Investing in property has multiple benefits and often provides significant returns on the investment. However, owning a property is not as cut and dried as it may seem. There are many legal responsibilities that are part of a parcel of property ownership.
Property owners are obligated to ensure the general upkeep of the premises as well as adhere to safety regulations. The owner is therefore responsible for making any necessary repairs, eliminating defects, and making sure the property is well maintained in order to ensure the safety of every person on the premises.
Should any defects on the property result in an accident, the property owner is liable and may be open to a premises liability lawsuit. In accordance with state law in New York, a property owner can be held liable for injuries or harm that is a direct result of an accident that was caused by the owner’s negligence. These claims can be complicated and you should speak with a Long Island premises liability lawyer before filing one.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of a property owner and have evidence to support your claims, you may have cause to file a premises liability lawsuit against the owner. Simply contact a Long Island personal injury lawyer with Cellino Law to find out more about how to be awarded the compensation that you deserve in a premises liability case.
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Common Types of Premises Liability Lawsuits Handled by Cellino Law
Slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of premises liability lawsuits against property owners in Long Island, NY. These cases are even more frequent in winter when snow and ice increase the risk of slipping and falling. The onus rests on the injured person to prove that the slip and fall and therefore the injury are a direct result of the negligence of the owner. In the case of snow and ice, the property owner may have been negligent in taking measures to clear the snow or ice.
It is understandable why most property owners dread Winter and look forward to not having to constantly deal with snow and ice on their property. But while the cold weather lasts, property owners must put up signs warning others of a slippery surface or clear snow and ice on walkways, driveways or other areas where it may cause a slip and fall hazard.
Even homeowners can be held liable for accidents on their property. However, homeowners insurance should provide liability insurance to cover the costs resulting from the accident.
Some of the most types of property liability accidents include:
Slip and Falls
Slip and fall accidents that occur on another person’s property and result in minor or major injuries. Our legal team will assist you in collecting and presenting evidence that proves negligence by the property owner. No matter whether the accident occurred on a residential, commercial or industrial property, our professional Long Island slip and fall lawyers are just a call away to provide you with top legal representation.
Our lawyers deal with cases involving stairway accidents that result from broken, damaged or defective stairs or are caused by bad lighting. If you had an accident on a staircase, contact our lawyers to find out if you have a claim against the property owner for compensation for the injuries that were caused. Our lawyers will advise you on the options that are available to you to get the compensation that you deserve.
Exposure to Lead
Lead poisoning is quite a common problem in New York, especially where older buildings and tenants in rental properties are concerned. It is the responsibility of the owner of the property to ensure that pipes, paint, and other structural elements are free of lead and do not pose a hazard. If you or a loved one is dealing with health-related issues resulting from lead poisoning, Cellino Law is here to help.
Escalators are used safely by millions of people every day even though they can be hazardous. There are a variety of different ways that escalators can cause injuries or even result in a fatality. If you have been injured in an accident involving an escalator, contact Cellino Law to find out whether you have a claim for compensation in a premises liability case.
Just like escalators, the moving parts on elevators can present a hazard to users. It is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure that elevators are well-maintained and in good repair. Injuries sustained from a malfunction in an elevator are grounds for a premises liability lawsuit. If you have been involved in an elevator related accident, give us a call to evaluate your case.
Swimming pool accidents are extremely serious and can result in life-threatening injuries or loss of life. The property owner is responsible for ensuring that the required safety measures are in place and that warning signs are posted as to the hazards that a swimming pool may present. The attorneys at Cellino Law are experienced at handling cases involving swimming pool accidents.
Amusement parks are a place to have fun but are literally filled with hazards. The amusement park owner is responsible for ensuring that the property and all equipment on the property are safe for public use. If an accident occurs due to the negligence of the property owner to maintain and keep the amusement park in good repair, call Cellino Law for assistance in presenting a strong premises liability case on your behalf.
A lack of security on a property may be grounds for a premises liability lawsuit. Insufficient security may result in a variety of different crimes being committed such as assault, burglary, sexual assault, damage to property and so on. These crimes can result in personal injury, loss of life, damage or loss of property, etc. It is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure that their property is properly secured in order to prevent these types of crimes.
Accidents in airports can result in minor to serious injuries. Although these types of accidents are less common, it is important to get legal representation. Airport accident claims often involve insurance companies that have access to large law firms. Call Cellino Law as soon as possible to deal with claims for injuries or other damages resulting from an accident in an airport.
