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Understanding Premises Liability Law in New York City

New York premises liability law requires property owners to keep their property safe from obvious and potential dangers. This means fixing hazards that could harm guests or visitors, and the premises liability applies to NYC landlords, homeowners, municipalities, and business owners.

Injured parties may seek compensation if a property owner fails to address a known hazardous condition in a reasonable time. An experienced premises liability lawyer can help demonstrate that the owner was aware of the danger and didn’t take preventive measures. Your personal injury lawyer can also assess your total financial damages and pursue the maximum recovery possible – usually through an insurance settlement or court award.

Key Elements of a New York Premises Liability Claim

In premises liability, the “duty of care” is the obligation of property owners or managers to maintain their property in reasonably safe conditions, anticipating potential injuries to guests, the public, or even trespassers. To win a premises liability case, you must prove the property owner neglected this duty, often through negligence.

A successful claim hinges on establishing one of three scenarios:

A Property Owner Created a Dangerous Situation

Liability may arise if an action by the property owner or employee creates a hazard, like not addressing a spill in a trafficked area.

The Owner Was Actively Aware of the Hazard

If an owner or employee is informed about a hazard and ignores it, they can be liable for injuries.

The Property Owner Should Have Known about a Hazard

This is “constructive notice” and refers to situations where the owner should have been aware of a hazard but failed to address it, like consistently ignoring a tripping hazard at a construction site.

If you are unsure if you meet all the elements of a premises liability claim or what constitutes a known hazard, contact a New York premises liability lawyer at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C.

What Is Premises Liability And Do I Have A Case?

Video Highlights

  • The owner of a building has to provide a safe place for you to live or visit
  • By not following building codes, property owners can make places you live or visit unsafe

Video Transcript

A premise liability case in the state of New York basically arises from the breach of the owner's duty to provide a reasonably safe premise. And basically what it means is an owner of a building, whether it be a home or an apartment building, has ... to provide you with a safe place to live or visit. So, for example, they have to comply with building codes as it relates to the geometry of stairs, handrails. They have to provide proper lighting. They have to fix leaks so ceilings don't collapse. They have to make sure there's no lead paint in their premises. They have to fix broken steps or cracked sidewalks. I mean, all these are obligations of the owners. These aren't suggestions for the owners. These are what they have to do. If you make the decision to own a property and invite the public in, these are the things you need to do. And if someone gets hurt because the owner didn't do those things, that's when Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek will step in, and we'll make a claim against that owner, and we'll sue that owner and recover money for our client.

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How a NYC Premises Liability Lawyer Can Help

Whether you or a loved one were hurt in a crumbling building that should have been repaired years ago, on a decaying MTA subway platform, or in front of a business that should have removed debris, a New York premises liability lawyer should be the first call you make after getting medical care.

At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., our premises liability attorneys have extensive experience and success in securing compensation for accident victims in all sorts of premises-related injury cases. From scalding water to building collapses and falls, we are ready to assist and advise you on your legal options.

Investigate & Identify the Liable Party

After your initial consultation, where we discuss the details of your premises liability claim, HKD will immediately conduct a meticulous investigation to pinpoint the liable party or parties.

This step is crucial, as premises liability cases can involve multiple potential defendants, such as property owners, tenants, transit companies like the MTA, government agencies, or maintenance companies. Property owners may also try to fix hazards right after an accident, making it difficult to get the needed evidence.

Our firm’s investigation process likely includes gathering evidence, such as surveillance footage, maintenance records, and witness statements, to build a solid case for its clients.

Negotiate & Handle Insurance

Negotiating with insurance companies or the city of New York is a complex and often challenging aspect of premises liability claims. Fortunately, HKD knows how to deal with insurance adjusters, who will be focused on minimizing your payout.

We will aggressively negotiate for everything you lost and will lose because of your injuries, as well as navigate the intricate policy clauses and legal jargon that accompany insurance claims.

Our experience and court-tested dominance in this area ensure that our clients are not short-changed or overwhelmed by the insurance process.

