When an unlucky grandmother slipped and fell down a New York City subway station staircase, her life changed forever. The fall resulted in a traumatic brain injury, leaving the once active woman hardly able to communicate.
Maria Alcantara, a 69-year-old mother of four, had just finished work and was on her way to meet her husband when she was injured in the trip and fall accident. Descending the stairs in the dark, she tripped on a defective platform and fell hard onto her hip and head. The fall caused Mrs. Alcantara to suffer a broken hip and bleeding on the brain. The head injury caused seizures, which left her unable to work or even communicate. She is confined to a wheelchair and in need of constant care. Her condition continues to worsen.
The Alcantara family sued MTA’s NYC Transit division for the personal injury caused by the defective platform. NYC Transit insisted that there was no defect, but a Brooklyn jury felt otherwise and awarded the injured woman $16 million for the harm.
Few people understand the full extent of damage that a slip or trip and fall injury can cause:
- Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States.
- Falls cause 61 percent of all TBI to adults aged 65 and older.
- Falls cause more than 20 percent of all spinal cord injuries.
When a fall occurs, it is essential for the victims to obtain immediate medical attention, both to minimize physical harm and to protect their right to obtain compensation from the negligent party. For example, parties such as NYC Transit and private business owners may be liable for injuries if they knew or should have known that a stairwell lacked adequate lighting to make it safe for use or that there were large, hard-to-see depressions or cracks in a walkway. To learn more about the responsibilities of premises owners and your options after a slip and fall injury, contact a knowledgeable lawyer today.