Queens Premises Liability Attorney
Accidents on someone else’s property can often cause surprisingly severe injuries. Electrocution can be deadly or cause serious nerve damage; slip and falls can cause skull fractures and traumatic brain injury; building collapses can cause death and serious injury. If you were injured on someone else’s property, a premises liability attorney may be able to help.
Although homeowners and business owners have liability insurance to help pay for these kinds of injuries, victims should always work with an attorney after an accident. Insurance companies often try to shift blame to victims and deny payments whenever they can. Your attorney can challenge their denials and even take your case to trial.
For a free case review, call the Queens premises liability attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083.
What Are Premises Liability Injuries?
Premises liability refers to an area of personal injury law that deals with injuries on someone else’s property. In these cases, the defendant is responsible for the victim’s injuries because they own the property where the accident happened.
Not all accidents that occur on someone else’s property are considered “premises liability” injuries. For a property owner to be responsible for the injuries, the accident must have been caused by defective or dangerous conditions on the property. The following are all examples of these kinds of accidents:
- Exposed tree roots on a walkway cause a guest to trip and fall
- A snowy sidewalk causes a passerby to slip and fall
- Exposed wiring causes a guest to electrocute themselves
- A broken handrail causes a friend to fall off a balcony
- A broken gas fireplace catches the building on fire and causes smoke inhalation
Other injuries from things like dangerous fixtures and structures or even dangerous dogs and animals on the property might also be grouped under the category of “premises liability.” For any of these types of personal injury cases, our Queens premises liability attorneys can help.
Proving Fault in an Injury Case on Someone Else’s Property in Queens
To hold someone else responsible for the injuries you faced on their property, you must prove a few things. Typically, a negligence case is based on someone else’s breach of a legal duty that caused your injuries. In these cases, there must be some legal duty that you can point to – typically the duty to take reasonable steps to keep their property safe.
In some situations, the specific duty shifts. For example, property owners typically owe trespassers nothing more than a duty to avoid intentional injury, so trespassers might not be able to sue for many types of injuries outside of assault or injuries from traps laid around the property. Guests could fall under different legal classifications that require different duties, depending on the circumstances. In most cases, the owner has a duty to take reasonable steps to clean up, repair, or warn of hidden dangers and potentially even obvious dangers.
Proving the Owner Knew About the Defect
For a property owner to be able to reasonably clean up or repair a dangerous condition, they have to know about the condition. This often requires victims to prove that the defendant knew of the danger or should have known about it.
With slip and falls in a grocery store, for example, the grocery store might not have been able to clean up a spill that happened only a minute before the patron slipped. However, the circumstances in some cases could show that a property owner should have known about a dangerous condition if the condition was there for a long time or would have been obvious to someone taking reasonable steps to inspect their own property.
An experienced Queens premises liability attorney will look for evidence such as customer complaints, security camera footage, or earlier reports about the defect to prove that the owner knew about the defect and should have repaired it or warned about it earlier. Back to the grocery store spill example, security camera footage could show the spill was sitting there for hours – more than enough time for reasonable store workers to find it and clean it up.
Lastly, the fact that someone tried to repair, clean up, or warn of a dangerous condition does not automatically absolve them of any fault. If they failed to act reasonably when repairing the condition and the danger was still there afterward, you may still be able to hold them accountable for the accident. For example, a loose board on a staircase is likely still dangerous if all the property owner did to repair it was stick it back on with a strip of tape. A proper, reasonable repair would likely include nailing the board back in place or hiring a contractor to repair the staircase.
Legally speaking, this would still be a breach of duty because the defendant did not take reasonable steps to repair the defect. That would still constitute a breach of their legal duty.
Who Is Responsible in Premises Liability Accidents in Queens?
So far, we have been discussing cases as though the owner of the property is at fault. In Queens, much of the property is owned by residential and commercial property companies and investors rather than individual homeowners. Instead, renters might be responsible for injuries on the premises.
If the property owner operates on site and has property managers and maintenance staff, then the owner is likely responsible for injuries in the areas under their control. However, the areas inside residential units (e.g., apartments) or commercial spaces (e.g., offices or stores) are likely under the control of the tenant instead of the property owner/landlord. In these cases, the tenant is likely responsible instead of the landlord since they are in charge of and responsible for the conditions on that part of the property.
Our Queens premises liability attorneys can help with your specific case. For example, we can help you determine whether you would sue the person who lives in the apartment or the landlord depending on where the accident happened (e.g., in the tenant’s living room vs. the building lobby).
Call Our Queens Premises Liability Attorneys for Help with Your Case
Call (718) 841-0083 today for a free case evaluation with our experienced Queens premises liability attorneys. The injury lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm are here to help.