With all the rough streets, cracked sidewalks, slippery walkways and path obstructions in the world, slip-and-fall accidents are not uncommon. However, sometimes they occur partially or fully because of the negligence of a third party.
When this is the case, you have the right to pursue compensation for any injuries you incur. However, New York has a comparative negligence policy. If you were partially at fault in the incident, the court will reduce any damages you receive by the percentage you are at fault for. One factor that may contribute to whether or not the court finds you to be partially at fault for the accident is the attire you had on at the time.
The defendants may call attention to your clothes at the time of the accident to try and prove you were at fault. Baggy or loose clothing or torn or long pants that can easily become caught on corners or objects are things they may point out as potential contributors to the incident. For instance, if you had on floor-length pants with wide hems, they may argue that you slipped because you stepped on your own hem and tripped.
Inappropriate footwear for the setting and season, such as high heels on an icy sidewalk, could also weaken your case. The age and condition of shoes, such as whether the treads or worn out, also matter. The opposition may point out that you wore shoes with little friction knowingly, making the accident partially your fault.
According to the National Safety Council, in 2020 emergency rooms saw almost seven million patients for fall-related injuries. When you sustain an injury falling because someone failed to maintain their property or provide warning of a hazard, you may be able to obtain compensation. However, if your attire contributed to your accident, a court may find you partially at fault and reduce your compensation.