When an accident occurs on another’s property, there are some situations where the property owner could be held legally responsible for the victim’s injuries. This area of personal injury law is often referred to as premises liability, referring to the legal responsibility of the owner of the premises where the incident occurred. Some potential sources of premises liability lawsuits include slip and fall accidents, falls, swimming pool accidents and assaults due to inadequate security. In these cases, if a victim was injured because the property owner was negligent in maintaining the premises, the victim may have grounds for an injury lawsuit.
Were you injured in an accident on another’s property? It can be difficult to know whether the property owner or manager can be held accountable. With a New York personal injury lawyer at Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC to evaluate your case, however, you can find out what duty the property owner may have had to protect your well-being and whether that duty was violated (and if you have a valid case). Our attorneys have more than 150 years of combined legal experience and appear regularly in state and federal courts across the United States, protecting the rights and interests of the injured. If you would like to talk to a legal professional who is ready to put your needs first, call our offices. We are standing by to see how we can help.
Understanding Property Owner Negligence
Generally speaking, a property owner cannot be held automatically liable for an injury that occurs on the premises. The property owner must have been negligent or committed some type of wrongdoing to be held legally responsible for another’s injuries, and our goal as injury attorneys is to prove this so we can recover financial compensation on our clients’ behalf. Negligence can be described as an act or inaction that results in a failure to provide proper care in the circumstances. For a property owner, proper care may include:
- Conducting routine inspections to make sure the property is free from hazardous conditions that could cause injuries (defective stairs, broken light fixtures, uneven walkways, etc.);
- Placing warning signs where hazardous conditions are present;
- Repairing hazardous conditions in a timely manner;
- Providing reasonable security for people lawfully visiting or residing on the property; and
- Generally maintaining a property that is free from hazards.
A property owner or manager may be deemed negligent if he or she failed to reasonably maintain a safe premises and someone was injured as a result. In these cases, the victim may be able to seek financial compensation for medical bills, ongoing medical treatment, lost earnings, emotional trauma and possibly more.
Damages Available in a Premises Liability Claim
When a property owner does not satisfy the duties mentioned above, and when this leads to the injury of another, the injured person has a right to file a civil action directly against the property owner. If the victim can prove that the property owner failed to maintain or repair a known hazard or danger, then the victim may recover damages for:
- Physical pain and suffering;
- Medical expenses and future medical expenses;
- Other economic losses (lost wages, benefits); and
- Mental anguish.
Claims Against Property Owners in New York
Every case is different, and the steps you take now may directly impact your ability to file a viable lawsuit against a property owner. Keeping detailed records and taking pictures at the scene can help you document what hazard was present and what injuries you experienced. Involving an attorney as early as possible can help ensure that you make the right choices as you move forward with a case.
At Napoli Shkolnik, we represent clients who have been injured or lost loved ones in accidents at residential and commercial properties, including apartment buildings, homes, office buildings, parking facilities, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, theme parks, theatres, malls, retail stores, subway stations and more. We have the experience to offer accurate insight in these complicated cases. To get started, contact a New York premises liability attorney at our firm.
Who is Protected Under Premises Liability Laws?
Most states offer protections to invitees and licensees who enter a property, but do not afford protections to trespassers unless the property owner wantonly or willfully causes the trespasser harm. However, some states afford all people who enter the property—regardless of their status—the same set of protections. An attorney can help you to determine what protects you are afforded under your state’s laws.
Contact a Premises Liability Attorney Today
At Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC, our experienced premises liability attorneys have offices in multiple states throughout the nation. Following an accident that occurs on someone else’s property, our lawyers can help you to recover benefits. To learn more, call us today to request a consultation.