Municipal Liability and Premises Liability
To receive compensation for injuries relating to a slip, trip and fall accident, the individual who fell must have verifiable injuries. The injury does not need to be life-threatening to file a claim but it does need to be serious enough to demonstrate the full capacity of the dangerous condition of the property where the accident occurred.
The main question that everyone asks is "who is to blame"? Premises liability refers to the fact that a property owner or tenant has the responsibility to be aware of dangerous conditions on their premises and must take action to alert the public and correct the situation to the best of their ability in a reasonable amount of time.
Even if your actions or carelessness contributed to your fall accident, you may still be able to recover damages for your injuries. When more than one party involved in the accident are found to be at fault, a percentage of liability is calculated for each party, known in the legal field as comparative negligence. A property owner can be found partially or completely responsible for your fall if they failed to:
- Remove obstructions from walkways
- Clean up slippery conditions
- Mark dangerous areas
- Repair holes and cracks in the street or sidewalk
- Install proper railings or barriers
- Provide adequate lighting
If a property owner or tenant cannot be found liable for your slip, trip or fall accident then the state, county, city or other public entity that controls the property possibly can. This is referred to as Municipal Liability. The public entity that owns or occupies the property in question has the responsibility to be aware of dangerous conditions and take reasonable action to alert the public and correct these problems in a reasonable amount of time.
Municipal property can include areas owned and operated by housing or transit authorities, such as subways, subway stations, buses, bus shelters and housing projects. A person injured by a slip, trip or fall on municipal property must file a claim within 90 days of the accident to avoid missing an opportunity to collect damages for the fall. In New York City, the dangerous sidewalk or other public condition must be brought to the attention of the city by means of written notice in order for an individual to collect any damages for their injuries.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is imperative that you contact an attorney who specializes in analyzing the facts and fighting slip, trip and fall incidents.
Stephen Bilkis & Associates are experienced New York Personal Injury attorneys. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, call us immediately at 800.696.9529 for a free consultation.