How Do I Know If I Have a Premises Liability Claim?

Premises Liability Lawsuits in New York

If you sustained an injury on another person’s property, you may have grounds for a premises liability claim. Assuming your claim is successful, the property owner (or their insurance company) will pay you for the damages you experienced. However, your case must meet certain criteria to qualify for a claim. 

So, how do you know if you have a premises liability claim? Scheduling a consultation with a New York premises liability lawyer can help you determine whether your case meets these criteria. But first, you can explore the information below to learn more about this type of claim, the protocol for seeking appropriate compensation, and how an experienced legal professional can be an invaluable ally throughout the process. 

Common Examples of Premises Liability Claims

Premises liability” is an umbrella term for accidents on private property where the property owner is negligent. Common examples include:

  • Slip-and-fall accidents
  • Dog bite claims
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Inadequate maintenance
  • Elevator accidents
  • Injuries from lack of security

According to the Department of Health, New York City sees approximately 5,000 dog bite cases a year. While swimming pool accidents are less common, according to the CDC, as many as 30% of all drownings occur in swimming pools. 

Elements of a Premises Liability Claim 

Just because you experienced an injury on another person’s property does not automatically give you grounds for a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Instead, your case must meet these four essential criteria: 

  • The property owner owed you a duty of care.
  • The property owner breached that duty of care.
  • An accident occurred. 
  • You suffered an injury from the accident. 

Working with a Brooklyn premises liability lawyer is crucial for proving these criteria and building a strong premises liability case. 

Duty of Care in Premises Liability Claims

Duty of care refers to people’s inherent responsibility to protect others’ safety and prevent accidents. This concept applies to many personal injury cases. For example, drivers owe a duty of care to promote driver and pedestrian safety while on the road. 

Any New York premises liability lawyer will tell you that property owners automatically owe a duty of care to certain types of visitors to their properties. State law recognizes three main types of visitors:

  • Invitee: Someone directly or indirectly invited to a property for business purposes, such as a customer at a store.
  • Licensee: Someone directly or indirectly invited for social purposes or their benefit. This type could include someone who goes to their friend’s house to hang out or enters a business to use the restroom without making a purchase. 
  • Trespasser: Someone who enters a property without the owner’s consent. 

Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees, but they also owe a duty to licensees. Even if a property owner did not expressly invite someone to their property, as long as they allowed that person to enter, they owe them a duty of care to remove dangerous conditions and prevent accidents. 

Meanwhile, property owners typically do not owe a duty of care to trespassers. The main exception is when children trespass on a property; a property owner may still be liable for a swimming pool accident involving a child even if that child was technically trespassing. 

Working with New York City’s premises liability lawyer can help you determine the property owner’s duty of care in your accident. 

Proving Your Premises Liability Claim in NYC

To prove property owner negligence in a premises liability claim, you must show that the property owner knew or reasonably should have known about the hazard that caused your injury. The property owner must have had enough time to mitigate the hazard. 

For example, many people wonder whether they can blame a property owner when they slip and fall on ice on private property. According to the CDC, as many as one million people experience injuries from falling on ice and snow each year. 

However, to hold the property owner liable, victims must prove that the property owner reasonably should have known about the ice and had enough time to remove it. If someone slipped on ice in the middle of an ice storm, that wouldn’t be the property owner’s fault. 

Your New York premises liability lawyer can help you collect evidence proving these elements of negligence in your claim. Evidence may include:

  • Photos or videos of the accident scene
  • Witness testimonies supporting the pre-existence of the hazard
  • Evidence of previous accidents caused by a similar hazard 

For example, if you’re proving negligent security, you can point to other safety issues and crimes on the property leading up to the incident. These can show that the property owner knew the risks of inadequate security yet failed to make any changes. 

Common Mistakes in Premises Liability Cases 

Brooklyn Premises Liability Lawyers

Building a strong premises liability claim involves extensive evidence collection and careful attention to the elements of your case. Avoiding the following mistakes can help ensure that you have a solid premises liability claim:

  • Failing to report the accident. If your accident happened at a business, report it to the manager. You can also file a police report after the accident as essential evidence. 
  • Denying or delaying medical attention. You’ll need to prove you suffered injuries from the accident. Seeking medical attention ASAP can tie your injuries to the accident and prove your damages. 
  • Neglecting to gather evidence at the accident scene. Without evidence, you don’t have a premises liability claim. Much of your evidence will become lost once you leave the scene, but your New York premises liability lawyer can help you gather additional evidence as part of your claim. 

Contact an NYC Premises Liability Lawyer for Assistance

Working with an attorney is crucial in determining whether you have a premises liability claim. Your attorney can examine the elements of your case and determine whether the property owner was negligent. If they were, they can guide you through an insurance claim or lawsuit and help you maximize your compensation. 

Ross & Hill provides tailored assistance for premises liability victims across NYC. Contact 718-855-2324 to schedule your 100% free consultation with a New York premises liability lawyer, then check out our recent blog post on choosing the right premises liability lawyer.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is an example of premises liability?

Slip-and-fall incidents are common examples of premises liability claims. When customers slip and fall on hazards in a store, such as a wet floor that is not clearly marked or piled merchandise in an aisle, the business owner may be liable for the injuries that occur. 

What is the cause of action for premises liability? 

The cause of action in premises liability cases is that some condition on the property owner’s premises caused the victim harm. These facts justify the victim bringing a legal case against the property owner.

What is comparative negligence in a premises liability claim?  

Comparative negligence in a premises liability claim states that a victim may seek compensation from the negligent property owner as long as the victim was no more than 99% at fault for the accident. 

How do you prove premises liability? 

Proving a premises liability case involves collecting extensive evidence to show that the property owner owed the victim a duty of care and that they reasonably should have known about a hazard that caused the accident. A New York premises liability lawyer can help you determine whether you have grounds for a premises liability claim and gather strong evidence to support your case. 

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