What Is Premises Liability Under Personal Injury Law?
Premises liability under personal injury law, as it applies to my practice, is when somebody is injured due to a landowner not maintaining their property in a reasonably safe condition. This could be if someone has an accident and that incident causes injuries. What I seek to do, is to get compensation for my clients for their injuries.
What Types Of Accidents Or Injuries Might This All Include Under Premises Liability?
The types of accidents or injuries that this might include under premises liability can be a trip and fall or a slip and fall incident. It could be a design defect in, say, a set of steps. It could be negligent security. It could be intentional physical assaults from employees or security guards and things like that. Anyway that my clients were injured as a result of someone not maintaining their property in a reasonably safe condition is included under premises liability.
What Is Causation In A Premises Liability Case?
Causation in a premises liability case is similar to causation in any other kind of personal injury case. What you have to prove as far as the causation aspect is that the person sustained some kind of injury and that the injury was related to the negligence of the property owner or the manager of the property not maintaining the property in a reasonably safe condition. If someone tripped and fell and broke their leg or something like that, you need to show that the injury was a direct result of the negligence of the landowner not maintaining their property properly.
Is Comparative Or Contributory Negligence Ever Applicable In these Types Of Cases?
Comparative negligence in New York is usually a factor in these kinds of cases. For instance, if someone is getting out of a parking lot, walking in a parking lot, and they slip and fall on snow and ice, but they may have been doing things to make themselves unsafe. For instance, they were not wearing proper shoes in that situation. They were carrying a lot of bags. They were not paying attention. They were running when there were a snow and ice condition in the parking lot. What most defendants try to do in these kinds of cases is they try to put some of the comparative negligence onto the plaintiff. Some of it might be bona fide and some of it not. But my job is always to try to reduce that comparative element in the case and the job of the defendant usually is to maximize the comparative element and place more of the blame on the plaintiff or the injured party.
What Damages Are Available In A Premises Liability Case?
Usually, the only damages that are available in a premises liability case are called compensatory damages. These damages could mean the loss of wages if you are out of work, your medical bills if your medical bills were not paid by insurance, and the big factor in a personal injury case, that of pain and suffering. If somebody, for instance, broke their leg and they were out of work for six weeks and they had some medical bills and now they could not enjoy the regular aspects of their life that they could normally enjoy then those are all elements of damages in a personal injury case.
Can Punitive Damages Be Recovered In A Premises Liability Case?
Punitive damages rarely come up in a premises liability case unless someone that was in charge of the property or a landowner really did something grossly negligent almost to the extent that they intentionally tried to cause someone harm or intentionally tried to maintain their business in a dangerous condition. You might see this if someone is trying to maybe keep someone out of a property or prevent trespasses. They create some kind of dangerous condition that they know someone is going to get hurt on their property if they enter it.
How Do I Know Whether I Have A Premises Liability Claim That Should Be Pursued?
There are a couple of different elements in any personal injury case that you should be aware of if you are going to pursue the premises liability claim. The first is negligence, what someone did wrong with regard to their property. Did they fail to remove snow and ice? Did they fail to pick up some kind of substance that fell on the floor? Did they install steps improperly? The second is damages; what is the result of that negligence? Did you have a significant injury or was there a slight injury? There also needs to be some way to collect the money should you win the case. That means is there an insurance policy or is there an asset. In the premises liability case, it is usually the piece of property that someone owns that you could go after if there is no insurance.
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