NYC Premises Liability Lawyer: 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, our premises liability attorneys 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.
Of course, these are just a handful of the case types we can and do handle. Our NYC premises liability attorneys regularly handle cases that have occurred in or around the following property types:
- Residential properties
- Shopping mall and shopping centres
- Parking lots and garages
- Apartment buildings and condominiums
- Amusement parks, carnivals, and fairs
- Public parks and publicly accessible open spaces
- Hotels and motels
- Supermarkets and convenience stores
Who are premises liability lawsuits brought against?
When a client talks to a New York premises liability attorney, they’ve often keen to understand who will be sued in these kinds of cases.
The answer is usually the owner of the property – which can include store owners or operators, landlords, private individuals – or sometimes the municipality.
This can sometimes leave people feeling torn about whether or not to pursue a case – especially when it would involve a small business owner or a private individual. This is understandable – but it’s absolutely essential that you ask yourself whether or not you can stand the medical expenses and missed working time that will almost certainly come with your injuries.
In an ideal world, you’d be supported by the person or responsible party until you’re back on your feet – but sadly, this is not an ideal world. You might get an apology for your accident – but without legal representation, even that could be a stretch.
At Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP, we’re not here to see that premises owners are punished – simply that you put back into the position you were in before your case. It is not fair that you have been injured or face costs because of someone else’s negligence – whether intentional or otherwise.
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 accident claim on your hands. We’ll take a look at all three here – but don’t worry if you’re not 100% sure about the answers. We’re happy for you to talk to a Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP, New York premises liability lawyer who’ll be able to tell you with certainty.
Who owns the property?
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.
Ultimately, someone owns the property in which your accident happened – so pursuing a premises liability case is likely still possible if you don’t know. However, bringing a lawsuit against the wrong person will always be fruitless.
Were you allowed to be there?
After establishing who the property owners are, 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.
Again though, this isn’t always a clear distinction. If you’re breaking and entering another person’s property then the owner owes you no duty of care – but it’s not quite as simple if you’re cutting through someone’s property on a well-trodden path that the owner knows about. It’s always best to talk to New York premises liability attorneys to understand what your rights are.
Was there some kind of negligence?
Finally, there must be some form of negligence of the property owner proven. Again though, don’t worry too much about having solid proof of this before you get in touch with a premises liability attorney – our job is to help establish these facts.
Negligence might not be immediately apparent – so it’s important that you work with an experienced attorney who understands how to spot a negligent property owner.
Get in touch to talk about your case
In New York City alone, thousands of premises liability cases won’t be heard because people are unsure about whether or not they have a case. Sadly, even though these accidents have resulted in medical expenses or pain and discomfort, this means thousands of people go without the compensation they deserve.
If you’ve had an accident on someone else’s property and suffered an injury, let us decide if you’ve got a case or not. We’ll arrange an informal free consultation where we can chat about what’s happened and advise whether or not a premises liability lawsuit could bring you the support you need.
How will a New York premises liability lawyer help me?
On the surface, a premises liability case can look simple – but when you start to explore the facts of the case, it can get very complex, very quickly.
At Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP, we shoulder all the hard, time-consuming work so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. That work will often include:
- Speaking quickly to property owners. They will almost inevitably blame you for your situation – so a real version of events needs to be established. This kind of work is best done quickly so memories don’t become hazy and there’s no question that all parties have a clear version of events.
- We will talk to insurance companies about your accident. Despite what they claim, they’re not on your side. In fact, insurers aim to bring down the value of your claim as much as possible – so we’ll handle them.
- We’ll explore who is liable for damages. This may be one company or person – but it could be several. We’ll make sure the investigation establishes the facts.
- We’ll work as quickly as possible to make sure you don’t lose out because of a statute of limitations. Speed is of the essence when it comes to witnesses and evidence too. Evidence can be lost very quickly – and witnesses become less credible the longer they’ve been given after your incident.
- We’ll work out what your case is worth. It’s essential that this isn’t left to insurers to decide – so we’ll explore all the possible outcomes of your injury and give you an accurate and trustworthy figure that we’ll then help to pursue.
A law firm that understands you
There’s much more to an attorney/client relationship than simply finding a firm of NYC premises liability lawyers who’ll take your case. You should work with someone you feel understands you, listens when you talk, and truly wants whats best for you.
At Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP, we’re proud to say that we always put our clients first. We listen when you talk – and we’ll never push you towards and decision or outcome that we wouldn’t be happy taking ourselves. What’s more, we speak 5 different languages and understand the myriad of different cultures we have here in New York City. We strive to make you feel welcome, comfortable, and heard.