Premises Liability FAQ
Common Questions About Premises Accident Claims
Speak with a New York City personal injury attorney if you were hurt on someone else’s property. The team at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. is experienced in premises liability laws in New York and we’re prepared to defend our injured clients’ rights to compensation. Read these answers to frequently asked questions about premises liability, or call The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. today at (212) 577-9325 to schedule a free case review.
Is someone responsible for my injury?
A property owner may be legally responsible for injuries to others caused by defective, hazardous, or dangerous conditions on their property. This includes injuries to tenants and visitors from conditions in common areas in buildings they own, like lobbies and stairways, and even conditions in a tenant’s apartment, under certain circumstances. They may also be responsible for injuries caused by conditions on the sidewalk in front of their building or property, although in certain circumstances only the city, state, or other municipality is responsible for sidewalk conditions.
Property owners are especially responsible if they were aware of the condition, or should have been aware of the condition, and did not take fast enough or reasonable action to fix or remedy the condition. Municipal (state and city government) property owners are also responsible under the law for conditions on their property, except there are additional rules that apply to city and state property owners in New York.
I was injured on someone else’s property. What can I do?
If you were injured as a result of a defective, dangerous, or hazardous condition on someone else’s property, including a city, state, or the federal government, you may be able to bring a claim and/or lawsuit for money damages. This includes compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages arising out of the accident.
What are examples of hazardous property conditions?
The following are some examples of defective, dangerous, and hazardous conditions:
- Holes and other openings
- Slippery floors, from water, ice, food, or other slippery substances
- Snow and ice
- Broken, cracked, and uneven steps
- Broken, cracked, and uneven sidewalks
- Foreign objects sticking out of the floor, steps, or sidewalk
- Stairs without railings and without proper lighting
How do I know if the owner is liable?
This is a question you should consult with an attorney about, but, for the most part, to find a property owner responsible under New York law for dangerous conditions that cause injury, you must prove that they had either “actual notice” or “constructive notice” of the condition and did not take reasonable actions to fix or remedy it.
“Actual notice,” means that the owner of the property knew about the hazard before the accident, either because they created it themselves, found it themselves, or because someone else told them about it.
This becomes more complicated to determine and prove with temporary hazards. In these cases, like spills, it is important to show that the condition existed in a location for a long enough period of time that the owner should have known about it. Under the law, this is called “constructive notice.” The amount of time that passed since the hazard was first created is important to know. If minimal time passed between the creation of the hazard and the accident, it is less likely to hold the property owner liable for your injuries. If a large amount of time passed, or if hazards frequently occur in the area, then the property owner is more likely to be found liable for your injuries.
What defenses can I expect to be raised against my claim of injury on someone else’s property?
Property owners will almost inevitably insist that they did not have “notice” of the hazard or condition, meaning they didn’t know about it so they could not have done anything about it. For example, if you were injured after slipping and falling on a wet spot, they may argue that they were not made aware of the spill in time to clean it up.
They may also argue that you acted negligently and failed to observe the hazard in an attempt to have the case thrown out or substantially reduce the compensation you receive.
Why choose The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C.
At The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., our New York personal injury attorneys have decades of experience with premises liability cases and know how to fight against property owners to hold them liable for your injuries in order to secure the compensation you deserve.