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Slip and Fall Injuries: When Is a Property Owner Liable?

The Legal Perspective of Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall injuries can result in a serious temporary disability or even cause a permanent disability. When injuries are debilitating, you may need to consider taking legal action. Slip and fall cases typically fall under premises liability law where property owners are negligent about keeping their buildings or grounds in safe condition.

A lawsuit that holds a negligent property owner accountable for slip and fall injuries can help you defray the high costs of damages. Compensation can help you pay medical bills, replace lost income and also offer monetary amends for the pain and suffering you experienced.

Are All Property Owners Subject to Premises Liability Law?

No. There are exceptions in New York law where the owner has no liability and is not responsible for keeping the property safe. These exceptions apply to certain types of land use, especially recreational land uses, such as the following: hunting, fishing, boating, canoeing, horseback riding, bicycle riding, sledding, tobogganing, cross-country skiing, snowmobile operation and hang gliding.

What Must an Attorney Prove in a Slip and Fall Case?

Typically, a lawyer must prove one of these two elements for an actionable claim:

  • The property owner or their agent caused the hazardous condition that resulted in the accident. An example would be digging a large hole in the ground that was not easily seen and where no warning sign was placed to prevent someone from tripping and falling.
  • The property owner had ample time to notice a hazardous condition and remove or repair the danger but failed to do so. The court would consider whether a reasonable person would have noticed and eliminated the danger.

New York law also takes contributory negligence into consideration in slip and fall cases. The court would consider whether the injury victim failed to take reasonable precautions to avoid injury. For example, ignoring a warning sign would be negligence on the part of the person who suffered the injury.

If you have suffered from a slip and fall accident and believe it was due to another property owner’s negligence, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. There is no charge for a consultation to determine whether legal action should be taken.

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