Janitor cleaning the floor with a wet caution floor sign
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One of the most common ways to get injured is in a slip-and-fall accident. You could be walking on the street in front of an apartment building when you step on a patch of black ice and feel your legs go out from under you. Similarly, people get injured in supermarkets when there may be an errant grape on the floor of the produce department or a recently mopped floor in a department store that hasn’t been adequately marked.

As a result, each year New Yorkers suffer injuries ranging from minor bumps and bruises to catastrophic injuries to their head, back, and legs. If this happens to you, you may incur medical bills, lose time from work, and even endure pain and suffering. This is why you are going to want to know whom you and your personal injury attorney can hold liable for your injuries.

New York Has a Concept of Premises Liability

Owners of property, as well as their tenants, can be held liable under certain circumstances for injuries that occur on their land. This is called premises liability and covers most people who enter upon their premises. This is why you’ll see workers from office and apartment buildings in Manhattan out with shovels and snow blowers during a blizzard. These landowners are required to keep the City sidewalks free from debris, including snow. They are also responsible for cracks in the sidewalk, icy conditions, and anything else that could cause pedestrians to slip and fall. 

Premises liability does not just include the sidewalks and pathways by a building. It can cover parkland, a homeowner’s yard, and the inside of structures that may be entered by people. This could be shoppers at a mall, delivery people at an office, or even workers at a private home.

How Does Premises Liability Work?

Under the law, the owner or tenant occupant owes a duty of care to third parties who may enter their land or premises. This involves keeping them safe and free from hazards. This can include snow and ice during a snowstorm, water that may spill on the ground in a store, or even a poorly lit area. If you have ever been inside a hardware store when they are using a lift to retrieve a heavy item from a top shelf, they will often close off the aisle to avoid any shoppers from getting injured. Failure to properly provide such warning signs and barricades could constitute a breach of the duty of care and subject the storeowner to premises liability.

If you slip and fall as a result of the hazardous condition, your attorney will make a claim on your behalf that this breach was the proximate cause of the injuries you sustained. In most cases, the owner or tenant will maintain general liability and negligence insurance to cover injuries to people like you who get hurt on their premises. However, sometimes the settlement offered by the insurance company is inadequate, which is why you may need to sue the responsible parties.

Who Can Be Held Liable?

You can sue practically any entity or person with ownership or occupant status on the premises. If you go into a poorly lit food court that is owned by a corporation, which leases it to a property management company with five different food businesses operating there, you could potentially sue all seven entities if you slip and fall on an unidentified beverage that has spilled on the floor. Each of these entities has a responsibility to keep the premises safe for any potential patrons. It is incumbent on the real property owner and operator to provide adequate lighting, while the food service businesses have to clean up messes left by themselves and their customers. 

Going beyond this specific example, you can see that this applies to hospitals and other healthcare facilities, office buildings, all retail establishments, and residential properties, including private homes. Anywhere that you may enter has to be maintained in such a way to make sure that people like you don’t get injured from a slip and fall on the premises.

If You Have Been Injured in a Slip & Fall Accident, You’d Better Call Saul!

Injuries from slip and fall accidents can cause you to incur medical bills and lose time from work. You may also be in pain and suffering. If you have been injured, call The Saul Law Firm, LLP, so that our team of seasoned personal injury lawyers can help you with your case. Contact us today.