Dangerous Conditions and Owner Liability

by Stuart L. Finz on May. 17, 2021

Accident & Injury 

Summary: Generally speaking, the owner of a property has a legal obligation to maintain that property in a safe and reasonable condition. When a property owner fails to properly maintain their property, and someone is injured, the injured party may bring a premises liability claim. Dangerous conditions include and snow, broken steps, potholes, equipment lying in the yard, torn carpet. These are all potential hazards that can cause slips, trips, and falls that result in severe injuries or even death. Property owners have a duty to address any potential hazards in and around the property.

Generally speaking, the owner of a property has a legal obligation to maintain that property in a safe and reasonable condition. When a property owner fails to properly maintain their property, and someone is injured, the injured party may bring a premises liability claim. Dangerous conditions include and snow, broken steps, potholes, equipment lying in the yard, torn carpet. These are all potential hazards that can cause slips, trips, and falls that result in severe injuries or even death. Property owners have a duty to address any potential hazards in and around the property.

If you or someone you love has been injured or disabled due to dangerous conditions on a property in New York, you need to speak with the dedicated New York slip and fall attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. With nearly four decades of experience, our attorneys have helped countless New Yorkers recover the maximum compensation for their injuries. Call the New York slip and fall attorneys of Finz & Finz, P.C. at 855-TOP-FIRM for a free and confidential consultation.

Why do Slip and Falls Occur?

New Yorkers are especially vulnerable to slip and fall accidents due to how congested public spaces in the city tend to be. Also, the city’s snow and precipitation can make floors and sidewalks dangerously slippery.

COMMON REASONS THAT NEW YORK RESIDENTS EXPERIENCE SLIPS, TRIPS, AND FALLS INCLUDE:

  • Slippery, cracked, uneven, or obstructed sidewalks
  • Wet floors
  • Broken steps and stairs
  • Broken or missing handrails
  • Clutter, trash, or debris
  • Unmarked steps
  • Snow-covered or icy sidewalks
  • Carpet defects, such as tears or bumps
  • Damaged or loose flooring
  • Potholes
  • Malfunctioning escalators or elevators

SLIPS AND FALLS ON ICE AND SNOW CAN OCCUR IN A VARIETY OF AREAS IN NEW YORK, INCLUDING:

  • Sidewalks
  • Walkways
  • Driveways
  • Pedestrian crossings
  • Stairs
  • Parking lots
  • Streets
  • Melted ice inside buildings
  • Trip and fall hazards obstructed by snow accumulation

DURING THE WINTER, PROPERTY OWNERS IN NEW YORK HAVE A DUTY TO MAKE SURE THEY MAINTAIN A SAFE PROPERTY FOR ALL VISITORS. THIS INCLUDES A VARIETY OF TASKS, INCLUDING

  • Inspecting areas regularly: Property owners should look for hazards on their property and correct them.
  • Using mats: Property owners should put mats to help soak up water that’s tracked in.
  • Salting walkways: Walkways should be covered with salt or ice melt after it snows.
  • Clearing dangerous areas: Snow and ice should be removed from stairs and sidewalks.
  • Posting warning signs: Property owners must provide visitors with warnings of any known hazards.

What are the elements of a premises liability case?

IF YOU ARE INJURED BECAUSE OF A DANGEROUS CONDITION ON A PROPERTY IN NEW YORK, YOU WILL HAVE TO SHOW THAT:

  • You were lawfully on the property.
  • That property owner was negligent in dealing with the dangerous condition. The property owner knew or should have known about the condition and failed to repair it or warn of it.
  • The negligence caused your injury.

Examples of Property Owner Negligence

HERE ARE SOME COMMON EXAMPLES OF NEGLIGENT BEHAVIOR FOR WHICH A PROPERTY OWNER MAY BE HELD LIABLE FOR A SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT IN NEW YORK:

  • Not provide warnings, such as ‘wet floor’ signs, indicating the floor is being mopped or waxed and is still wet, and not closing off an area that is slippery or wet.
  • Not cleaning up spilled liquid or food or failing to post a warning after being told about the spill.
  • Cleaning or mopping the floor in a negligent way. For example, using too much soap and water and letting the floor remain wet and slippery for a long time.

It’s important to note that the owner of the property is not liable for the accident if they weren’t aware of the dangerous condition, the dangerous condition was clear and obvious, or they acted with due care to correct it.

What to Do if You Have Been Injured on a Dangerous Property

  • Document the injury: If you have been injured because of a dangerous condition of a property, document the condition in a manner that will show the physical characteristics of the height, width, depth, etc., before the condition is tended to.
  • Take photos: Get plenty of photos of the dangerous conditions. Take photos of the area around you and the area that surrounds the accident scene. An experienced slip and fall accident lawyer can help you determine what’s photos are most important. Photos can show that your version of events is accurate.
  • Hold on to your shoes and don’t re-wear them: Your shoes may have evidence of liquid or debris on the bottom that can be lost by continual use.

Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations puts a time limit on your right to have to file a slip and fall lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, your case will most likely get dismissed. The statute of limitations in New York states that any person who was injured in a slip and fall on someone’s property must file their lawsuit against the property owner within three years. The clock starts ticking on the date of the slip and fall incident that caused the injury.

Contact a New York Slip and Fall Lawyer

Have you been seriously hurt after slipping and falling on ice, snow, or another dangerous condition on someone’s property in New York? If so, you may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other losses. Whether you have a viable case will depend on a range of factors, such as caused the slip and fall accident and whether or not the owner had knowledge of the dangerous conditions. The experienced attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. have helped many clients who suffered injuries from slip and fall accidents in New York and Long Island, and we are ready to help you, too. Call 855-TOP-FIRM for a free initial consultation so we can discuss all your legal options.

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