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What is premises liability and what action can I take?

Premises liability is a problem for anyone who has been injured in a store, on a stairwell, at a corner due to crumbling sidewalk areas or due to snowy sidewalks. It can mean serious injury and chronic pain. Many people just mark it down as carelessness or a simple accident and don't take action to try and make a change to the situation for those who come after them.

When you are injured on someone else's property, the owner of that property becomes liable for that injury. Whether it is a slip and fall accident or a broader issue like falling down stairs that are inadequately marked, you may file a civil court case to receive recompense for lost wages, and pain and suffering along with your medical bills.

Were you lawfully on the property? If you were invited by the owner or it is a public place such as a store, you are there with the understanding that you have general safety of passage.

If you are injured due to unsafe conditions, you may want to talk to an attorney to have your questions answered. Did the owner appear negligent in dealing with this unsafe property? For example, if you are in a restaurant and there is a step down that isn't well marked and you fall and are injured, you have suffered due to unsafe conditions.

Unfortunately, if you are trespassing on the owner's property, then you do not have the right to bring him before the court system of New York. However, once you have trespassed and have been identified by the owner and he or she has tacitly agreed that you are there, you can then sue them for recompense because they more or less agreed that you could be on the property.

An attorney who knows about premises liability and can inform you of your rights can make all the difference.

Source: New York City Bar, "Premises Liability," accessed May. 12, 2015

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Orin J. Cohen Law
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