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What Is Premises Liability?

Premises liability is a division of the law that plays a significant role in many personal injury cases throughout the state. It is not at all uncommon for the victim of an accident to have sustained their injuries while on another person’s property. This can be on the site of a personal home or in a public area such as a local grocery store or tourist attraction.


At Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP, we handle all types of premises liability claims in New York and beyond, including the following:

  • Apartment accidents – Those who live in apartments are typically leasing from a landlord. This means that while an individual may be responsible for many aspects of the apartment itself, all shared property can fall under the realm of a “premises” as it relates to this type of claim. Say, for example, an individual was electrocuted from exposed wires in a shared laundry room at the apartment. This individual would be able to file a premises liability claim against the landlord and possibly even the maintenance workers responsible for its upkeep.
  • Dog attacks – Many times, children are the victims of dog attacks. They may suffer serious injuries and scars that require multiple surgeries. It’s important to obtain full compensation for dog bites.
  • Elevator/escalator accidents – Both elevators that don’t line up with the floor and elevator cars that plummet several stories can cause serious injuries. Likewise, escalators that malfunction can cause injuries.
  • Fires and explosions – These types of accidents can take place anywhere, but if they take place while you are on someone else’s property then you may be entitled to damages. Provided that you were allowed to be at the premises at the time of the fire or explosion, you may be able to collect compensation from the property owner.
  • Inadequate security – This type of claim is common in incidents that took place at subways and retail stores, just to name a few. If you were mugged in a subway station while waiting for a train, and no security or law enforcement was around to prevent this, or no security cameras were set in place to assist the situation, then the victim may have a claim against the city.
  • Lead paint – If you are suffering from the adverse health effects that can be caused from exposure to lead paint, then do not wait to speak to a personal injury attorney. Lead paint poisoning can cause brain damage, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, antisocial behavior, neuropsychological deficits, organ failure, encephalopathy, permanent unconsciousness and even death.
  • School and day care injuries – Your child is precious to you, which is why anytime they come back from school or day care with injuries, it is a cause for concern. Some parents sign an agreement with their school or day care provider that releases them from liability in the event of an accident, but many do not. Even if your child was bit by another child, it may be grounds to file a claim against the school for not properly watching the children or preventing the incident from occurring.
  • Slip-and-fall injuries – This is the most common type of premises liability claim. It is really as simple as it sounds. If you slipped or fell on someone else’s property because of their failure to properly and adequately maintain it, then you may have a claim. This could look like a child tripping and falling on the pavement at their school because it was cracked, or an employee slipping on a wet floor that was not cleaned up or because warning signs had not been placed upon it.
  • Tourist injuries – It is nothing new to say that New York is one of the world’s biggest tourist attractions. Those who are on field trips, vacations or business trips in the city may become injured. Even if you do not live in this state, our firm can help you file a claim against the negligent party.

Getting Answers To Premises Liability Questions

We receive many questions about a property owner’s liability in New York. Here are some commonly asked questions and their answers.

What is premises liability in New York?

When you have permission to be at someone’s home, on their property (known as the “premises”), the home or property owner is responsible for keeping the area, and by extension you, safe. If you are in a public space, whoever owns that property or whoever is in charge of the maintenance (such as a municipality) is responsible, or liable for injuries caused on their premises. Read more about this in the accountability section below.

What are common examples of premises liability?

There are hundreds of ways a person may suffer an injury on someone else’s property. Some of the most common premises liability cases involve dog bites, slip-and-fall accidents, inadequate security, swimming pool accidents and drownings, injuries from rides at amusement parks, fires and chemical inhalation.

Can I sue New York City if I trip and injure myself on a public sidewalk?

Yes. New York City Administrative Code 7-210 holds public property owners responsible for the maintenance of their property. If a sidewalk is not being maintained or is under repair but there are no warnings or caution signs, and you are injured while traversing the area, you may have a case.

Holding The Property Owner Accountable

There are a few rules that must apply to your situation for you to have a premises liability claim on your hands. First of all, the individual or institution that you are filing a claim against must have actually owned the premises at the time the accident occurred.

If this is true, then you must also consider whether or not you were actually permitted to be at the premises at the time the accident occurred. For example, individuals who are trespassing on property and then get injured would not be covered.

Finally, there must be some form of negligence of the property owner proven. If you believe that your case fits these three criteria, then come speak with us. Even if you are unsure whether or not you have a claim, you can speak with us today free of charge to find out. Call us at 212-571-7171 to set up a consultation, or contact us online.

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