Accidents that take place in hotels or motels in Long Island are the responsibility of the owner of the property. To find out if the hotel or motel owner may be liable to pay you compensation for an injury that occurred while you were staying at the hotel or just visiting, give us a call to assess your case.
Ceiling or roof collapses are not as common as other types of accidents resulting in premises liability lawsuits. However, the knowledgable lawyers at Cellino law have experience in dealing with claims for compensation for injuries or loss of life resulting from these types of accidents. A roof or ceiling collapse is generally due to poor maintenance and repair and therefore the responsibility of the owner of the building.
Burn or scald injuries are very common and occur mostly as a result of water that is too hot where tenants are renting property from a landlord. The landlord, who is the owner of the property, is required by law to ensure that water temperatures do not exceed 120 degrees. Water that is hotter than this temperature can cause burns or scalds. A property owner who does not take the necessary measures to ensure that water temperature is properly regulated is liable for resulting scalding and/or burns.
Injuries that occur as a result of an accident on a property that is owned by the city or a county can result in a Municipal liability lawsuit. This basically means that the municipality is liable for claims resulting from the injury that occurred on the property. However, claims or a notice of a claim should be filed within 90 days of the accident. The lawyers at Cellino Law Firm will ensure that the necessary papers are filed in time so that your claim against the city or county can go ahead.
This includes anything on the property that poses a threat to the safety of any person using the property. These may include falling objects, defective stairs or walkways, common household dangers and so on. The property owner can be held liable for failure to post warning signs of the hazardous condition if an accident occurs that results in bodily harm, injury or other damages.
Fires are far more common than most people believe and property owners are liable for injuries that are sustained as a result of a fire that breaks out due to their negligence in preventing a fire hazard that they were aware of. However, the property owner does not necessarily need to be aware of the fire hazard to be held liable. For example, if the fire was caused by faulty electrics, it is the owner’s responsibility because they are responsible for repairs and maintenance of the electrical system on the premises.
Assault on a Property
An owner can be held liable for an attack or assault that resulted in injuries or even a fatality that occurred on their property. If the owner knew of the attack, if they were aware that the threat of attack existed on their property, or if they had the power to prevent the attack and did not do so, they are liable for the resulting injuries or loss of life that occurred.
Animal attacks are more frequent on residential properties and strict laws apply to protect the safety of the public and visitors to property from an attack by a domestic animal. The property owner can be held liable for injuries or loss of life that resulted from an animal attack on their property even if they were not necessarily the owner of the animal. In addition, the owner is responsible if they were aware that the animal posed a threat and did not post warning signs to inform the public or take measures to prevent the attack.
Common Hazardous Risks That Pose A Danger On Properties
There are a variety of different elements on premises that could pose a hazardous risk or danger. New York state laws require the owners of the property to act in a responsible and reasonable manner to reduce these hazardous risks in the greatest and smallest detail. Common hazardous risks on premises include:
- Clutter that can be a hazard
- A lack of security
- Hazards that cause the risk of slipping/tripping and falling
- Poor maintenance, repair, and management of the property
- Structural problems can result in the collapse of a roof, ceiling, or walls due to instability or poor design and construction.
A property owner can be held liable for injuries, loss of life, or other damages that occur as a result of any of the above hazardous conditions on their premises. Keep in mind that the defense and the court will conduct their own investigations into the accident to determine whether the owner of the property was negligent in their actions or inaction. If the owner had knowledge of the hazard and the power to prevent the accident, they will be held liable for the resulting injuries and damages.
Can Inadequate Security Lead to a Premises Liability Claim?
The lawyers at Cellino law are experienced at dealing with cases involving inadequate security measures. This experience has shown us that the majority of people who are victims of assault or burglary as a result of poor security measures do not know that the property owner can be held liable for the losses, damages or injuries that they sustained. The property owner is however responsible for implementing certain security measures to prevent criminal activity and is therefore liable for ensuing damages.
Foreseeability of a crime must be proven in order to provide evidence of negligence against the property owner. For example, if a similar crime has occurred in the past, the owner had reasonable suspicion that the crime could occur again and that security measures should be taken to prevent this. If these measures were not taken, the property owner is liable for losses or injuries incurred from crimes of a similar nature. Alternatively, proving that the owner was aware of criminal activity in the area and did not implement adequate security measures is cause for liability.
