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Premises Liability

Premises Liability

Property owners have a legal duty to keep their property in a safe condition and to warn visitors of any hidden hazards that might exist. New York law provides that owners and occupiers of land owe a duty to each entrant to exercise ordinary, reasonable care under the circumstances. This rule means that a property owner must take reasonable steps to ensure that the environment is safe to any party that may foreseeably come on to the premises. Those injured on another’s property, due to the property owner’s negligence, may be awarded monetary compensation for injuries.

In many states and under traditional law, there are different categories of people (e.g invitee, licensee, trespasser) that can enter one’s property, with varying standards of protection awarded to each. However, New York has gotten rid of the traditional categories and now uses one uniform standard. This uniform standard states that the landowner’s duty is to: “act reasonably to maintain safe conditions in view of all circumstances including likelihood of injury, seriousness thereof and burden of avoiding risk, with likelihood of plaintiff’s presence the primary factor in determining foreseeability.”

It is important to note that home and building owners must abide by all regulations and guidelines in maintenance and construction, as dictated by the particular municipality’s building codes and rules.

To establish liability the victim must show that:

  • the property owner had a duty to maintain the property;
  • it was foreseeable that the injured party would be present on the property;
  • there was a hazardous condition;
  • the property owner had notice of the condition, should have discovered the condition, or created the condition; and
  • the injured party was injured as a result of the condition.

Premise liability lawsuits come in many forms. Some common forms of premise liability hazards are:

  • uneven surfaces;
  • broken stairs or handrails;
  • inadequate lighting;
  • hidden hazards inside and around the property;
  • wet floors; and
  • falling objects.

If you have been injured on the property of another due to a hazardous condition, it is important that you look into the viability of a lawsuit as soon as possible. The statute of limitations varies greatly depending on the entity you are suing, whether it be a private owner, a city, a government agency, a public authority, or another entity.

The firm of Zalman Schnurman & Miner P.C. is incredibly experienced in handling premise liability lawsuits. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars in damages for victims injured in premise liability cases. If you were injured due to the fault of another, please do not hesitate to reach out to our firm for a free consultation.

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