At Powers & Santola, LLP., we provide comprehensive representation to individuals who have suffered injuries caused by dangerous conditions on another’s property. Our premises liability attorneys provide skilled advocacy and personalized attention to injured individuals throughout upstate New York. We have secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Contact our Albany premises liability lawyer today.
All property owners in New York have an obligation to make sure that their premises are safe for any guests entering the property. When a person is injured because of a property owner’s failure to correct or provide a warning about a dangerous condition, the victim may be able to file a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner or other responsible party.
Even when victims believe that fault is apparent in these types of cases, both property owners and their insurance companies are highly likely to argue that the victim’s injuries were entirely the result of their own negligence. New York Civil Practice Law & Rules § 1411 makes New York a pure comparative fault state, meaning that a victim’s award can be proportionally reduced by their share of negligence, but no amount of negligence will necessarily bar recovery.
For this reason, any person who suffers serious injuries in an accident caused by a property owner’s negligence should avoid admitting any degree of fault. Victims should also avoid speaking to any insurance company until they have legal representation.
Powers & Santola, LLP represents clients with premises liability claims all over New York, and our firm has offices in Albany, Syracuse, and Rochester. Call us or contact us online right now to schedule a free initial consultation that will allow our attorneys to review your case and discuss all of your legal options.
What Is Premises Liability?
In many jurisdictions, premises liability claims are based on common law classifications of the individuals entering the property. The three most widely used classifications are invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
An invitee is a person specifically invited by the property owner on to the premises, a licensee is a person who is authorized to be on the property but is not necessarily an invited guest (such as a worker performing home repairs), and a trespasser is a person who is on a property without authorization. The property owner’s duty of care to these individuals is typically a sliding scale according to the level of invitation, with invitees being owed the highest duty of care while trespassers are owed no duty of care in most cases.
Always Speak With a Premises Liability Lawyer About Any Potential Injury Claim
It is not uncommon for individuals to avoid seeking legal representation because they just have a feeling that they do not have a valid claim. Do not make this mistake. Only an experienced Albany premises liability lawyer can provide you with a full evaluation of your claim and an understanding of your options.
Recently, a New York tenant was injured after he hired a contractor to update his home. He did so without the permission of his landlord, even though his lease stated that the tenant could not make any alterations to the premises without prior written consent. Regardless of this clause, the landlord was still held responsible and the tenant recovered compensation.
Our New York law firm is known for providing critical analyses and clear options to our clients. When we take on a claim, we do so knowing that we have an opportunity to obtain full and fair compensation for our client. Allow us to evaluate your situation and put our resources and network of experts to work for you.
Types of Albany Premises Liability Claims
A premises liability case can stem from an incident on either private or public property. In all cases, a victim suffers injuries because of some kind of hazardous condition that the property owner either should have corrected or at least warned visitors about.
Some of the most common kinds of premises liability cases involve:
- Failure to maintain property
- Negligent security
- Certain defective conditions
- Faulty stairs or handrails
- Building collapses
- Snow or ice accidents
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Amusement park accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Dog bites
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Asbestos exposure
It is important to remember that the same four elements a plaintiff is required to prove in a negligence claim also apply to premises liability actions. A victim will have to show that a property owner had a duty of care to the victim, the property owner breached that duty, the breach caused the victim to suffer injuries, and those injuries resulted in damages for the victim.
What to Do If You Are Injured on Private Property in Albany
Most people who are injured on private property are typically invited guests. As a result, many victims have personal relationships with the property owners who may be friends, family members, or co-workers.
In such cases, some victims can be reluctant to file any kind of injury claim for fear of the financial consequences such an action could create for their personal acquaintance. In truth, most premises liability claims are covered under the property owner’s homeowners’ insurance policy. That means no money comes out of the pocket of your friend, neighbor or relative who owns the property.
While New York has moved away from common law classification of people entering another party’s property, the state still holds that property owners do not owe a duty of care to trespassers. There are exceptions to this rule, however.
One exception is New York’s attractive nuisance doctrine, which holds property owners liable to children who are trespassing on their land and suffer an injury due to hazardous conditions or objects. Swimming pools are a prime example of an “attractive nuisance.” This doctrine is in place to make sure that property owners take extra precautions to secure their property (putting up locked security fences around pools is a good example) to prevent trespassing children from suffering harm.
A landowner might also be held liable if a trespasser suffers an injury due to unsafe conditions on the property if:
- The owner created the condition
- If the condition could cause severe injury or death
- If the property owner had reason to believe trespassers could be on the property and might encounter the hazard
- If the owner did not take “reasonable care” and attempt to warn trespassers of the condition
What If I Am Hurt on Commercial Property in Albany?
Commercial property owners and lessees must keep their property in reasonably safe condition to protect clients, customers, and guests. If they fail to do so, they could be held liable for injuries that happen on the premises.
Customers could have a claim against the commercial property owner or lessee if they are harmed in:
- Accidents that occur in residential or commercial buildings
- Sidewalk accidents
- Accidents in elevators or on escalators
- Inadequate property maintenance
- Inadequate security that leads to assault, rape, or murder
To prove that the property owner is liable for your injuries, your attorney will have to show that the owner either caused the hazardous condition or should have known that it was present but failed to address it. They will also have to prove that this condition was a significant factor in causing your injuries.
What If I Am Hurt on Public Property in Albany?
When an injury occurs on public property, most people assume that the municipal entity will accept responsibility and compensate the victim for the harm they suffered. New York municipal entities have, in recent years, become much more aggressive in denying these claims, so it is critical that you hire an experienced New York premises liability attorney to fight for you.
A municipal entity could owe you compensation if you were hurt due to, for example:
- Sidewalks that are uneven, cracked, or have other unsafe conditions like holes
- Unaddressed spills in public buildings
- Slip and fall accidents caused by snow or ice that should’ve been treated
- Falling tree limbs in public parks
- Subway station accidents and injuries that occur at bus stops
- Playground injuries
- Unsafe conditions in public housing
To secure compensation on your behalf, your attorney will likely have to show that the municipality knew about the unsafe condition or should have been aware of it. They will have to show that the municipal entity failed to warn people of the hazard and failed to address it promptly. Your lawyer will investigate your claim and will work to build the strongest case possible against the responsible municipal entity.
Contact an Upstate New York Premises Liability Lawyer
If you or your loved one suffered severe injuries in an accident caused by a property owner’s failure to fix or warn you about a dangerous condition, it is in your best interest to not delay in seeking legal representation.
The premises liabality lawyers at Powers & Santola, LLP, we provide comprehensive representation to individuals who have suffered injuries caused by dangerous conditions on another’s property. Our premises liability attorneys provide skilled advocacy and personalized attention to injured individuals throughout upstate New York.
We have secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Contact our Albany, Syracuse, or Rochester offices to learn how our past successes can help in creating a comprehensive strategy for obtaining benefits for your injuries.
Our attorneys are ready to schedule a free and confidential evaluation of your case. Simply call us or contact us online today.