NEW YORK CITY PREMISES LIABILITY ATTORNEY
Property owners have a legal obligation to keep their premises safe for patrons and visitors. If a property owner fails in this duty, an injured party can make a claim. That’s because when owners create, ignore or fail to notice something dangerous on their property, they are liable for the injuries and losses they cause. If you’ve been injured on somebody’s property in New York City (Queens, Staten Island, The Bronx, Manhattan and Staten) or in Nassau County, Long Island, we can help you recover what you deserve. When you’ve been injured by a property owner’s negligence, you need to call an experienced New York City Premises Liability Attorney.
ESCALATOR AND ELEVATOR ACCIDENTS
Property owners are responsible for maintaining safe escalators and elevators on their property. If you are injured as a result of a defective or malfunctioning escalator or elevator, you can claim compensation from the property owner, the manufacturer and/or the company that is providing maintenance.
SLIP AND FALL
Property owners have a responsibility to keep their property free of hazards that might cause falls. If you have been seriously injured by a fall caused by negligence, you are entitled to compensation. You need to prove they were aware of the defect and failed did not correct it.
LIABILITY FOR INJURIES FROM ANIMAL BITES
Pet Owners must control their animals so that they do not cause harm to others. If you are seriously injured by a dog or other animal that has not been properly controlled, you can sue for compensation. We can bring a claim against the owner of the dog, and possibly other parties.
Property owners must keep their establishments safe. They must provide sufficient security, screen employees thoroughly and promptly fix any security problems.
Landlords must properly maintain dwelling so that ceilings do not fall on their tenants. It is astounding how common ceiling falls accident are, and if you are a victim, you are entitled to compensation.
Swimming Pool Owners and beaches must ensure the safety of their patrons, including children. If you or your child are injured by negligence while swimming, you are entitled to compensation.
Establishments that serve alcohol are required to stop serving any person that is “visibly intoxicated.” If they fail to do so, they are responsible for the consequences.
Long-term exposure to asbestos has been shown to cause some specific types of cancer. Employers and Landlords can be liable if you become ill from asbestos exposure.
Even though lead paint is no longer on the market, some building owners have failed to strip walls before re-painting, creating a continuing danger to young children.
NEW YORK CITY PREMISES LIABILITY ATTORNEY
A New York City premises liability attorney handles cases where property owners are negligent. This includes slip and fall cases, accidents on staircases, electrical defects, defective sidewalks, swimming pools, dog bites, lead poisoning, asbestos contamination, poor construction, ceiling falls and much more. That’s so it’s so important to find an experienced New York City premises liability attorney to handle your case. At Wittenstein & Wittenstein we’ve been handling premises liability cases for more than 60 years, so you can trust us to have the experience to do a great job on your case.
WHAT IS A PREMISES LIABILITY ATTORNEY?
A premises liability attorney is a type of personal injury attorney. This is not a narrow subspecialty as most personal injury attorneys handle these cases, which are usually second only to traffic accidents as the most common type of personal injury case. Since there are so many premises liability attorneys, it should not be difficult to find one with a great reputation and track record close to where you live. Make sure that the firm you hire is well-established and that the attorneys have many years of experience.
In New York (and the laws are similar throughout the country), property owners and operators are responsible for keeping their property safe for residents, visitors and invitees. Those responsible for a property are not just responsible for the inside, but for every part of the property. They are responsible for keeping construction sites or unused areas of the property off-limits. They are responsible for clearing damage from storms within a reasonable amount of time, including snow and ice. They must follow all applicable building codes, rules, and regulations. They must secure area that might be an “attractive nuisance,” inviting children to play in dangerous areas such as construction sites and unattended swimming pools. They also have a duty to warn about known hazards on their property such as the use of rat poison and other chemicals. American law, New York State, and New York City impose very high standards for owners and operators of property to keep the public safe.
There are many types of premises liability cases that New York City premises liability attorneys typically handle, including; Slip and Fall, Sidewalk Falls, Assaults, Ceiling Falls and Collapses, Stairway Falls, Inadequate Security, Swimming Pool Liability and much much more. Not every type of premises liability case fits neatly into one of those categories, so if you believe that you might have been injured as a result of a property owner’s negligence, you should consult with a premises liability attorney.
