Let’s say you’re in a grocery store, a restaurant, or a department store. You slip and fall on a sticky or wet floor, and you are seriously injured. To prove that you were injured because of negligence, and to be compensated, you’ll need the help of a NY premises liability lawyer.

In New York, the law requires property owners to maintain properties in a manner that reduces (or if possible eliminates) risks to visitors. Should properties not be maintained appropriately, owners may be liable for accidents and injuries that happen on their properties.

How is “premises liability” defined? What steps should you take if you’ve been injured on private property because the property owner or manager was negligent? How can you be compensated after such an injury?

If you’ll keep reading, these questions will be answered, and you’ll also learn how a premises liability attorney will recover the compensation you are entitled to if you’re injured by a property owner’s negligence in New York.

What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability is a property owner’s liability for hazardous property conditions that include safety code violations; accumulations of ice, snow, or liquids; broken windows or locks; and other hazards posing risks to visitors, clients, customers, or tenants.

Thousands are injured every year in the U.S. by tripping or slipping and falling on private property. The causes of serious slip-and-fall injuries include dangerous staircases, slick floors, broken tiles, poor lighting, curled or worn-out carpeting, and potholes in parking areas.

Injuries are also caused by runaway shopping carts, retail displays that tip over, and merchandise falling from high shelves. Private property owners may be liable for injuries in elevators or on escalators, food poisoning, dog bites, bed bugs, and a number of other health and safety hazards.

If You’re Injured By Negligence on Private Property, What Are Your Rights?

If you’re injured on private property in New York because a property owner was negligent, the law entitles you to compensation for injury-related medical costs, lost earnings, pain, and suffering, and related losses.

However, to acquire your compensation, you and your attorney may have to show how the owner of the property was negligent in a way that directly caused your accident and injury.

Anyone who is injured because a property owner was negligent will need the sound legal advice and aggressive, effective representation that the right New York premises liability attorney will provide.

If you are injured in an accident on private property, seek medical attention immediately, and then schedule a consultation with a premises liability attorney who will discuss your legal rights, your options, and how the law applies to your own case.

What is Required If You File a Premises Liability Claim?

Succeeding with a premises liability claim requires the victim and his or her lawyer to prove each one of these charges:

  1. The defendant (the property owner) owed the plaintiff (the injury victim) a duty of care.
  2. The defendant’s negligence constituted a breach of that duty.
  3. The defendant’s negligence directly caused the plaintiff’s injury.

You must actually be injured in order to bring a premises liability claim. If you slip and fall because someone spilled juice at the supermarket, but you’re not hurt and you walk away, while the store breached the duty of care that it owes you, if there’s no injury, you have no case.

What Should Property Owners Know About Their Duties?

The duty owed to others depends on several factors. Homeowners, for example, are required only to keep their premises reasonably safe, to warn visitors about known and potential hazards, and to avoid creating risks for visitors.

Retailers and others doing business with the general public must take reasonable steps to protect visitors from potential risks and injuries. You can warn visitors to your home about the cracks in your sidewalk, but when a sidewalk is part of your business, it must be fixed as soon as possible.

If you suffer an injury on another party’s property, whether it’s a business or a residence, you should be able to say exactly why you were visiting when you were injured. Listed below are only several of many possible examples that would constitute a breach of the duty of care:

  1.  not locking a pool area to keep toddlers out
  2. not warning guests that you have an aggressive dog
  3. not quickly cleaning up spilled liquid on a supermarket’s floor
  4. not keeping areas accessible to the public reasonably free of debris and other risks

What Must Be Considered in Premises Liability Cases?

Listed below are the questions that are usually asked – and that usually must be answered – in most premises liability cases:

  1.  Should the property owner have known about the hazard?
  2.  Does the property owner conduct regular maintenance of the premises?
  3.  If so, is there documentation of this maintenance?
  4. Could some warning or action have prevented the accident and injury?
  5. Was broken lighting or insufficient lighting a factor?

Sometimes the exact nature of a property owner’s negligence isn’t easy to identify or determine. That’s why, if you are injured on private property anywhere in or near New York City, you must contact a Bronx premises liability lawyer as soon as you’ve been treated by a medical provider.

What If You’re Injured at Work?

Generally speaking, employers cannot be sued for injuries that happen on the job. In New York, injuries at work are almost always covered by workers’ compensation, so a workers’ comp claim – rather than a premises liability claim – is usually the legal remedy for work-related injuries.

However, if a third party played any part in the accident that caused your injury at work – a client, a contractor, or an equipment manufacturer, for example – you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim against that third party.

What Else Should You Know About Premises Liability?

Your attorney needs to examine the evidence while it’s fresh and speak to the witnesses before their memories fade. If you have been injured by a property owner’s negligence in New York, compensation is your right, but you must make the call to a premises liability lawyer at once.

If you and your attorney proceed with a premises liability claim, you will owe your attorney nothing unless and until that attorney recovers your compensation with an out-of-court settlement or a jury verdict.

Your first consultation with a New York premises liability attorney is offered without cost or obligation. Make the call and take advantage of the opportunity to learn how the law applies to your own case and to receive the personalized legal advice you will need.