New York City Premises Liability Attorney
Part of owning a home or business is making sure it’s safe for visitors. If you get hurt on someone else’s property because of their negligence in fixing hazards such as cracks in the sidewalk, broken asphalt in the parking lot, a broken step to the second floor, or even inadequate lighting that causes garages and alleys to become havens for criminals, you deserve to be compensated for your injury. As experienced NYC premises liability attorneys, we can help take property owners to task for failing to care for their visitors.
What Is Premises Liability?
At the heart of premises liability lies the principle that a person who owns property has the responsibility to take reasonable precautions to make it safe for those who visit. However, there are a few caveats:
You must have been lawfully on the property
Private property does not have to be kept safe for all visitors at all times; however it does need to be safe for visitors who are legitimately welcomed onto the premises. This means that trespassers and people who sneak into private areas within buildings cannot expect compensation if they are hurt while being where they were not supposed to be, but public areas, such as sidewalks in front of homes and the showroom floor inside of shops should either be safe or have clearly posted warnings describing the danger. Whether the property owner specifically invited you onto his property or was aware that the general public makes use of the space, he owe you compensation if you are harmed while at his home or place of business.
The owner must have been negligent
Some dangers cannot be helped. For example, if you slip on the ice and break an arm while it’s snowing outside, you cannot sue the homeowner for negligence because the walk was slippery. However, if it snowed last night and the homeowner has done nothing to clear the public walk or has cleared it poorly and you slip, then he is responsible because he had knowledge of the problem, the opportunity to fix it, and choose not to do so.
The negligence must have been the direct cause of the injury
In order to sue for liability, the property owner must have directly harmed you through his negligence. For example, if you tripped and broke your leg on a loose step, you would have grounds to sue. However, if you knew the step was broken and tried to jump over the railing to the landing below, you could not bring a liability case if you broke your leg because although the broken step may have been the incentive for your actions, it was not the direct cause of your injury.
Preparing Your Case
If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, it’s very important for you to contact an experienced premises liability attorney right away so we can start building your case with fresh evidence. We will help you prove and document your injuries and make sure that your case is presented fully and accurately in the courtroom so you get your full award. Since New York is a comparative fault state, this is very important, since any percentage of the fault the court determines you contributed will reduce your award.
For example, if you were awarded 50,000 in damages, but the court found that you were 10% at fault, while the property owner was $90 at fault, you would only get $45,000 ($50,000 minus 10%).
Call the Personal Injury Lawyers at Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier Today
For all these reasons, and to ensure that you meet the statute of limitations, which restricts how long you can bring an action against another, you need to call us right away at (212) 777-9400 for a free consultation. We will help you ever step of the way and have a long history of wins for our clients. So contact us or drop in to discuss your case!