Yes, you can sue someone if you hurt yourself on their private property on Long Island. To do so, you must prove that the property’s owner or manager acted negligently, causing your accident and injuries.
In a premises liability claim, you must furnish evidence showing that another party owed you a duty of care. When a property owner or manager has hazards on their property and allows visitors, they open themselves up to liability in the event of an accident. Ultimately, to recover compensation, you will need to prove how another party acted negligently.
Negligence can occur when a party fails to provide a duty of care that “someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances,” as per the Legal Information Institute (LII).
Types of Premises Liability Cases
When an unsafe condition causes an injury on someone else’s property, the party that owns or maintains the property could be held liable for the injury.
For example, you suffer a dog bite at your friend’s house. Dog bites fall under the category of premises liability because the dog could be an unsafe condition on the property if they are prone to biting. According to Agriculture & Markets (AGM) §123 (2)(e), a dog owner could be liable if their pet injures someone.
Premises liability cases may stem from:
- Inadequate maintenance of the property
- Defective conditions
- Water leaks
- Slip and falls
- Snow accidents
- Ice accidents
- Lack of security on the property
- Elevator accidents
- Escalator accidents
- Amusement park injuries
- Swimming pool injuries
- Toxic chemicals
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900
Steps to Proving a Property Owner Was Negligent
A successful premises liability case requires proving that the defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Any act of negligence could range from a store clerk ignoring a water spill to a homeowner failing to fix a broken handrail on their property.
To prove the defendant was negligent in their actions, a plaintiff must prove the four elements of negligence:
- The property owner owed the plaintiff a duty of care.
- The property owner breached this duty of care.
- The plaintiff suffered an injury.
- The property owner’s breach directly caused the plaintiff’s injury.
A property owner’s duty of care is to protect visitors from suffering undue harm on their property. A property owner can protect visitors from harm by remedying any hazards, alerting visitors of any unfixed hazards, and performing inspections of their property.
If a property owner fails to do these things, and a visitor suffers injury on their property, they may be liable for those injuries and any related losses.
Evidence You May Need to Sue Someone for an Injury on Their Property
Plaintiffs in premises liability claims can present evidence that proves negligence and the existence of an injury. When proving fault, a police report may directly list the party responsible for the accident. A copy of a police report may also include the contact information of eyewitnesses. Eyewitness testimony can help establish how an accident occurred.
In addition to proving fault, plaintiffs must also present evidence that establishes the injuries and other losses they suffered.
Other evidence that may be useful in suing someone is photographs and surveillance video. A photograph of the dangerous condition can paint a clear picture of what caused the injury. Additionally, photographs may also document the plaintiff’s injury. Surveillance video obtained at the property may have also captured the moment a plaintiff was injured.
Begin a Free Consultation with the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP
While you can sue someone if you hurt yourself on their private property on Long Island, you typically must do so within three years from the date of the accident, per Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) §214(5). This is known as the statute of limitations, which determines how long claimants have to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you fail to file within that time, you may end up paying out of pocket for your injuries.
There are other reasons to act quickly. The sooner you act, the sooner a Long Island premises liability lawyer from the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP can get started assessing your claim. Our law firm will conduct a full investigation to establish liability and the damages you have sustained. We also work on a contingency-fee-basis, so you can hire a lawyer at no upfront, out-of-pocket cost to you.
Contact us today at (516) 358-6900 to begin a free consultation.