How Can I Prove Negligence in a Premises Liability Case?

Brooklyn Premises Liability Lawyers

Did you slip and fall in a restaurant, trip on a sidewalk near a store, or otherwise suffer an injury on someone’s property? In legal terms, this would be a premises liability case. 

When taking legal action for premises accidents, you need solid proof, like photos, medical records, and witness statements. Sometimes, it’s not immediately obvious who caused the accident, and the other side will jump through hoops to avoid responsibility. A New York City premises liability lawyer can explain what evidence you’ll need to take action after an injury case on someone’s property. 

What Exactly Is Premises Liability?

Property liability lawsuits work like regular personal injury cases, the distinction being that the injury happens on someone’s property rather than in a public space. A stretch of sidewalk near a building counts as part of the premises for liability purposes. 

Property owners must make a reasonable effort to keep their premises safe from hazards and/or warn people about these hazards. This includes fixing an unstable railing on a staircase or putting up a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign in a store’s passage. A premises liability case hinges on proving that the property owner neglected such precautions and that this negligence caused the victim’s injury.

According to state data, over 150,000 New Yorkers require hospitalization for injuries every year. Injury and poisonings are common hospitalization causes for all ages and the third-highest ranking causes for people aged 65+ in NYC. It’s hard to tell how many of these accidents happen on someone else’s property, but personal injury law firms in NYC see high numbers of premises liability claims. 

Common liability cases related to property incidents involve slips, trips, falls, escalator and elevator accidents, falling objects, and accidents in swimming pools and amusement parks.

Important Evidence for Premises Liability Cases

As in many other lawsuit types, like discrimination cases, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. In other words, you must prove that the property owner neglected to keep their premises safe and that this negligence led to your injury. Furthermore, you must show that you had the right to be on the property (for example, as a client or passerby) and weren’t trespassing.

The following evidence is often useful in liability claims for property incidents. 

Photos and Videos

Unless you need urgent medical care, you should stay on the incident scene long enough to take photos and videos of the dangerous conditions leading to your injury, like an icy sidewalk or a faulty escalator. If you don’t do that immediately, the property owner could quickly remove the hazard and pretend it never existed.

Accident Records

It’s always advisable to inform the police of your accident and request a copy of the police report. This is especially important if you experience assault because of a property owner’s negligent security. 

You should also inform the property owner or manager of the accident, preferably in writing, so they are aware and have a record of it for future reference. Save all communication with the property owner. Be sure to write a detailed account of the accident while your memory is fresh.

Property Records or Lease Agreements

A property record or lease agreement will help show who was responsible for keeping the property safe at the time of your injury. Such records are helpful if the responsible party sells the property or ends their lease after the accident. 

Medical Records

Please see a doctor after your accident, even if your injury seems minor. Your condition may be a lot more serious than you think at first. Follow all treatment recommendations to a T to protect your health and your right to claim compensation.

Your medical documentation will be key evidence in your claim. You may also need prior medical records to show that your injuries happened because of the accident instead of a preexisting condition. 

Witness Statements

If others were on the scene when your accident happened, try to collect their names and contact info. Witness statements may help document the hazard leading to your injury. For example, witnesses may confirm that a store’s parking lot was poorly lit or that a landlord neglected to repair a loose floorboard. 

Records of Your Losses

You’ll need to provide detailed records of all accident-related costs to calculate your losses. These may include your medical bills, records of days you could not work, and the expenses of traveling to and from medical appointments.

If your injury has a long-term impact, your attorney will also help you calculate prospective losses, like any medical treatment you’ll likely need in the future and income you’ll lose if you can’t return to your former line of work. 

Do You Need an NYC Premises Liability Lawyer?

Premises Liability Lawsuits in New York

A lot of money is on the table in premises liability claims and lawsuits. According to the Lawsuit Information Center, the median personal injury trial award in New York is $287,628, and that’s not counting punitive damages. In contrast, the national median is $34,550.

With so much to lose, you can be sure the at-fault side and their insurance company will do everything to dodge responsibility. Hiding evidence, shifting blame to the victim, and denying the severity of the damage are common tactics. While self-representing minor claims is possible, you should work with an NYC premises liability lawyer after a serious accident.

Your attorney can:

  • Help you determine who’s responsible for compensating you
  • Gather and present compelling evidence 
  • Give you a realistic evaluation of your case’s worth
  • Negotiate with the other side’s insurance company and lawyers 
  • Advise you on possible options, like accepting a settlement offer or taking your case to trial

Call Ross & Hill If You Sustained an Injury on Someone Else’s Property in NYC

When suffering an injury on someone else’s property, choosing the right premises liability lawyer can make a huge difference in your case’s outcome.

At Ross & Hill, we’ve been advocating for injured people’s rights for almost 40 years. Our experienced litigators will provide the assertive legal support you need from the start of your premises liability case until its resolution.

Call 718-855-2324 or contact us online for a free consultation with a Brooklyn premises liability lawyer.


How much time do I have to file a claim after suffering an injury on someone’s property?

For nearly all premises liability cases, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the injury. However, there may be some exceptions, for example, if you were under 18 when the accident happened. 

What if I’m partially at fault for my accident?

In New York, you can collect compensation in a premises liability claim even if you were partly responsible for the accident. However, your settlement would be lower proportionally to your degree of fault.

What does a settlement usually cover in a premises liability case?

Your settlement may cover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to tangible costs, like medical bills and lost wages, while non-economic damages include physical pain, emotional suffering, and diminished quality of life. 

How much can I expect to pay for a premises accident legal representation?

Reputable personal injury lawyers, including Ross & Hill, usually work on a contingency basis. This means you only pay when your lawyer successfully resolves your case and you collect your payout. Please reach out to us for more details about fees in premises liability cases. 

We are here for you if you have further questions about your case and rights.

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