WHOSE FAULT WAS THE ACCIDENT?
Property owners are not liable for every injury that happens on their property. There must be something dangerous that the owner knew about, should have known out or caused. Being an absentee owner is no excuse, the property must still be inspected and maintained. Leasing out the property does not automatically absolve an owner of liability, but sometimes there are contracts that will place liability solely on the lessee, especially in commercial leases.
Some Typical Examples of Premises Liability are:
- Inadequate Security
- Insufficient Lighting
- Uneven, Broken or “Not Up To Code” Staircases
- Unsecured Rugs or Flooring
- Construction Site Accessible
- Swimming Pool Without Fence
- Slippery Floors
- Improper or Insufficient Maintenance
- Failure to Have Proper Warning Signage
Premises liability claims can happen anywhere, but they are particularly common at:
- Office buildings
- Apartments buildings
- parking lots
- shopping malls
- amusement parks
- maritime facilities
- bowling alleys
- soccer fields
- skating rinks
- subway platforms
VALUE OF A PREMISES LIABILITY CASE
Like any personal injury claim, the values of a premises liability claim is based on the damages – pain and suffering, lost earnings, medical expenses, lost future earning capacity and other damages being claimed in the particular case. This is why any premises liability attorney will tell you that you must keep careful records of your losses. Be sure to give your attorney the names of all the medical practitioners that you treat with so that he can obtain your reports and bills. If you have lost time from work, or have lost a promotion due to the accident, make sure to tell your attorney and provide documentation. The more damages you can prove, the more your case is worth.
Do understand that the value of your injuries might be “discounted” by defects in the liability claim, such as difficulty that the condition existed long enough for the property owner to “notice” it. A staircase that looks like it violated the building code, may actually be up to code. The value of the case can also be reduced by the actions of the plaintiff, such as wearing high heels or failing to wear prescription vision correction.
CLAIMS ON PUBLIC PROPERTY
In New York City, a premises liability claim can be against the City of New York, the State of New York or the Federal Government. Claims against public entities often have their own special laws, regulations, and customs. It is very important to know that in order to make a claim against the City of New York, a Notice of Claim must be filed within 90 days. After the filing of the Notice of Claim, the City will set up a “50H” Hearing where they will interview the claimant about how the accident happened.
It is also important to remember that a municipality may not be the only defendant as they have had a sub-contractor responsible for maintenance whose negligence is at least partially responsible for the accident. The manufacturer of a faulty product (ie: subway car) may also share some liability for an accident.
DO I HAVE A PREMISES LIABILITY CASE?
You can use the information on the website to give you some idea about whether you have a premises liability claim. You can look up your specific type of claim, and get an even better idea, but the only way you are going to know for sure if by calling an experienced premises liability attorney to discuss the specific facts of your case. At Wittenstein & Wittenstein, we’ve been handling premises liability claims for over 60 years, please call us at 718-261-8114 for a free consultation.
There are many types of premises liability cases, and the only way to know for sure whether you have a good case is to consult with a premises liability attorney. Premises liability attorneys work on a contingency fee, so they won’t accept your case unless they believe there is a strong chance of collecting damages.
DO I ALWAYS NEED AN ATTORNEY FOR A PREMISES LIABILITY CASE?
You certainly have the right to handle the case yourself, and in some situations that might be ideal. For example, if your damage is to property worth $5,000, and you have all the receipts, it might be cost-effective to file yourself in small claims court. Attorneys will not want to handle such a small case, and it is easy to prove property damages, so why not do it yourself and keep all the money. For more complicated cases, it would be cost-effective and safer to hire an attorney.
For example, if you slipped on water in a supermarket and broke your leg, you would have a very hard time proving “notice” and other legal theories on your own, the insurance company is also much less likely to offer an unrepresented claimant the full value of their injuries. For more complicated cases and for those with serious injuries, you are likely to collect for money, even with paying attorney’s fees.