Accidents can happen anywhere, at home, work, school, or the grocery store. While a majority of people focus on accidents that happen on the road, many forget to remember that accidents can happen indoors and on foot as well. When a person is injured on another's property, the results can be frustrating, painful and costly. Slip and fall accidents and other types of accidents that relate to the maintenance and features of a property or piece of land can all fall under a body of law known as premises liability.
Premises Liability Cases in New York
Premises Liability is a subset of a body of law known as Tort law. A tort is essentially a civil wrong done to a person that does not rise to the level of criminal conduct but causes harm or damages to another. Generally, this body of law seeks to prove the actions of the defendant as "negligent." If a defendant is found negligent, the plaintiff is entitled to recover money and other forms of relief from them by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Premises liability seeks to hold defendants responsible for the negligent keeping of their property. Just as one can be careless in their own behavior, one may also be careless in the keeping of their premises. In New York, there are a number of potential sources of premises liability cases. Some commonly seen scenarios that can present a person with the facts that lead to premises liability claim are:
- Grocery Store Spills: The classic case of premises liability is that of a business where some condition on the property leads to a customer's slip and fall. These types of businesses invite customers and owe their customers a duty of care to keep the premises safe from slippery floors and other dangerous conditions.
- Snow and Ice: In New York and across the Northeast, snowstorms and winter weather are common occurrences. This can lead to the potential hazard of snow and ice on streets and sidewalks. Failure to remove snow and ice from a storefront or sidewalk can be very hazardous to pedestrians and residents. This can be the source of many an injury in the wintertime.
- Poorly Maintained Premises: When a person or company fails to maintain their premises in good order, it can lead to injury. Things like faulty floorboards, torn carpet, or hidden hazards can lead to the injury of a guest.
- Defective Stairs: Faulty or unstable staircases can be the source of injury. This can be common on both wooden and metal staircases that are prone to damage, rot, or rust. If not kept in good repair, slipping on stairs or falling downstairs can cause serious injuries.
These types of cases are common, but any type of injury that arises due to a function or feature of a person's property can lead to a premises liability claim. When a victim suffers an injury because of these types of accidents, he or she may have a case to file a lawsuit against the property owner for damages.
Common Injuries in Premises Liability Cases in New York
When a person faces an injury as a result of the poor condition of another's premises, several different types of injuries can result. Some of the more common injuries can include:
- Broken Bones: The impact of a fall can easily break a person's bone. Depending on where they land, the harm from a broken bone can be mild to severe.
- Bruises: Bruises are a common injury associated with falls. Bruises are painful and can linger for weeks, causing a person to be especially sensitive in the affected area.
- Sprains: When a person slips and falls, they can overexert their joints trying to catch their balance. The result of this is a sprain. Sprains can be painful and take a long time to heal, limiting a person's mobility.
- Hip Injuries: It is common for an individual who has fallen to fall on their hip. A hard enough impact can result in a hip injury.
- Back, Spine, and Neck Injuries: If a person falls and lands on their back, the results can be devastating. Back, spine, and neck injuries place numerous aspects of a person's body at risk and can be with a person for a lifetime.
- Brain and Skull Injuries: If a person's head hits the ground when they fall, they may suffer a skull or brain injury. These types of injuries run the risk of being traumatic in nature and can have life-lasting effects on a person.
Types of Damages Commonly Seen in New York Premises Liability Cases
When a plaintiff is victorious in their case against a defendant, they gain relief in the form of damages. "Damages" is a legal term of art used to describe the monetary winnings of the plaintiff. Damages can be "economic," and measurable in monetary terms, and "non-economic" which are damages that are not easily calculated in monetary terms. Some common types of damages in premises liability claims are:
- Medical Costs: The backbone of nearly any injury case is seeking the costs associated with an injury that should not have arisen in the first place. Injuries are costly, and the plaintiff has a right to recover for the costs associated with the injury, including post-emergency and continued care.
- Lost Income: When a person is injured severely, it is likely that they will be out of work for some time. A person has the right to recover for the income lost during this period of time.
- Pain and Suffering: Pain and suffering are difficult to measure in monetary terms, however, a person may recover from the hardship they endured as a result of their injuries.
When to Contact a New York Premises Liability Attorney
The best time to contact an attorney regarding a premises liability attorney is as soon as possible after your recovery. There is a limited time to file a personal injury claim under New York's statute of limitations laws. An attorney can help you by explaining your rights and fighting to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured, contact attorney Frederic Abramson today.