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.