Being involved in an accident is a scary experience, especially if you sustain a severe injury. Whether your accident occurs at work, at a hotel, at a friend’s home, or even in your own apartment, it’s natural to feel shocked and frightened.
If you are like many New Yorkers, the worry and fear you experience during an accident may worsen when you begin to wonder how you are going to pay for mounting medical bills. The situation can become even more grim if your injuries interfere with your ability to work, leaving you without a dependable means of generating income. But if your injuries were the result of someone else’s negligence, then you may have a legitimate premises liability claim.
What are the key factors involved in a premises liability case?
It’s natural to feel upset if you sustain an injury due to a property owner’s carelessness. And you may find yourself wondering if the property owners should be held liable for your injuries. However, the answer is often not cut and dry because New York laws can be difficult to interpret.
To best answer the question above, it’s wise to contact a skilled personal injury attorney right away. A lawyer can listen to the details of your story and help you determine whether you have a legal case. In order to show that a property owner is at fault for your injury, you need to show three things:
1) You were legally able to be on the property
The first step in establishing a claim is to that you were permitted by law to be on the property. For instance, if your neighbor invites you to a cookout that you decide to attend, or if you are asked to perform work at a job site, then you are lawfully on that person’s property.
2) The property owner was negligent
Next, you or your lawyer must show that the property owner knew that there were unsafe conditions on their property and did nothing to address those conditions or warn you about the issues. For example, if the neighbor referenced above knows their deck is in need of repair but fails to fix the deck or warn you about the damage, then they are being negligent.
3) Your injury was caused by the property owner’s negligence
Showing that your injuries were the result of the property owner’s negligence is not always easy. For instance, if the deck referenced above collapses and a guest sustains injuries, then the homeowner would likely be found negligent if the injuries were sustained as a direct result of the deck collapse. However, if the guest already had a serious pre-existing knee condition that was not exacerbated when the deck collapsed, it would be extremely difficult to hold the property owner financially responsible for the costs of a total knee replacement.
Proving negligence often requires hard work, dedication, and experience with New York’s premises liability laws. While the circumstances may logically point to a property owner’s negligence, you need to provide a compelling case to support your claim. This typically involves gathering documents such as police reports, medical records, insurance information, and photos that support your claim. These are all tasks that are best handled by an experienced lawyer.
What are the most common types of premises liability claims in New York?
There are many ways a property owner’s negligence can lead to physical injuries and financial devastation. However, in the world of premises liability, there is a handful of accident types that account for the overwhelming majority of claims. Here are some of the most common types of premises liability claims in New York:
- Slip and fall cases that arise due to moisture on a facility’s floor, holes in the ground or floor, and falls from unprotected ledges or balconies
- Escalator and elevator accidents that occur as a result of old or defective components or a lack of regular servicing
- Swimming pool accidents that may take place when injury occurs due to the pool owner’s failure to have a proper pool enclosure
- Dog bite injuries that occur when a pet attacks an individual on the street or on a person’s property
- Inadequate security-related assaults or injuries that are due to a building owner’s failure to take the proper measures to protect inhabitants
- Stair-related accidents that may arise if a property owner fails to install or update the proper lighting or handrails in stairwells
- Fires that arise due to defective wiring, faulty electrical equipment, or deferred building maintenance
While the examples above represent some of the most common types of premises liability claims, there are other instances in which property owners could be held liable for another person’s trauma, injury, and death. Examples include injury due to snow and ice accidents, flooding, porch collapses, toxic fumes, or deferred maintenance.
What is the most important thing to do if you’re injured on someone’s property?
Premises liability laws exist for your protection. But it’s not always easy to understand how those laws operate. After calling 911, the single best thing to do if you’re injured on someone else’s property is to call a premises liability lawyer. A skilled attorney will listen to your story, determine whether the property owner has been negligent, and work to ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries and suffering. You will also receive the following:
- Personalized legal guidance following your accident
- Assistance preparing your claim materials
- A clear explanation of how premises liability laws may impact your case
- Support handling threats and other intimidation tactics that property owners sometimes use
- Peace of mind knowing an experienced lawyer is fighting for your rights
We encourage you to contact us at Chaikin LaPenna, PLLC for a complimentary consultation. We have years of experience helping people who have been injured while on the premises of a store, public place, or private home. Our legal team will work tirelessly to help you win your case so you can receive the compensation you deserve. We look forward to serving as your trusted legal representative!