All property owners have a responsibility to practice a reasonable standard of care and provide a safe environment for those who utilize their space. When these duties are violated, people can get hurt, and a property owner can be held legally liable for damages in a premises liability claim. Below, find answers to some frequently asked questions about premises liability issues.
Answers to Common Questions About Premises Liability
What are some examples of premises liability cases?
Slips and falls are common premises liability claims. Examples of such injuries can include falling on an unshoveled sidewalk or slipping on spilled water on a restaurant floor. The condition of the floor or ground itself (such as broken floor tiles or crumbling pavement) can also cause an injury. Also falling under the category of premises liability are injuries from dog bites, electrical wiring, elevator or escalator failures, and lead poisoning, to name several.
What conditions should a premises liability case include?
All cases need to include three conditions. First, you had a right to be on the property at the time the injury was sustained. Second, the owner was negligent in their failure to remedy the unsafe condition in a timely manner, thereby causing your injury. Third, the negligence resulted in a verifiable injury that has limited your ability to live your life in some way.
Can you file a premises liability case if you were injured while trespassing?
In most cases, you cannot file a premises liability case if your injury occurred while you were trespassing. Generally, the owner needs to at least be aware that you are on the property and allow your presence there. There are, however, several exceptions. If the owner knows a person is trespassing but still allows it, they can be held liable for damages. Also, if there is an "attractive nuisance" on the property, like a pool or a jungle gym that appeals to a child who is then injured because of the nuisance, the owner is legally responsible.
What kind of duty do property owners owe to people who use their property?
An owner must take reasonable steps to ensure their property is safe from potential dangers. The definition of “reasonable” can be open to some interpretation, but it essentially means that an owner is tasked with inspecting, finding, and correcting hazards in those areas a guest will be able to access.
If you've been injured because of a property owner's negligence, your first step is to hire an attorney. Stephen B. Kaufman, P.C., has more than 40 years of experience as a Bronx premises liability and personal injury attorney. He offers comprehensive, proactive representation in all types of injury claims and will work to safeguard your rights and get you the needed compensation. Call (718) 822-0500 or visit his website to schedule a free consultation.