New York Premises Liability Lawyer

In New York, property owners are responsible for keeping their premises safe for guests, customers, employees, and visitors. When they fail to do so, and someone gets hurt, that person can file a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner to recover compensation.

If you've been injured on someone else's property due to lack of maintenance or a dangerous condition, it's essential to speak with a New York premises liability lawyer as soon as possible. This will help you understand your legal rights and make informed decisions on how to proceed. 

The Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm offers decades of experience helping people just like you get the money they need and deserve after a serious personal injury. We're passionate about what we do and will fight tirelessly for justice.

If you’ve been hurt due to an unsafe condition, our New York City premises liability attorneys can help. Let our family help yours.

Call 212.869.3500 today or contact us online for a free consultation and legal advice – we'll review your premises liability case and let you know how we can help.

How our NYC premises liability attorneys can help

When you sustain injuries in a premises liability accident, you already have too much on your plate. You need to stay focused on recovering and not worry about filing paperwork, chasing insurance company telephone calls, and filing a civil claim on time. 

If you hire an experienced New York premises liability attorney at Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm, you can count on us to:

  • Negotiate with insurance companies
  • Find evidence for your claim, including maintenance reports and repair records
  • Conduct a thorough investigation 
  • identify the responsible party or parties
  • File a civil claim in court before the statute of limitations expires

What is a premises liability claim?

A premises liability claim arises when a plaintiff sustains injuries from unsafe conditions on land, buildings, walkways, or parking lots. It is a cause of action based on property owner negligence and their failure to maintain or repair hazardous property conditions.

If proven, the injured property can collect damages from the property owner. 

New York law assigns a legal duty to property owners to keep their premises reasonably safe for guests and visitors. However, some responsibility can fall on you. If you sustained serious injuries due to a hole in the floor, the property owner may argue that you could have walked around it but managed to injure yourself.

Even if the property owner proves that statement, you can still collect compensation through a lawsuit verdict or settlement. 

Examples of premises liability personal injury cases

When you are hurt while lawfully on someone else’s property, the owner may be liable for your injuries if their negligence caused your injury. Premises liability laws in New York cover many types of accidents and situations, from pedestrian accidents to dog bites and more.

Common examples of premises liability personal injury cases include:

Slip, trip & fall accidents

A slip and fall accident occurs when a visitor trips, slips or falls when they come across a dangerous condition. They may happen due to wet floors at a grocery store, damaged stairs in an apartment building, rough patches on the ground outside a restaurant, overgrown tree roots on the sidewalk, or debris on a neighbor’s private property. 

Negligent security

A property owner may face liability for negligent security if they fail to maintain lighting or security systems, and a tenant or visitor becomes a crime victim. Failing to regularly lock doors or respond to maintenance requests about broken locks may also fall under this accident type. 

Elevator accidents

Elevators require regular maintenance, and when property owners do not keep up, they may be liable for any resulting accidents. You may sustain injuries if an elevator gets stuck, fails to line up with the floor, or falls. In some cases, emotional distress damages may also arise with elevator accidents. 

Burn injuries

Faulty heaters, inadequate electric systems, and even hidden extension cords may cause burn injuries or even fires (which later cause more injuries.) Property owners may fail to warn about these conditions or ignore needed repairs. If someone sustains burns or other injuries, the property can face liability. 

Learn more about burn injury lawsuits.

Injuries at school

Conditions at school may injure your child. They can include wet floors, shoddy playground equipment, or failing to repair desks or other furniture. The liability may also extend to poorly-maintained sports fields. 

Swimming pools

These are common accidents with children and unsecured swimming pools. Laws and homeowner’s insurance companies often require property owners to install fences around swimming pools and make them inaccessible when they are not being used. If a property owner leaves the gate unlocked or never bothered to install a fence, they may be liable for any injuries or wrongful death actions arising from their mistake. Also, swimming pool areas accumulate water and become slippery--offering more opportunities for injury. 

Construction sites

Construction supervisors should post warning signs to keep pedestrians out of construction sites. But sometimes, this goes awry. Children may trespass to explore attractive nuisances, or scaffolding over a sidewalk falls through and injures people. People may trip and fall over debris if a crew fails to clean up after road or building repairs. Construction sites can be hotbeds of premises liability if there are shortcomings with setup or clean up. 

Learn more about construction accident lawsuits.

Dog bites

Property owners have legal responsibilities concerning guard dogs or dangerous animals. These responsibilities include securing their premises and posting warning signs. However, this liability does not usually apply to trespassers or those intending to commit crimes. 

This list includes many of the most common causes, but it is not all-inclusive. Premises liability cases occur under many fact scenarios, but they all have one thing in common. They involve property owners who fail to maintain or repair their property to keep it reasonably clear of dangerous conditions.

If you suspect your injuries happened because of a property hazard, it is likely worth your time to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. 

