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New York City Premises Liability Attorney

Property owners, landlords, and lessees have a duty to keep their premises safe. You can hold them liable to pay for damages when you suffer injuries in an accident caused by a dangerous condition. This applies to both private and public property. As you can imagine, many personal injury cases involve a premises liability claim. For more than 20 years, Staten Island and New York City premises liability lawyer Brian J. O’Connor has successfully litigated cases involving all types of claims against private property owners and those involving municipal negligence. These include: 

At The O’Connor Law Firm, premises liability is a large part of our practice. As a former Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of New York, Brian J. O’Connor can navigate the complex interaction between state and local laws. As a skilled premises liability attorney, he also knows how defense lawyers think and can anticipate the challenges and plan for the defenses they will raise instead of reacting to them.

Does Visitor Classification Matter Under New York Law?

Like many other jurisdictions, New York used to determine whether and to what extent a property owner could be held liable for a visitor’s injuries based on the visitor’s classification. Thus, for example, property owners, particularly businesses, owed the highest duty of care to “invitees” (those who had expressed permission to be on the property) and a lesser duty to “licensees” (those who have implied consent to be on the property). 

Now, however, New York law imposes the same duty of care on all property owners to make a reasonable effort to maintain their property in a safe condition in light of the likelihood of visitors — and even trespassers. While this simplifies the law regarding premises liability, it can be difficult to determine how this reasonableness standard applies to individual cases. For example, a store owner arguably has a more significant obligation to ensure the premises are safe for their patrons than a homeowner has towards unexpected or unwanted guests. An experienced Staten Island or New York City premises liability attorney will be able to review your case and determine whether you have a claim. 

How a New York City Premises Liability Attorney Establishes Fault

There are four elements of any negligence claim: duty, breach, causation and damages. All four of these elements must be proven to win a personal injury case.

You must prove that you sustained an injury and that someone else was negligent or acted intentionally and that their negligence or intentional conduct caused your injury.

A Dangerous Condition with Notice or Cause and Create

Property owners, landlords, lessees, and their agents, have a duty to maintain their property in a “reasonably safe condition.” In order to prove a property owner was negligent, you need to prove that you sustained an injury due to a dangerous condition on someone else’s property. You then must prove that the property owner, or its agent or employees, either

(1) caused and created the dangerous condition; or

(2) knew or should have known of the dangerous condition within a reasonable time prior to your injury and failed to remedy the condition. This is called actual or constructive notice.

The Statute of Limitations for New York Premises Accident Case

The time to file a premises accident case for negligence against a private property owner, such as a commercial building owner, supermarket or retail store, or even a private homeowner, is three years from the date of the accident.

Accidents on Public Property / Government Negligence

Sometimes injuries happen on government owned property, such as public schools, parks, playgrounds or city offices, as well as subways and public sidewalks. Premises liability cases against municipal entities like the City of New York and the NYC Transit Authority, have special rules that must be followed early in your case or your case could be dismissed.

A notice of claim is a document that must be filed with the responsible municipal entity within 90 days of your accident. It is intended to provide the public entity with details of your claim, including information about how and when your accident occurred as well as a description of your injuries.

The statute of limitations for a negligence claim against most public property owners is one-year and ninety days. Some municipal entities may have shorter time limits. It is important that you hire an experienced municipal liability lawyer who understands the nuances of government negligence. Attorney Brian J. O’Connor understands the complex laws of municipal negligence cases after beginning his career as a government attorney and has been helping Injured New Yorkers for more than 20 years.

Frequently Asked Questions for Our Manhattan and Staten Island Premises Liability Attorneys 

How do I identify who the property owner is in New York City?

Determining who should be held accountable for your injuries is a common challenge in many premises liability cases, especially when a corporate entity owns the property. The situation can become quite complicated when other parties are involved with contractual obligations to maintain the premises safely. For example, the property owner may have rented out the premises and required the tenant to maintain the property. An experienced New York City premises liability attorney will know how to identify the property owner and who should be held responsible for your injuries and other losses. 

The property owner claims they didn’t know about the hazard that caused my injury. What should I do?

The best thing you can do is discuss your case with a New York City premises liability lawyer because the property owner is attempting to avoid liability for your injury. Whether the property owner “should have known” about the hazard becomes the critical issue in these situations. Property owners have an obligation to routinely inspect the property to identify potential hazards, and your case’s specific facts may be helpful. If you can prove that the property owner should have known about the hazard, you may be able to hold them liable even if they didn’t know about the issue. 

What is my premises liability case worth?

If you are injured on someone else’s property due to the property owner’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses. A New York City premises liability attorney should be able to provide an estimate of the value of your claim at your initial consultation.

Contact a New York City Premises Liability Lawyer To Protect Your Rights

If you have been injured on another’s property, we can review your case in a free initial consultation. Your premises liability attorney will always provide honest feedback and never set unrealistic expectations. When you become our client, we do not charge a penny until you are paid. 

Call us at 212-566-4868 or 718-948-3500. We are ready to answer your questions and help you get your life back on track. You can also send me an email, and I will contact you. We have offices in Manhattan and Staten Island, but if you’re suffering from serious injuries, we can come to you. 

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