There are numerous types of security measures that a property owner can implement to ensure the safety of people on the premises. These measures include installing fences and security gates, ensuring sufficient lighting, employing security guards, using monitoring and surveillance equipment, etc. Property owners who do not take these measures are setting themselves up for a lawsuit. It is far easier to sue the property owner than the criminal who committed the crime and whose whereabouts are unknown.
How Is Negligence Proven in a Premises Liability Lawsuit?
Accidents happen but are also largely preventable. In order to prove that a property owner is liable for injuries or damages resulting from an accident, it is necessary to prove that they were negligible in taking steps to prevent the accident from occurring in the first place. The attorneys at Cellino Law can prove negligence in the following ways:
- A faulty condition existing on the property or premises
- The property owner was aware if the condition, had time to rectify it but failed to do so
- The property owner was aware of the hazardous risk presented by the condition
Once an accident occurs, a property owner may go to great lengths to cover up the conditions that resulted in the accident. This often results in shoddy repairs that are insufficient to hide their negligence. It is therefore recommended to take pictures or record video of the condition/s that contributed to the accident as evidence before it can be hidden.
It is also recommended to contact a lawyer and start the legal process as soon as possible after the accident. The longer you wait, the more likely evidence is to disappear. Without this vital evidence, it can be difficult to prove your case.
What Damages Can You Claim in a Premises Liability Case?
The negligence of a property owner can result in severe injuries, loss of life as well as loss or damage to property. Cellino Law will ensure that you claim for the maximum compensation including the following:
- Loss of current and future wages or income
- Current and future medical expenses
- Permanent disability
- The cost of rehabilitation therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced capacity to earn a living wage
- Lifestyle changes
The amount of the claim is calculated according to actual losses that were experienced by the injured party. Severe injuries are likely to result in greater medical expenses and therefore larger amounts of compensation than minor injuries that incur lower costs. The highest claims are for future medical expenses where serious injury will require ongoing medical treatment or where the loss of income in the future has been seriously impaired such as where a permanent disability was a result of the accident.
Who Can be Sued Under Premises Liability Law?
The owner of the property where the accident occurred can be sued under premises liability law. This can be the owner of a building located on the property or the actual property. If an organization such as a company is the owner of the property, the organization is liable and can, therefore, be sued.
Where another organization has been hired to manage the property on behalf of the owner, that organization may be held liable for injuries or losses incurred while they were in charge of the property. For example, if a property owner hires a security company to prevent crime on the property and a crime takes place, the security company can be held liable for injuries or losses due to the crime.
If the injured party or claimant sustains injuries due to their own negligence, they will have no claim, especially where they were at fault in causing the accident.
It is highly recommended to benefit from the fact that premises liability law is recognized by the state of New York. As long as another party was at fault in causing the accident you have a claim. However, it is important to be aware that if you were found to be at fault, your claim could be reduced by up to 50%
Can I File a Premises Liability Claim if Injured While Trespassing?
Trespassing is where a person is on a property but has no legal right to be there. This is a serious offense in the state of New York. If you were injured while trespassing, the property owner is not liable. The owner was not aware of your presence and could therefore not prevent the injury and you were at fault for being where you were not supposed to be.
However, there are specific exceptions to this rule and the property owner may be held liable:
Where the property owner was aware that there was a trespasser on the property and failed to take action, they may be liable for injuries or damages sustained by the trespasser while on the property.
Where children trespass due to an attractive element on the property and are injured as a result of an accident, the property owner can be held liable.
What are Common Defenses Against Premises Liability Claims?
Property owners will do their best to avoid paying compensation. Their first step is usually to cover up their error and claim that they were unaware of a hazardous condition. An experienced lawyer is well aware of this tactic and knows how to deal with it when it arises.
The owner of the property may also try to turn the tables claiming that the injured party was in fact at fault in causing the injury. This defense is used to either reduce the amount of compensation that you are awarded or to get the case dismissed entirely.
Cellino attorneys are well versed in this strategy and will ensure that the evidence and case they build provide sufficient proof of the negligence of the property owner.
Contact a Long Island Premises Liability Lawyer Today
If you have sustained an injury as a result of unsafe or hazardous conditions on another person’s property, you may have a claim against the property owner for compensation. Contact our Long Island personal injury firm at (800) 555-5555, start an online chat, or fill in our online case form so that we can start assessing your claim for compensation immediately.