If you get hurt on someone else’s property or while on business or municipal premises, who is liable for your injuries? Can you file an insurance claim, or do you have to seek compensation through a lawsuit?
When a property owner fails to maintain a safe property or is aware of dangerous conditions on the property and does not correct the issue, they could be liable for injuries on their property. Claims for injuries that happen on another person’s property are premises liability claims.
Keep reading to learn more about premises liability from a New York premises liability lawyer with Ross & Hill in New York City. See how common certain injuries are, what to do after a premises injury, possible compensation you can seek in your case, and how to find a reputable New York City premises liability lawyer for your case.
Common Causes of Premises Injuries
There are several ways a person might suffer injuries on another’s property, including:
- Slip, trip, and fall
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Elevator or escalator injuries
- Ceiling collapse
- Improperly built or maintained stairways
- Code violations
- Insufficient lighting
- School or daycare accidents
- Hotel accidents
- Supermarket accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Window accidents
- Negligent security
- Dog bite injuries
Among adults 65 and older in New York State, two suffer fatal fall accidents every day, according to the New York State Department of Health. Additionally, 140 seniors suffer serious injuries from falls resulting in hospitalization, and 223 visit emergency rooms and clinics for fall injuries.
While most fall injuries occur in the home, they can also happen while on someone else’s private or public property. The CDC reports that over 800,000 people suffer a head injury, hip fracture, or other serious injury leading to hospitalization each year. Common causes of fall injuries outside of the home include slipping on ice, tripping on uneven pavement, and insufficient safety measures like handrails.
When Is a Property or Business Owner Responsible for an Injury?
The key considerations in a premises liability case are:
- Whether the owner was negligent in their duty of care toward you when on their property
- If you shared in that negligence regarding your own well-being at the time of the accident
These liability suits are common in grocery stores where spills happen frequently. Customers don’t always see a hazard and get hurt when they slip and fall on a spilled product or wet spot near cold storage. If the store management was aware of the hazard and failed to post appropriate signage and clean up the spill, the store could be liable for damages to the victim.
Personal injury lawyers in New York have also argued premises liability cases involving:
- Trips on damaged sidewalks against a municipality
- Fires in apartment buildings and offices against landlords
- Dog bites that occurred on the owner’s property
- Slips in parking lots against a lot owner or municipality
An experienced New York premises liability lawyer can help you determine liability in your case.
What to Do After Suffering an Injury on Someone’s Property
If you slip, trip, fall, or suffer an injury on someone’s property, gather as much evidence as you can at the scene, including:
- Write a recounting of events leading to the accident as soon as possible after your injury.
- Take pictures of the scene to show the dangerous conditions on the property.
- Collect statements and contact information from witnesses.
You’ll need accurate evidence to file claims with insurance companies, appeal denials, or file lawsuits. Your premises liability attorney can help you collect police reports, medical records, witness testimony, and security footage to begin building your case.
Compensation You Can Seek for a Premises Liability Case
You can potentially seek both economic and non-economic damages for a premises liability case.
- Economic damages include any costs or lost earnings associated with your injury, including medical bills, lost wages, travel costs for treatment, rehabilitation, and physical therapy.
- Non-economic damages include additional sums to compensate for pain and suffering, long-term disability, loss of quality of life, and other conditions resulting from the accident that have value.
In cases where the property owner (the defendant) demonstrated gross negligence and failure to maintain a safe condition on the property, the court may award you (the plaintiff) punitive damages. Punitive damages are additional costs the defendant must pay as punishment for their actions that led to your injuries. The negligence must have been willful, deliberate, or in complete disregard for the safety of others.
Wrongful Death Due to Premises Liability
Sometimes a person passes away due to the injuries they sustained in an accident on someone’s property, leaving a bereaved family behind. Unlike in other states, only a representative of the decedent’s estate may bring a wrongful death claim forward, not any family member.
Damages in wrongful death cases are different, too. Compensation in New York does not include pain and suffering of the survivors or loss of companionship. The estate representative may pursue damages, including:
- Final expenses for the funeral and burial
- Medical bills attributed to the injuries from the accident
- The value of contributions the decedent would have made to their household, including future earnings, household chores, and emotional support
- The value of parental support and guidance to surviving children
- The estimated value of the decedent’s pain and suffering before passing
The typical statute of limitations to file a wrongful death case in New York is two years from the date of the decedent’s passing.
Contact Ross & Hill to Speak with an Experienced New York Premises Liability Attorney
Finding a premises liability lawyer with hands-on experience with New York personal injury law can’t wait. You need an experienced personal injury attorney to review your case and determine the liable party responsible for your injuries to file a claim.
Turn to the experienced team of personal injury lawyers at Ross & Hill for help with a premises liability case. We have over 40 years of helping victims in New York, NY.
Get a free case evaluation with experienced New York premises liability lawyer today.