New York Premises Liability Lawyer
New York premises liability law holds property owners accountable for ensuring the safety of individuals who come onto their property. This includes owners of private property such as houses, owners of commercial property such as stores, and owners of government property such as a courthouse. This also includes both invited and uninvited guests. When there are unsafe conditions on premises, guests can suffer serious injuries from falling, tripping, slipping, or from burns. If you or a loved one was injured due to an unsafe condition on another person’s property, contact an experienced New York premises liability lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. Injured victims have the right to hold the negligent party accountable through a personal injury lawsuit.Responsibility of Property Owners
It is important to realize that premises liability can arise in a variety of settings. Hotels, banks, hospitals, restaurants or other buildings open to the public have a duty to provide a safe environment for their customers. All property owners have a duty to keep a premises safe, though the specific laws will vary from state to state. The level of responsibility will depend on how the person coming onto the property is classified. People are classified as either an invitee, licensee or trespasser. An invitee is the most common classification, where the invitee has been invited onto the property by invitation of the property owner. If a person enters property with permission for their own purpose, they are considered a licensee. If a person enters the property without permission they are a trespasser.
Each of these classifications creates an obligation of the part of the landowner. For instance, with an invitee, a landlord has the duty to use reasonable and ordinary care to make the property reasonably safe. The premises owner has a duty to warn invitees of any non-obvious dangerous conditions. If the premises owner has a business, they have the obligation to make reasonable inspections of the property to discover any dangerous conditions. With each classification the duties vary, however with all, ultimately the premises owner has to ensure that the property is safe for anyone who enters.
It is important to be aware that the safety of a property does not include just physical premises, but can also include toxic substances on the property, or even a criminal act by a third party in some cases. Premises liability law is filled with many rules and exceptions, so it is important to consult with an experienced New York premises liability lawyer to discuss your case.Types of Premises Liability Hazards
Premises liability claims are often seen in relation to:
- Slip and fall hazards: This includes slippery floors, uneven sidewalks, and loose carpeting.
- Trip hazards: This includes objects in walkways, loose flooring, and poor lighting.
- Falling objects: This includes objects falling from shelves or overhead areas in a store or building.
- Other dangerous conditions: This includes inadequate maintenance or repair of property, such as broken stairs, loose railings, and malfunctioning elevators.
- Swimming pool hazards: This includes inadequate fencing, lack of pool covers, and improper pool maintenance.
- Fire hazards: This includes improperly maintained electrical systems, lack of smoke detectors, and failure to properly store flammable materials.
- Chemical hazards: This includes exposure to toxic chemicals or fumes on a property, such as in a factory or laboratory.
- Animal attacks: This includes attacks by dogs, horses, or other animals on a property.
- Security hazards: This includes inadequate security measures, such as poor lighting in parking lots or unlocked doors.
If you believe you have a premises liability claim, it is important to take prompt action. The statute of limitations for these types of claims is three years, barring any exceptions.Holding Negligent Property Owners Liable
If the property owner's breach of duty caused the plaintiff's injury, the victim must show that the injury was a direct and foreseeable result of the breach. For example, if a customer slips and falls on a wet floor in a restaurant, the restaurant owner may be liable if they failed to clean up the spill in a reasonable amount of time.
It's important to note that in New York, comparative negligence may also be taken into account in a premises liability case. This means that if the victim was partially responsible for their injury, their compensation may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to them.
Potential compensation falls into four categories:
- Medical expenses: You may be entitled to compensation for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to your injury, including hospital stays, doctor visits, prescription drugs, physical therapy, and any other medical expenses.
- Pain and suffering: You may be entitled to compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you have endured as a result of your injury.
- Lost wages: If your injury has caused you to miss work, you may be entitled to compensation for the lost wages you have suffered as a result.
To learn more about the compensation to which you may be entitled, contact an experienced premises liability attorney in New York.Notable New York Premises Liability Cases
- Basso v. Miller, 40 N.Y.2d 233 (1976). The court held that a property owner has a duty to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition and to warn of any known or discoverable hazards. The court established the standard of reasonable care required for property owners in New York.
- Rojas v. Roman Catholic Church of Archdiocese of N.Y., 86 N.Y.2d 481 (1995). The court held that a property owner owes a duty of reasonable care to maintain the property in a safe condition, but that the duty of care is limited to the portion of the property used by the public.
- Licari v. Elliott, 57 N.Y.2d 230 (1982). The court held that a property owner must take reasonable steps to discover and correct a dangerous condition if he or she knows, or should know, that people are likely to be harmed by the condition.
- Basso v. Miller, 40 N.Y.2d 233 (1976). The court held that a property owner is liable for a dangerous condition on the property if the owner had actual or constructive notice of the condition, but that the owner is not liable if he or she had no reason to know of the condition.
In order to pursue a premises liability claim it is critical that you have legal representation who has the experience and resources to protect your interests. The premises liability attorneys serving New York at Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience handling personal injury and wrongful death cases stemming from accidents. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Westchester County , Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, and Suffolk County.