premises liability

Landlords and property owners in general, especially owners of commercial properties and multiple dwellings, have a responsibility to provide the public with a safe premises. Cases that involve accidents on another’s property are commonly referred to as “Premises Liability” cases. While most Premises Liability cases involve trip/slip and falls, many different dangerous property conditions can cause someone to be serious injured. For example, malfunctioning elevators, ceiling-collapses, negligent security, dog attacks, hot-water scalds and burns from dangerous pipes have all caused injuries to tenants, guests and visitors of another’s property or place of business.

In addition to proving that your injuries were caused by a dangerous condition, success on a Premises Liability case often requires proving that the landlord or property owner had “notice” of the condition at issue. Notice can be established by proving the landlord or property owner was actually aware of the condition (referred to as “actual notice”) and/or that the landlord or property owner should have been aware of the condition (referred to as “constructive notice”). Demonstrating actual notice is usually achieved by evidence of complaints to the landlord or property owner. Demonstrating constructive notice is usually achieved by establishing a condition was present for a sufficient period of time such that a landlord or property owner either knew or should have known of its presence.

Proving notice in connection a structural defect (such as a hole/depression in the floor) is often not too difficult by nature of the defect, which typically is not created over a short period of time. However, proving notice of a foreign slippery substance (such as a spill on a floor) can be more challenging. For example, your case could be dismissed if you have no idea how long foreign slippery substance is present for prior to your accident and if you have no idea what caused the substance to be there. As such, it is critical to conduct investigation and interview any potential witnesses (regarding the accident and the condition as issue) as early as possible in a Premises Liability.

If you, a loved one or a member of your community has been injured due to a dangerous condition on another’s property or place of business, please do not hesitate to call FARELLA MASCOLO PLLC at 212-287-1277 for a free consultation.

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