Fight for Max Compensation

When another’s carelessness injures you, such as absentee landlords, negligent property owners, and careless local governments, you deserve to be made whole – physically and financially. The best way to accomplish this is by assessing how the accident injury impacted and harmed your life, and then seeking fair and full compensation for your damages. This includes tangible losses like medical expenses and lost wages and intangible damages like pain and suffering.

Our lawyers understand the long-term financial and emotional impact of premises liability injuries and advocate for the maximum compensation that reflects your experience, suffering, and what it will take to make things right.

Get Justice & Make NYC Safer

Beyond providing individual representation and advocacy, HKD’s approach to premises liability accidents does more than secure financial relief and a sense of closure for those hurt by negligence.

By holding negligent property owners and others accountable, we can help create an environment where other property owners and managers adhere to safety standards and take steps to correct issues. When you pursue a premises liability lawsuit, you can help prevent similar incidents in the future and make other New Yorkers a little safer.

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NYC Premises Liability Cases We Handle

Premises liability scenarios in New York City range from common incidents like slip and fall accidents at the grocery store to less frequent but incredibly serious situations, like apartment fires due to neglected wiring or elevator tragedies.

At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., our elite NYC personal attorneys handle insurance claims and premises liability lawsuits arising from all types of property hazards and accidents:

Call HKD Today for a Free, No-Risk Assessment

Common Injuries from Premises Liability Accidents

Some of the most frequently seen injuries that stem from accidents on neglected, poorly maintained, and deteriorating properties include:

New York Premises Liability Statistics

  • There were 2,074 unintentional falls in New York City in 2021. Of these, 1,947 were nonfatal, and 127 were fatal.
  • There were 2,458 slip-and-fall claims filed against the City of New York in 2022
  • In the past 10 years, there have been an average of 50 injuries and 10 fatalities per year as a result of building collapses in NYC
  • More than 3 dozen NYC garages have recently been cited for crumbling ceilings, exposed and rusting reinforcing bars, and other defects.
  • Elevators and escalators are linked to more than 30 fatalities per year.

Successful Premises Liability Cases in New York

A successful premises liability case in New York usually hinges on proving that the property owner breached their duty of care, directly causing your injury and demonstrating the extent of your damages. It’s also crucial to file the claim within the statute of limitations and consider New York’s comparative negligence rule, which may adjust compensation based on your share of fault (if any).

At HKD, we are proud to have helped many clients receive significant and life-changing premises liability settlements and court rulings, including a recent $4.5 Million settlement for a man who fell from a building and $8 Million for a child burnt by scalding water.
Read more about our success in premises liability cases.

What to Do If You’re Injured on Someone Else’s Property

Whether you fell on a subway platform, slipped out front of a business, or suffered serious injury because a decaying New York building is falling apart, if you’re injured on someone else’s property, follow these steps to protect your health and legal rights:

  • Seek Medical Attention: Immediately get medical help for your injuries.
  • Document the Scene & Injuries: Take photos and notes of the accident scene and your injuries, if possible.
  • Report the Incident: Inform the property owner or manager about the incident.
  • Gather Witness Info: Collect contact details from any witnesses.
  • Consult a Premises Liability Lawyer: Get legal advice to understand your options and rights.
  • Avoid Discussing the Incident: Before consulting a lawyer, don’t share details with insurance companies or on social media.

Successful Premises Liability Cases in New York

A successful premises liability case in New York usually hinges on proving that the property owner breached their duty of care, directly causing your injury and demonstrating the extent of your damages. It’s also crucial to file the claim within the statute of limitations and consider New York’s comparative negligence rule, which may adjust compensation based on your share of fault (if any).

At HKD, we are proud to have helped many clients receive significant and life-changing premises liability settlements and court rulings, including a recent $4.5 Million settlement for a man who fell from a building and $8 Million for a child burnt by scalding water.

Your Rights as a Premises Liability Injury Victim in New York City

As a premises liability injury victim in New York City, you may encounter property owners or insurance companies denying responsibility. Some may even try to blame you. But remember, you have several rights designed to protect your interests and enable you to seek compensation for your injuries.

