When you are out in New York City seeing the latest live show, having a drink with some friends from work, or even just grabbing some groceries, you are usually focused on the task at hand. In most cases, things progress as expected and you go about your day.
Although most locations are usually well-managed, there can be exceptions. Oftentimes, these exceptions can wreak havoc on patrons and lead to harmful accidents.
Premises that are not well-maintained can often lead to situations where a routine hazard is left to endanger visitors. Sadly, a lot of accidents are caused by one of many forms of negligence. When visiting poorly-maintained locations, you may find a number of things that should be cleaned up or fixed. If these responsibilities are neglected, slips, trips, falls, and other injuries may occur.
If you or someone you know has been injured while on someone else’s property, you may need to file a lawsuit. If you are successful, you may be able to recover your losses from the injuries and subsequent damages that occurred as a result of the accident. You may be inclined to pursue this potential compensation on your own, but working with experienced New York premises liability lawyers from Shulman & Hill could help you collect compensation for your losses.
What Is Premises Liability?
Property owners have a duty to make sure that their property is safe for invited guests. In the case of businesses and other public locations, the general public is considered “invited.” Premises liability can occur when the owner of the property breaches the duty of care to keep the premises safe.
When you set foot in a New York establishment, you are owed a duty of care. This duty of care is that the places you visit (for business or pleasure) are to be kept clean and safe. Ideally, patrons should be able to go about their day without fear of injury or accident. Locations that are well-managed and maintained emphasize protocols that strive to provide safe conditions for visitors. In a perfect world, hazards that could plague visitors or create a dangerous situation should be actively sought out and remedied.
A breach of this duty of care could include any number of things. Whether you are met with a wet floor that lacked signage or a cracked floor tile, there are countless ways for a property owner’s negligence to cause a visitor’s injuries. This liability also applies to public property like playgrounds, walkways, and even personal property like a neighbor’s backyard or a daycare provider’s kitchen.
Different Types Of Premises Liability Accidents
No matter how careful you are or how prepared you may be, accidents can and will happen at some point. Unfortunately, accidents like slip and falls happen every day. In many cases, these incidents do not occur because the victim is “clumsy” or “should have been paying more attention.” It is often because there was a hazard or danger that the property owner or manager failed to take care of. Some of the most common accident types include:
Slip And Falls
Slip and falls are among the most common accident types in the United States (second only to car crashes). A slip and fall accident occurs when a victim slips or trips over a hazard on the floor. The floor might be wet, poorly maintained, or someone may have dropped or spilled something. In areas like New York, these accidents are very common due to the snow and ice in parking lots and on sidewalks. If it is not cleared quickly or sufficiently, it can present a danger for those who inhabit the business. Even in situations where snow has been cleared, it can be tracked into a store and lead to an accident indoors.
Dogs are widely considered man’s best friend, but not all are comfortable around strangers and visitors. If you are visiting someone and their dog (or other animal) attacks or bites you, you may suffer serious injuries that can often lead to permanent scarring.
Assault & Battery
While the state’s attorney can often handle the criminal prosecution of the suspect in an assault case, the owner of the property where the crime happened may face civil liability. If you were in a parking lot or multi-level garage, disregard for poor lighting and lack of security cameras can often leave a property owner liable.
How Fault Is Determined In a New York Premises Liability Case
Before you or your attorney can proceed with your claim, you must be able to demonstrate fault. This can often depend on the type of location where the injury occurred and numerous other factors. In fact, filing a police report can be immensely helpful and create a paper trail for your case.
For example, if you are at a department store and someone precariously places a heavy item on a shelf, it could soon lead to a premises liability issue. If an employee walks past it several times and it later falls and injures a customer’s foot, the store would be liable.
On the other hand, if you picked up a heavy item, placed it back precariously, and it falls on your own foot, that was probably not due to any negligence on the part of the store. Obviously, you may have to take responsibility for your mistake in this instance.
Why Working With Shulman & Hill Can Help
Filing a premises liability lawsuit is not something most people can do with any high degree of success. At least not without help from a lawyer. Unless you have a legal background, you may have to jump through some unfamiliar hoops to pursue compensation. In addition to the burden of building the case and proving liability and injury, you may need to go head-to-head with an insurance company. When you work with the attorneys at Shulman & Hill, you will have a wealth of legal knowledge at your disposal. Contact our team at Shulman & Hill for a free consultation.