What is a Premises Liability Case? Making the Case for Compensation
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As the injured party, or plaintiff, in a premises liability case, you must prove three things:
- That you were on the property lawfully (or that the owner knew you were trespassing if you were not lawfully present). An invited guest, a hired worker, a contract service provider, a delivery person, or a customer or client of a business obviously would have been lawfully present on the property.
- That an unsafe condition existed for which the owner of the property was negligent. This means that the owner knew about the unsafe condition (or should have known) and did not repair it, rope it off or give adequate warning. If the owner made some repairs that fell short of fixing the dangerous condition, or made it worse, it could still amount to negligence.
- That the injury you suffered was caused by the owner’s negligence.
Generally, if you trespass on someone else’s property and get hurt because of an unsafe condition on the property, even if the owner was aware of the unsafe condition, the owner is not liable for your injuries. There are two exceptions to that rule:
- If the property owner knows that someone is trespassing on the property and allows it to occur, the owner may be liable for injuries just as if the trespasser were invited.
- If a condition of the property would be attractive to children, for example, an unfenced pool, and a child is injured through that attractive, unsafe condition, the owner may be liable for the child’s injuries, even if the child was trespassing unknown to the owner.
Who is Liable for your Injuries from Unsafe Property Conditions?
Public and private property owners and municipalities are responsible for maintaining reasonable safety standards, whether the property is a public building, a private home or a city sidewalk. When they fail to do so, they may be held accountable for personal injuries that result from the unsafe conditions.
In dog-bite cases, if the dog owner is a tenant, the landlord may be held accountable, depending on the circumstances of the case. If someone is mugged or assaulted on private or public property, the property owner may be held liable for the victim’s injuries if they were caused by negligent security, such as poor lighting, broken locks or other insufficient security measures.
What Damages may be Available in a Premises Liability Claim in New York?
In premises liability cases, the amount of damages that can be recovered depends on the extent of the injuries sustained. The more serious and long-lasting the injuries are, the greater the potential compensation may be.
If you have been injured through a property owner’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses – including doctor bills, hospital bills, prescription medications and physical therapy – and for lost wages that result from your injuries. You may also be able to recover damages for your non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life.
Holding Owners of Unsafe Properties Accountable on Long Island
It is important to contact an experienced premises liability attorney as soon as possible after an injury caused by unsafe conditions on a property owned or controlled by someone else. You should be aware that there is a statute of limitations – a time limit for filing a claim – in premises liability actions.
Contact our firm for a free evaluation of your claim and take action to protect your rights now. We are selective in the cases we accept, but you can rest assured that if we take on your case, we will vigorously pursue the maximum damages you are entitled to receive for your claim.