With HKD’s guidance and help, you can assert your:

  • Right to Seek Compensation: You can seek compensation for injuries caused by unsafe conditions on someone else’s property. This compensation can cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
  • Right to Safe Conditions: Property owners in New York City are legally obligated to maintain their premises. As a visitor or guest, you can expect safe conditions when on their property.
  • Right to File a Lawsuit: If the property owner’s negligence leads to your injury, you can file a premises liability lawsuit against them.
  • Right to Legal Representation: You can hire a premises liability lawyer to represent you in negotiations with property owners or insurance companies and, if necessary, in court.
  • Right to Be Informed: You have the right to be informed about the insurance policies and coverage that may apply to your accident.
  • Right to Fair Treatment: many quickly discredit premises liability accidents, but you are entitled to a fair legal process, including a reasonable timeframe to file a claim.
  • Right to Reject Lowball Offers: You can reject settlement offers from insurance companies if they do not adequately compensate you for your injuries and losses.

New York City Premises Liability FAQs

What if I Slipped, Tripped, or Fell in a Parking Lot?

Parking lots are often private property, so the property owner may be responsible for your accident if you fall. If the owner knew about the dangerous situation and failed to rectify it or warn others about it, you may be able to obtain compensation if you were injured.

What Should I Do If I’m Injured in a Store or Business?

The business owner may be liable if you’re injured in a store or business establishment due to unsafe conditions, like wet floors or falling merchandise. It’s essential to report the incident to the store management immediately, document the scene, and seek medical attention. You should also consult a premises liability lawyer to discuss potential compensation.

Who is Liable for Accidents in NYC Apartment Buildings?

Landlords or property managers are typically responsible for maintaining safe conditions in apartment buildings or rental properties. If your injury is due to a hazard like a broken stairwell, icy entrance, or malfunctioning equipment, the landlord, building owner, or property manager may be liable.

Is There a Different Process for Injury Claims Against the City?

Yes, premises liability claims against the city or government entities in New York City have different procedures and often shorter timelines for filing. It’s vital to consult a lawyer promptly to ensure you meet all legal requirements.

How Long Do I Have to File a Premises Liability Claim in New York?

Like other personal injury lawsuits, a premises liability claim must be filed within three years of the date of the accident. However, there are exceptions. You should seek a free consultation with a premises liability attorney to start the claims process immediately.

What are the Exceptions to NY Premises Liability Law?

Premises liability in New York City includes exceptions based on the injured person’s status. Invitees are owed the highest duty of care, licensees less so, and trespassers the least, with specific rules for children, particularly in cases involving ‘attractive nuisances’ like swimming pools. Another exception is the ‘open and obvious’ doctrine, where a hazard is so apparent that the property owner may not be liable for injuries caused by it. In some instances, the responsibility might fall partially on a third party, like a maintenance company or contractor, rather than the property owner.

How Long Does a Premises Liability Case Typically Take in New York?

The time frame for resolving premises liability cases in New York varies. Simple cases like a fall in a parking lot may settle within months, while complex ones, especially those going to trial or that involve severe injuries, can take years. Factors affecting duration include the extent of investigation, negotiations with insurers, and court schedules. For a more accurate estimate of how long it may take to settle your claim, it’s best to consult an experienced attorney.

How Much Compensation Can I Expect in a Premises Liability Case?

Compensation in NYC premises liability cases typically includes medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, with amounts varying based on injury severity and case specifics. Economic damages are based on tangible losses, while non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, are more subjective. Punitive damages may also apply in cases of egregious negligence. The final amount may be adjusted for any comparative negligence on the part of the injured party.

Contact a New York City Premises Liability Lawyer Today

No one expects to be seriously hurt on another’s property because it was poorly maintained, or hazards were ignored. But unfortunately, it happens all the time in New York City. At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., our premises liability attorneys are here to answer your questions and deliver some relief in the form of justice and financial compensation. Contact HKD as soon as possible to get started.

There are never up-front costs and nothing unless you recover compensation. Call 212-271-4156 or contact us online to request a free consultation.

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To talk with a seasoned New York car accident lawyer about your options, submit your information through our online form to request a free initial consultation.

We offer free case evaluations, and there are no up-front fees. You only pay us if we recover compensation.

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