Premises Liability – When Can You Sue?

If you’ve been seriously injured on somebody else’s property, you might be wondering if you should sue. You are considering making a premises liability claim, but you don’t want to be a greedy nasty person. On the other hand, you’ve lost time from work and can’t enjoy the same physical activities as before the accident, so it’s natural to consider whether you’re entitled to compensation. That’s why we’re going to outline how courts determine whether a property owner is legally liable when somebody gets hurt. It’s always a good idea to call us at 718-261-8114 if you’ve had any kind of accident for a specific answer regarding the facts of your particular situation. Premises liability claims can be complicated, so it’s worth it to give us a call to find out if your case is viable.

Is The Premises Reasonably Safe?

A property owner has a responsibility to use reasonable care to keep their property safe. To avoid being sued for premises liability, a property should be inspected on a regular basis for hazards such as:

  1. Poor Lighting/Burned Out Bulbs
  2. Slippery Floors
  3. Torn Carpeting
  4. Loose Floorboards
  5. Missing or Damaged Handrails

How Often Should The Property Be Inspected? 

A heavily trafficked retail store should be inspected many times a day, whereas a private home might only need to be inspected occasionally. Sometimes a property owner is not liable for a dangerous condition because they did not have “reasonable notice.” For example, a customer at a clothing store slips on water from a drink spilled by another customer, just moments beforehand. It would not be reasonable to expect a clothing store to check for hazards constantly, so a court would likely dismiss such a case for lacking “notice” of the dangerous condition. On the other hand, a grocery store is expected to inspect the floor for hazards much more frequently, so somebody that slips in the vegetable aisle will be able to make a case. 

Premises Liability – Invitees and Trespassers

Most of the time, property owners are only responsible for people that have a valid reason to be on the property. A specific invitation is not required when a place is open to the public, such as a retail store or professional office. You are still liable for injuries to somebody that crashes your party, unless you take action to eject them. Children present an exception to this concept. Property owners are liable for injuries to children who trespass on their property due to the existence of an “attractive nuisance” such as a swimming pool. That’s why it’s important to make sure that anything hazardous on your property is properly fenced.

Still Not Sure If You Have A Premises Liability Case?

Call us at 718-261-8114 for a free consultation. We are always pleased to hear from you.



2020-01-08T21:48:25+00:00By |0 Comments

About the Author:

Alyce Wittenstein is a world class attorney, blogger and filmmaker. She began working at the firm in 1985 as a managing paralegal, learning all the practices and procedures of the firm from Mr. Wittenstein and the staff. From 1995-1998, she attended CUNY Law School where she made a mark as a teaching assistant for Civil Rights leader Haywood Burns. She founded a Human Rights Delegation to Haiti and studied Constitutional Law with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Working at the Equal Opportunity Employment Commision (EEOC), she learned a great deal about Employment Discrimination matters. She brought her knowledge of the Personal Injury practice and her passion for Civil Rights to the firm when she was admitted to the Bar in 1999. In 2000, she became a partner and the firm name was changed to Wittenstein & Wittenstein, Esqs. PC.

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