Nassau County Premises Liability
Although property owners have a legal duty to make sure their premises are free of hazards, each year thousands of people are injured in grocery stores, department stores, office buildings, government buildings and in private homes because owners failed to properly maintain their premises. Many of these accidents are minor, leaving the victims with no injury or with minor injuries. Other such accidents leave the victims with catastrophic injuries, requiring significant treatment or lifelong care. In still other cases the victim passes away. However, under New York law victims of slip and fall, trip and fall, and other types of property accidents can hold the responsible party legally liable. If you are in need of a personal injury lawyer because you or a loved one was seriously injured due to a hazardous condition on another person's property, it is important that you speak with an experienced Nassau County premises liability lawyer who will review your case and help you receive damages that will compensate you for your medical expenses and other losses you suffered as a result of the accident.Types of premises liability accidents
Property owners must take reasonable steps to make sure that their property is safe and free from hazards. Common hazards that occur on private, commercial or public property include:
- Defective stairways. A defective stairway can be a wet, icy or otherwise slippery step, a stairway with debris, a broken, loose or missing step, uneven stair heights, or a broken or missing handrail.
- Elevator accidents. Elevator accidents can be caused by faulty design or installation, improper maintenance, code violation, failure to inspect, or overcapacity.
- Porch or balcony collapse. Porches and balconies collapse because of poor design, termite infestation, overweight, and rotting wood.
- Slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents occur when water, or some other type of liquid is spilled on the floor and not quickly cleaned up. In addition, victims slip and fall on slick surfaces. For example, if a floor was recently waxed, it not waxed properly the surface may remain extremely slippery leading to slip and fall accidents.
- Trip and fall accidents. Trip and fall accidents are similar to slip and fall accidents. However, they occur due to debris or some other hazard in an aisle or walkway causing pedestrians to trip and fall.
Other types of accidents that lead to premises liability claims include broken pavement, building collapse, broken escalators, snow or ice on walkways, negligent security making criminal activity likely, and falling merchandise.Responsibility
Typically the owner of the home, store, or office is the party legally responsible for injuries in a premises liability case. For example, if you slip and are seriously injured while visiting a government office such as the Social Security office, then the party responsible would be the appropriate arm of the federal, state or local government. If you slip and fall in a store such as Target or Macy's, then that store would be responsible. If the accident occurs at private home, then the homeowner would be responsible.
However, there are cases where someone other than the homeowner would be responsible or would share responsibility. For example, stores, business and other commercial properties are often leased to tenants. If the property is leased, the property owner might not control the property. The person or company leasing the property may be in control and responsible for the maintenance of the property. Similarly, if the property is residential property that is rented, the tenant and the landlord might share legal responsibility if someone is injured on the property due to a hazardous condition.Pursuing damages
Even if you are able to establish that an unsafe condition led to your injury, you will not receive a monetary award in your premises liability lawsuit if you cannot show that your suffered compensable losses.
- Medical expenses. Compensable medical expenses include hospital fees, your doctors' bills, medication, rehabilitation, medical equipment and in-home care. In order to be awarded damages for your medical expenses you will be required to show proof such as copies of your medical bills and receipts.
- Lost wages. A serious injury means that you will miss days, week, and even months of work. The result is that you will mass paychecks, lose bonuses, and be passed over for promotions. Be prepared to show paystub and statements from your supervisor as proof of the wages and benefits that you lost because you missed work.
- Loss of future earning capacity. If your injury resulted in a permanent injury such that made it impossible for you to return to the same job and earn the same amount of money as you did prior to the accident, then you may be able to recover damages for loss of earning capacity. Proving this may require evidence from an expert witness.
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is also compensable in a premises liability lawsuit. It refers to both the physical pain and the emotional suffering you endured.
- Wrongful death. If a family member died as a result of the accident, then his or her personal representative has the legal right to pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim.
If you were hurt on property that belongs to another person or that is owned by a business, then you may be able to recover damages to cover your medical expenses and other losses. The experienced staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has successfully represented experienced clients injured in slip and fall accidents, trip and fall accidents, and other accidents that result from unsafe premises. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.