Articles Posted in Premises Liability

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If you are injured on the property of another party, whether it’s a trip-and-fall or a slip-and-fall accident, there may be multiple different ways to show that the property owners had “notice” of the hazard, which means that they knew or should have known about the problem. Proving this requires the element of notice (whether you’re demonstrating constructive notice or actual notice) and is about having the right amount and right kind of evidence to persuade the court that the owners are liable. Knowledgeable New York premises liability attorneys can help show you how and assist in making your case to the courts.

One case involving this concept of constructive notice was the matter of Dolores, a woman who was walking in the yard of a property owned by homeowners James and Lynda. At some point, she encountered a hole or ditch in the yard that was covered by grass. Dolores stepped in the hole, fell, and sustained injuries. Dolores sued for her injuries, asserting a premises liability case against the homeowners. Dolores’ lawsuit set out the parameters required for a premises liability case. Specifically, her case contended that the homeowners allowed water to run off from a gutter on the back of the house through the yard and toward a creek behind the property. Allowing this runoff, over time, created a ditch in the yard, and that ditch became a tripping hazard.

In a trip and fall case like this, there are certain ways that a defendant can win the case without ever even having to go to trial. In order to do that, however, the law puts the burden on the defendant to prove certain things, such as that the defendant didn’t create the problem and didn’t have actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition on the property.

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In slip and fall cases, there can be a wide array of conditions that allow you to recover compensation for the harm you suffered in your fall. Even if the possessor of the property properly maintained the property, that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily free from liability. With the help and advocacy of skilled New York premises liability attorneys, you can still win your case. In a recent example, a woman was allowed to proceed to trial in her premises liability case because she had evidence that the step she missed was something that was easily overlooked.

This case involved an innocent mistake, an unfortunate accident, and the injuries that resulted from that accident. Carmen went to Brooklyn to visit her niece, who lived at 333 Union Street. Carmen accidentally went to the door at 335 Union. Carmen hit the buzzer, but no one answered. She called her niece, and the niece came outside to meet Carmen. Carmen turned to leave the 335 Union property and, in the process, missed the step that went from the platform to the sidewalk. She fell and suffered injuries as a result.

Carmen sued for her injuries. The building owner asked the trial court to issue a summary judgment in its favor and end the plaintiff’s case. The defendant argued that its property complied with all relevant statutes, regulations, and codes. The defendant also asserted that the area was maintained in good and safe condition and that the plaintiff did not fall as a result of any flaw, defect, or hazard. The step was open and obvious and was not inherently dangerous, it argued.

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Imagine that you are walking across the floor in a public place, like a cafeteria. Suddenly, your foot hits something wet and goes out from under you, and you fall to the ground. You know that you’re hurt, and you know that your fall was a result of something wet that you struck with your foot. You may ask yourself, what comes next? The answer to that should be to contact an experienced New York slip-and-fall attorney, who can help you begin to collect the evidence you’ll need and start putting together your case for damages.

The above scenario was basically what happened to one woman injured in Kings County. She slipped and fell in a wet spot on the floor of a cafeteria in Kings County. She was injured and sued for the harm she had suffered.

When you pursue a slip-and-fall lawsuit, the defense may have various different potential avenues for opposing your case. One of these is to argue that it did not have either actual or constructive knowledge of the hazardous condition. The law says that, in order for you to be entitled to recover compensation for the damages you suffered, the defendant must have either actual knowledge of the hazardous condition that caused your fall, or else what’s called “constructive notice” of the hazard. Proving constructive notice means demonstrating that the defendant, with the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about the problem.

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In any type of injury case arising from a fall, there are several hurdles you’ll need to clear in order to succeed. In many situations, one of these challenges is overcoming a defense claim that the hazard that injured you was open and obvious, and therefore you are not entitled to recover damages. That was the issue in the case of one cleaning worker in Westchester County. In that case, since the evidence on the record did not clearly resolve whether the hazard in question was open and obvious or inherently dangerous, a recent Appellate Division ruling gave the worker a renewed opportunity to advance her New York slip-and-fall accident claim.

The plaintiff, Maribel, was a woman who was performing cleaning services. One day, while cleaning a property in Westchester County owned by a couple of homeowners, Maribel fell. Specifically, she stepped off a plywood landing and fell through the sheetrock ceiling of the garage below.

The cleaning worker sued for her injuries. The homeowners, in turn, moved for summary judgment to get the case thrown out of court. While property owners have a legal obligation to keep their properties safe for those who enter, property owners do not have an obligation to protect visitors who are injured as a result of some hazard that was open and obvious. This was the homeowners’ argument in Maribel’s case:  that the hazard was open and obvious, that the plaintiff stepped anyway, and that her injuries, however much harm she may have suffered, were entirely her fault, and the homeowners were 100% not liable. The trial court agreed and issued the judgment in the homeowners’ favor.

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In your slip and fall case, you may come across many hurdles blocking your path to success. You will have to handle amassing sufficient evidence. You will have to juggle meeting all of the procedural requirements the law imposes. Additionally, you’ll probably have to deal with a defendant who will try to avoid liability by second-guessing your actions and casting you as the person who was negligent and solely to blame for your injuries. With the help of experienced counsel, you can stymie this defense and still get the recovery you deserve. The recent case of a subway user offers an example.

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If you slip and fall on a snowy or icy sidewalk abutting a business, the chances are you know you may have a case for recovering damages for the harm you suffered. But, what if the abutting property is an owner-occupied residential one? In some situations, you may still be able to pursue your claim, as was the case for one man in Queens County who was able to do so because of the actions the property owner took, which potentially triggered liability on the part of that property owner.

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In any injury case, you’ll likely face hurdles that you’ll need to overcome in order to succeed. If your case presents you with what appear to be obstacles, don’t just give up on your case. In one recent example, the Appellate Division concluded that a widower had enough proof to pursue an injury case on behalf of his deceased wife, even though there were no eyewitnesses to the woman’s fatal fall down a flight of stairs at a restaurant.

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Winning a trip-and-fall case, like many civil lawsuits, involves having strong factual evidence and also a clear understanding of the law and procedural rules. A recent case provides some useful information regarding the rules of how you must go about pursuing a sidewalk injury case. In this case, the injured pedestrian did nothing that violated the rules, and therefore the defendant property owner wasn’t entitled to a dismissal.

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Sometimes, in life, things do not have to be large in size to be large in importance. The same can be true in personal injury lawsuits. A man’s serious injury suffered on a subway platform led a jury to award him in excess of $1 million in damages. The Appellate Division, First Department upheld that ruling. The Appellate Division’s ruling serves as an important reminder of an earlier Court of Appeals opinion, which declared that a hazardous condition does not have to be a specific minimum size or dimension in order for an injured person to succeed in their lawsuit.

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There are several hurdles you’ll probably have to clear in order to secure a successful outcome in your slip-and-fall case. One of these likely will be defeating the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. In order for the defendant to secure a victory at the summary judgment phase, the law imposes certain proof obligations on the defendant, especially in cases where the issue is the cleaning and inspection of the area of the accident. As two recent Appellate Division cases highlight, the law requires specific proof regarding the particular cleaning of that area. Offering up only evidence of general cleaning practices generally isn’t enough.

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