Four elements of premises liability cases

Every cause of action, like premises liability, contains elements the injured party and their attorney must prove to receive damages. For a premises liability case, our attorneys must establish: 

  • Duty of Care: We must establish that the property owner had a duty of care to keep their premises safe for you. For example, property owners owe a higher duty of care to invitees or customers than they do to trespassers. 
  • Breach of that duty: An owner breaches their duty to keep their property safe when they fail to repair the unsafe condition or maintain it. A breach may also include failures to warn of the condition or rope it off. For example, a hole in the floor should be surrounded by bright orange cones or a barrier. If an owner does not take those steps before repairing the hole, a court may consider that inaction a breach of duty. 
  • Causation: There must be a link between the owner’s action or omission and your injury. For example, if you fell into the hole in the floor because of dim lighting and no barriers, that evidence may establish causation. 
  • Damages: You cannot win a premises liability claim unless you suffered harm or injury. Common injuries or harm may include sprains/strains, broken bones, disfigurement, or emotional distress. 

Premises liability cases are factually distinct. Meeting these elements depends heavily on facts, circumstances, and the extent of your injuries. 

Understanding New York’s premises liability law

New York premises liability law offers more uniformity than states which define duties based on visitor status. 

New York property owners must reasonably maintain their premises to promote safety and reduce hazards. But that duty adjusts based on repair costs, the likelihood of visitor injury, and the identities of visitors and guests.

As mentioned above--business owners have a higher duty to customers than trespassers who intend to commit a crime. 

There are exceptions. A child accessing an unsecured swimming pool is technically a trespasser. However, swimming pools are attractive nuisances, giving property owners additional responsibilities to protect potential or known trespassers from injuries.

Also, children may not understand the consequences of their actions. That is why there is a heightened duty to lock up attractive nuisances and limit their access. 

New York has a shared responsibility law. The law states that if the injured party played a part in their injury, they must assume some responsibility. For example, if you sustained injuries due to a hole in the floor, the property owner may argue that you could have walked around it or avoided it. 

But the shared responsibility law does not eliminate all hope for compensation. The property owner could place barriers around the hole, close off that part of the premises, or send employees to watch the area and warn customers and visitors.

If they fail to make that minimum effort, they still owe damages, even if your share decreases by your proportion of fault. 

What is the statute of limitations for premises liability claims in New York City?

In New York, you have three years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury claim after a premises liability injury. 

That may seem like plenty of time, but when you are stressed about money and worried about pain and recovery, that time moves quickly. 

The best way to make sure you do not miss this statute of limitations deadline is by hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer in New York. 

How much is my premises liability case worth?

The value of your premises liability claim depends on the extent of your injuries. Attorneys assess the worth of personal injury cases based on economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages include documentable costs. They show how much money your injury costs you. These damages include:

  • Medical expenses: Medical bills include all costs arising from medical treatment, including doctor exams, surgeries, physical therapy, and medication.
  • Rehabilitation costs: Rehabilitation costs typically result from disfiguring or disabling accident injuries. They include learning to live with paralysis or managing significant pain. 
  • Lost wages: You can recover lost wages in a personal injury claim if you miss work due to pain and doctor appointments. 
  • Diminished earning capacity: Diminished earning capacity refers to cases where an accident victim cannot return to their previous occupation due to physical injuries. They may need to subsist on disability payments or work lower-paying jobs. When that occurs, they can receive the difference between their previous and present earnings. 
  • Costs arising from disability: Costs arising from permanent disability include structural changes to your home, mobility devices, or vehicle modification.

Noneconomic damages are subjective costs arising from your injury. They are often more emotional and depend on testimony from you and your loved ones.

Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering: All injuries, even seemingly minor soft tissues injuries, cause pain and suffering. Pain disrupts work and life, and personal injury cases place a value on that disruption. 
  • Emotional distress: Many injuries cause emotional distress. Sometimes this happens due to the nature of an accident, e.g., elevator failure that leads to a stressful rescue. Other times, it results from the injury, especially traumatic brain injuries making emotional regulation difficult. If a victim has already suffered depression or anxiety, an accident may worsen their distress. 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: This section focuses on losing activities you once enjoyed, even if it was for the short term. For example, if a slip and fall injures your back and keeps you out of a marathon, that is a loss of enjoyment. The same applies if an injury disfigures the victim or leaves them physically unable to indulge in all their past experiences. 

All injuries cause some amount of expense and distress. Even if you feel your injuries were not serious, you are still entitled to compensation--especially if you had to cancel plans, miss work, or lose wages to address those injuries. 

Get a free consultation with a New York City premises liability lawyer today

Premises liability cases involve a complex area of law, but you will find the process much easier if you hire a personal injury attorney.

The attorneys at Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm offer compassionate and thorough legal representation for victims injured due to hazardous conditions. We are there for you and are ready to secure maximum compensation for your claim. 

If you’ve been injured in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, or Greater New York, let our family help yours. Our New York premises liability lawyers have helped thousands of individuals when the unimaginable happens.

Call our law office today at 212-869-3500 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation with a New York City premises liability lawyer.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.nycbar.org/get-legal-help/article/personal-injury-and-accidents/premises-liability/

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/slip-fall-accidents-proving-fault-29845.html

https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/GoingToCourt/SOLchart.shtml