Slip and Fall Case Makes it to Supreme Court

Slip and fall cases may seem like straightforward personal injury lawsuits, but the underlying case is often more complex than may meet the eye. A 2005 law suit, which made it all the way to the New York State Supreme Court, exhibits both the severity of slip and fall injuries and the potential complexity of these personal injury law suits.

Negligent Mail Delivery?

The case in question is Barbara Dolan v. U.S. Postal Service. In the case in question, plaintiff Dolan sued the U.S. Postal Service for wrist and back injuries sustained after a slip and fall on her front porch. Dolan claimed that she slipped on mail that was placed on her porch instead of being properly placed in her mailbox. Dolan litigated her case in the lower New York courts and fought all the way up to the New York State Supreme Court, but was defeated by the government, who claimed that it was not liable for negligent mail delivery. However, Dolan’s lawyer successfully argued that since different courts have interpreted the definition of “mail delivery” differently, the nation’s highest court should rectify the discrepancies and hear the case at the Supreme Court level. The Supreme Court found 7 to 1 for plaintiff Dolan, setting a precedent in a different field related to whether the government should be responsible for so-called “negligent transmission”.

Lessons Learned

Whatever the outcome of Dolan’s case, the fact that it reached the highest court of the land is notable in and of itself. The severity of the plaintiff’s slip and fall injury – so severe that her husband claimed she could not perform her conjugal duties and filed a complaint in the New York courts – is just the tip of the iceberg of injury that exists in slip and fall cases. From traumatic brain injury to concussions to contusions to lasting spinal harm, slip and fall injuries are a serious concern and threaten the health and welfare of employees, customers and regular citizens all over the country.

If You Have Been Injured

Know your rights if you have sustained a slip and fall injury. Notify the owner of the premises or the manager of the business in which you were injured as soon as possible after the fall. Document your medical visits and take photographs of the injury if possible. Seek medical attention immediately to determine whether you have suffered injury. If the store, business or property owner refuses to compensate you for your slip and fall related injuries, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your personal injury attorney can help you recover the damages and compensation you deserve after a slip and fall injury. This can include, but is not limited to, attorney’s fees, medical bills, lost wages, and other benefits.

Your case may well settle before it reaches its first jury trial. Not every trial will make it to the Supreme Court and have the chance to set precedent and affect future cases. But each slip and fall injury suit filed represents a citizen standing up for his or her right to compensation for their injuries due to the negligence of a property owner or business. Talk to a personal injury lawyer to determine if you have a valid claim before filing your slip and fall suit.

Use to locate other information on these topics as well as to learn how to locate the closest traumatic brain injury lawyer or auto accident attorney. 


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