Were You Injured on Someone Else’s Property? We Can Help.
Whether you walk into a business, a public building, or even someone else’s residence, the property owner has an obligation to keep the premises safe, secure, and free of the risk of injury. Unfortunately, it’s all too common on the news to hear about a person who suffered a serious, and sometimes fatal, injury after slipping and falling while on someone’s property.
Depending on the injury, victims of a slip-and-fall accident may have to contend with significant life changes. In addition to potentially steep medical expenses, your future earning income could be impacted, and you will likely suffer the emotional pain that comes along with any serious injury. It’s not surprising that any victim in this situation would search for an opportunity to hold the right person accountable and seek compensation.
Fortunately, anyone who finds themselves in this situation does not have to go through the process alone. At Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP, our experienced team can guide you through the difficult process of filing your claim, gathering evidence, and providing proper representation to effectively fight your case. To learn more about your legal options, call us at 212-203-4795 for a free case evaluation.
What Is a Premises Liability Case?
Under New York law, all commercial property owners have a legal responsibility to keep their premises safe, secure, and free of any potential hazards. This is referred to as a “duty of care,” and before you file your premises liability claim, it’s important to understand the details of this law. While the duty of care applies to all business owners, it doesn’t necessarily apply to private property owners. For these individuals, everyone who visits their property falls under these three categories:
- Invitees: any guest who has entered the property through the express consent or invitation of the property owner. The owner in this case holds the largest duty of care to protect these invitees from any hazardous conditions.
- Licensees: anyone who enters the property with the clear permission of the property owners for that person’s own benefit. For example, a salesperson, utility worker, or other representative from another business would qualify as a licensee. In these cases, the property owner still has a duty of care, however, it is less than their duty of care for invitees. They must warn all licensees who enter the property of any potential hazards.
- Trespassers: an adult who enters the property without permission from the property owner. The owner does not have a duty to ensure the safety of trespassers, but does have an obligation to not deliberately harm them.
A victim who receives a severe injury because a property owner failed to maintain safe conditions, or failed to warn of dangerous conditions, may be able to file a premises liability lawsuit and seek to recover damages. There are many possible issues with a property that can lead to a premises liability lawsuit, including:
- Wet floors
- Broken or Uneven Sidewalks
- Inadequate lighting
- Dangerous stairways/walkways
- Improper security measures
- Inadequate handrails/guardrails
- Poorly maintained swimming pool equipment
Types of Injuries in Premises Liability Cases
New York City is known for its diversity, excitement, and cultural importance. With so many buildings and buildings under construction throughout all five boroughs of New York City, the public is at great risk when property owners are negligent in the maintenance of their properties. Unfortunately, this negligence can cause many serious injuries. Some of the most common injuries in a premises liability case can include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Cuts and lacerations
- Spinal cord damage
- Burn injuries
Damages You Can Recover in a Premises Liability Case
There’s no question that some of the injuries you can receive due to the negligence of a property owner can have significant and long-lasting repercussions on your life. In premises liability cases, the damages you may be able to recover are divided into two groups: “economic” and “non-economic.” Economic damages can include:
- Hospital visits
- Prescription drug costs
- Medical equipment expenses
- Rehabilitative care and household services
- Lost future earnings
- Reduced future earning capacity
Economic damages are quantifiable and must be specifically proven by you in court. Oftentimes, the courts will review previous tax records and other financial information to determine the extent of these damages. Non-economic damages, however, are a little more difficult to pin down. These include:
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of ability to care for family
- Permanent disability
Of course, no amount of money will ever be able to undo the effect that a serious bodily injury can have on your livelihood. Because it can’t be quantified, the damages recovered for emotional suffering can only be determined by a jury.
Determining Fault in a Premises Liability Case
It must be clearly shown that the property owner had a duty of care to you that was breached, and that this breach was the cause of your injuries. A seasoned NYC premises liability attorney will be able to help you by gathering evidence, investigating the accident site, and navigating the legal landscape of New York’s premises liability laws, to ensure your case receives the support it deserves.
The defendants in your case will often do whatever they can to offer you a settlement out of court that is significantly lower than what you deserve. They might argue that there was no negligence, or that the injured victim was trespassing on their property. The state of New York is similar to many other states in that it has “comparative negligence.” Comparative negligence means that the plaintiff, if found to have contributed in any way to the accident, will have his or her jury award reduced by the percentage of fault.
For example, if you slipped and fell on a wet floor in a department store, but you ignored the warning sign, you could be found partly liable for your accident. You will still receive financial compensation for your injuries, but at a reduced amount.
Case Results for Premises Liability Claims
*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome in your case.
Working With an Experienced NYC Personal Injury Attorney
We understand the difficulty in adapting to the long-lasting consequences of your fall while trying to recover your damages in the courtroom. That’s where we can help. At Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP, our team can take the weight off your shoulders. You need strong and effective legal representation to receive the financial compensation you need so you can get back on the path towards healing. To learn more about how Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP, can help you, call our office at 212-203-4795.