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Determining responsibility for premises liability accidents

When an individual enters another person's property in New York, he or she has a reasonable expectation that he or she will not be injured. This means that the property owner -- or the non-owner resident -- is the individual who is responsible for maintaining this safe environment. This is called premises liability.

The types of incidents that may bring about premises liability claims may range from someone having a slip-and-fall accident on a sidewalk to someone who suffered an injury while riding on an amusement park ride. The first aspect to consider in a claim of this nature is determining the legal status of the visitor. Namely, the individual who was injured will fall into one of four separate distinctions -- an invitee, a licensee, a social guest or trespasser.

Two more aspects that must be evaluated are both the condition of the property on which the injury occurred and the visitor's actions. Factors that will be taken into account will be the circumstances by which the visitor came to enter the property, what the property is used for, if there was any foreseeability that the type of injury or accident might occur and whether the owner's effort to fix a dangerous condition -- or warn the visitors -- was reasonable. It is helpful to note that the property owner's legal responsibilities differ when children are on the property, as the owner must give warning in the event that he or she knows that there will likely be children on the premises.

These are just a few basic points concerning premises liability accidents. However, when a New York resident suffers an injury on another individual's premises, the victim typically chooses to consult an experienced attorney who can ensure that the victim's legal rights are fully assessed and protected. The first step is to contact the attorney in order to have an analysis of the claim performed before too much time has passed.

Source: FindLaw, "Premises Liability: Who Is Responsible?", Accessed on June 6, 2016

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