Premise Liability

Better known as "Slip and Fall" Accidents
On Your Side

Slip & Fall Accidents

The Basics of Premises Liability

Property owners have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of residents, visitors and guests. When dangerous conditions on private, commercial or public property exist, the property owner has an obligation to take reasonable steps to eliminate and warn of the danger. Where a dangerous condition causes an accident, the property owner may be liable.

Premises Liability Accidents Occur on Private, Public and Commercial Properties

We can help you with nearly any type of accident occurring on another’s property, such as a home, business, hotel, shopping mall, grocery store, parking lot, parking garage, train station, or construction site. While there are many ways you can be hurt, some of the most common premises liability accidents include:

  • Slip-and-fall accidents
  • Dog bites and attacks
  • Stair accidents
  • Elevator accidents
  • College campus
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Negligent security
  • Unsecured construction sites
  • Falling objects

The injuries caused by these accidents can range from broken bones to brain injuries and physical or sexual assault. In the worst cases, permanent disability or wrongful death may be the result.

If you or a family member has suffered an injury on another party’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for losses such as medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, long-term care, and other related expenses. In many cases, people can’t move forward with their lives unless they receive compensation to help deal with these expenses. At RGLZ Personal Injury Law our goal is always to get our clients to a better place than when they came to us.

Slip-and-Fall Accidents: Your Legal Options

A slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident may not sound serious at first, but falls can cause severe injuries such as broken bones, damaged joints, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. In fact, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury and account for approximately 20 percent of spinal cord injuries.

A slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident can be caused by a spill, slick surface, broken or uneven surface, objects on the ground, broken steps, ripped carpet, snow and ice buildup, cracks, or holes. Whether the accident is caused by negligent maintenance or a failure to warn of the problem, the property owner may be liable for resulting injuries.

Whether or not you are entitled to compensation depends on a myriad of factors. Under New York Law, to recover compensation for injuries sustained by a trip or slip and fall, the responsible party must have had notice of the defect or dangerous condition. Proving the existence of notice is essential to bringing a successful case, and can be shown in any of a number of ways. Most simply, written or oral notice complaining of the dangerous condition will satisfy the requirement. Furthermore, a property owner who creates a dangerous condition necessarily has notice of it.

For example, a property owner who has gutters installed that release water into a known pathway has created, and has notice of, a subsequent ice condition that develops on the pathway during periods of sub-zero temperatures. Notice can also be shown by demonstrating proof that the defect existed for a sufficient length of time such that the responsible party should have discovered it through reasonable inspection and maintenance of the property.

It should be noted that special rules apply when suing most municipalities (i.e. town, village, or municipal entity). Subject to some narrow exceptions, the law in New York provides that when bringing a premises liability action against most municipalities, only prior written notice of the defect will suffice. This means a prior written complaint to the municipality about the specific defect that caused your injury must be uncovered to avoid having the claim dismissed. Commonly, this issue arises where someone has been injured as a result of a defective or damaged sidewalk. Even absent written notice of a defective sidewalk, an injured victim may still have an avenue to recover for their injuries. Many towns and villages have passed ordinances that allow an injured victim to hold an adjacent landowner liable for cracked and shifting sidewalks in front of their property. Where such an ordinance exists, the injured person need not demonstrate prior written notice of the defect; however, notice of the defect to the adjacent landowner must still be proven by some means.

A firm grasp of these issues and others are essential to maximizing your available recovery. A slip-and-fall injury can result in significant injury and disability, and to make sure you are protecting your rights, it is best to work with an experienced personal injury law firm.

We can help you with slip-and-fall accidents that occur on private, commercial or public property, including:

  • Grocery stores
  • Discount retailers
  • Shopping malls
  • Restrooms
  • Gas stations
  • Nursing homes
  • Sidewalks
  • Stairs
  • Train and subway stations
  • Parking lots

Frequently Asked Questions

What is premises liability?

Premises liability is an area of the law that involves the duties that a property owner or occupier has to protect visitors, guests, and other entrants from dangerous conditions or defects on their property.

Who is responsible in a premises liability case?