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Premises Liability Cases In New York City

Offered by Keogh Crispi, P.C.

Every year, many people are hurt in premises liability accidents throughout New York. Visitors on someone else’s property are hurt due to dangerous conditions that were never addressed. They are left in pain and in need of medical treatment. Many wonder what their legal options are for recovering financial compensation.

Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility of property owners to keep their premises safe for everyone. This responsibility applies to owners of commercial, residential, private and public property and covers a wide range of situations.

If the negligence of a property owner led to the accident that resulted in injury, victims can seek financial compensation. But the owner may not admit to doing anything wrong and their insurance company may deny liability. Legal action is often required.

What are types of premises liability accidents?

Premises liability accidents can happen at supermarkets, big box stores, small businesses, restaurants, bars, construction sites, parking lots, hotels, apartment buildings and even private homes. People can be hurt in slip and fall accidents, swimming pool accidents, or incidents involving negligent security.

Here are some examples of ways people have been injured in premises liability accidents in the New York City area:

  • A customer at a convenience store fell into a trap door leading to the basement after the door had been left open by an employee of the store.
  • A person being escorted out of a business by a security guard was injured when the guard used excessive force.
  • An attendant at a pool owned and operated by a business tripped and fell over an industrial electrical cord that had been extended across the floor on the premises.
  • A tenant fell and was injured due to flooring that had been warped by water damage that was never repaired by building management.
  • A visitor to a condominium complex fell to the ground due to a defect in the curb of the sidewalk.
  • A person slipped and fell down a stairway in a downtown building due to unsafe conditions.
  • A visitor at an apartment building tripped on a hazard on the stairs and was hospitalized.
  • A resident of an apartment building slipped and fell because of water that leaked onto the steps.
  • An invited guest at an event fell and was injured due to a defect on an exterior dance floor.
  • A person slipped and fell in rainwater that had accumulated on the floor in the baggage claim area of a local airport.
  • A person slipped and fell on black ice outside of a residential apartment building.

In each case, an accident caused by hazardous conditions on the premises led to a person suffering serious injuries. Injuries suffered in premises liability accidents can include broken bones, injuries to the neck or shoulder, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries and damage to internal organs.

Recovering financial compensation after a premises liability accident

Medical expenses for treating an injury can include ambulance fees, diagnostic tests, imaging tests, surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, medication, home health care, and multiple follow-up visits with doctors. The injured person may not be able to work as a result of injury, resulting in a loss of income.

When it comes to handling premises liability cases, New York is a “reasonable care” state. In short, that means that owners have a responsibility “to use reasonable care to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition for the protection of all persons whose presence is reasonably foreseeable.”

In practice, this responsibility means that owners must fix unsafe conditions on their property and warn visitors of potentially hazardous conditions, especially if they are not open and obvious. If they don’t meet that responsibility, property owners and managers can be held liable (legally responsible) for the cost of injuries sustained due to their negligence.

To recover damages, a plaintiff must prove that an injury occurred as the result of a dangerous condition on the property. In addition, the plaintiff must establish one of these three criteria:

  • The dangerous condition was created by the property owner,
  • The property owner was aware of the dangerous condition but did not take steps to address it, or
  • The property owner should have known about the dangerous condition and did not take steps to address it.

Experienced legal representation can make a difference

However, building a strong case can be a lengthy and complicated process. An experienced personal injury attorney has the resources to investigate a premises liability accident to gather evidence that supports the plaintiff’s claim. A law firm can:

  • Read through incident reports that were completed by a business or the police
  • Review inspection records from state or city agencies
  • Interview witnesses
  • Gather physical evidence from the scene
  • Collect any photo or video evidence
  • Consult experts who can explain whether safety standards were violated.

A lawyer can also determine the total damages a victim suffered as a result of the premises liability accident. Generally, victims can seek compensation for all current and future medical expenses related to the injury, lost wages if they were unable to work and certain noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering.

Contact an attorney to learn about your options

Many times, a claim involving premises liability can be resolved through a negotiated settlement with attorneys representing the property owner’s insurance carrier. But in some cases, litigation may be required and the case will be decided in court.

It’s important to get legal advice as soon as possible following an accident that results in injury. The statute of limitations for a premises liability claim in New York is generally three years from the date of the accident. However, important evidence can be lost the longer you wait, and witnesses may forget details or move away from the area.

You need an attorney who has experience handling premises liability cases in New York and has had success recovering financial compensation for clients. If you were hurt on someone else’s property due to a dangerous condition, contact a premises liability attorney in your area to schedule a consultation.

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