if I am injured in a slip and fall accident on government property in Buffalo, NY?

Filing a claim for an injury on government property involves additional steps and a shorter time frame compared to private property cases. It’s essential to file a notice of claim within 90 days of the incident. Due to the complex rules governing claims against government entities, seeking legal assistance from experienced slip and fall lawyers, like those at Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy, is crucial to navigating these cases successfully.

Schedule A Consultation Today

At Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy, we pride ourselves on our ability to adeptly guide our clients through these complexities, ensuring they are fully informed and confidently represented. Our commitment to justice and our clients’ well-being drives us to pursue the maximum compensation possible, highlighting our dedication to those we serve. Trust in our expertise and experience to handle your slip and fall case with the utmost professionalism and care.

Client Testimonials

As a disabled claimant, I can’t thank Hurwitz, Whitcher & Molloy enough for guiding me through these past fourteen years. No one else wanted my Workers’ Compensation case. No one! It was complicated. There were a lot of issues that made things difficult. They stuck with it well over a decade with preparedness, intelligence and grace. Mister Melvyn, he’s a good guy. Cathy, she’s so amazing.

- Salli B.

I became a client of the Hurwitz firm in May of 1997 due to injuries I received while I was a meat cutter at I. Isenberg Meats in Buffalo, New York. Since my first encounter with your firm and up until the present day, I have been entirely satisfied with the way your firm has treated me.

- William C.

Thank you for all you do throughout the year. I know I’m in the hands of the best compensation lawyers who really care!! God bless you all.

- Michelle A.

If you are injured at work and need a workers’ comp attorney, you need Hurwitz, Whitcher & Molloy. They are the ‘King Pins’ of all comp attorneys. You will be taken care of every step of the way. I am a very satisfied client!

- Richard B.