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What Are the Most Common Premises Liability Claims?

Premises liability is a broad area of the law that covers things like slip and falls and other accidents because a property owner fails to maintain their property efficiently. If you are a New York resident, landlord, or business owner, you should understand how premises liability in New York works. Many situations may give rise to a premises liability issue, and no two instances are identical. Premises liability attorneys can help you file a claim in the event of an injury on someone else’s property. The following are summaries of the most typical premises liability claims.

Slip and Fall

caution signs on the floor

Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, including retail stores, restaurants, hotels, and even private homes. A property owner or someone performing work on a property can cause accidents. The landlord or building owner handles a large percentage of the slip and fall risk. Negligence may be implicated if they are aware of the issue that caused your injury. Things that could cause an injury include:

  • Flooring that is slick or unreliable
  • Slippery surfaces because of leaks
  • Unstable furnishings
  • Wet flooring, especially those recently washed
  • Stairs, railings, or grab bars that are defective
  • Unadvertised construction hazards
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Sidewalks or pathways that are icy, damaged, or uneven
  • Bathrooms that are difficult to reach

Animal Assaults/Dog Bites

According to the Centers for Disease Control, dogs bite 4.5 million Americans each year. A writer reported in Canine Journal approximately one in 73 people received dog bites in 2019. An animal attack can be an extremely traumatic event for the victim and the victim’s family. If nothing or no one incites the attack, the dog owner will be held liable for the incident. However, even if the dog was provoked, the owner may still be held accountable.

Inadequate Lighting

Inadequate lighting is a common problem in New York and across the country. Misplaced light fixtures, lack of adequate light in hallways and stairwells, and poor light bulbs and fixtures can cause trips, falls, and other accidents. Inadequate lighting can also make it challenging to navigate the premises and increase the chances of accidents in the workplace and other places.

Roadway Neglect/Negligent Road Design

It is the responsibility of the government to keep roads safe. On a national, state, and county level, the government body in charge of maintaining any road must guarantee that the roadway, its guardrails, road signs, and rights of way are all in good working order. Highway engineers must also build safe roads free of hazardous driving situations. When road builders or those who maintain them cannot fulfill their legal obligations, vehicle operators and passengers are often wounded or killed. The following are some of the most common road conditions that show negligence:

  • Improperly timed traffic lights or traffic light malfunctions
  • Trees or vegetation in the right of way that are too near to the road
  • Inadequately de-iced or inadequately plowed roads
  • Poor drainage design or big water pools on roadways
  • Obscure, unreadable, damaged, or non-existent road signs
  • Shoulder lanes are tiny
  • Large unfilled pothole or failure to remove hazardous items from the roadway
  • Too steep a slope or too abrupt a curve
  • Guardrails that are not well maintained or are not continuous

Negligent Security

Security negligence is when the property owner fails to secure their property, and someone is hurt. For example, they may not have had proper locks, surveillance cameras, enough security guards, or they may not have taken appropriate measures to prevent intruders.

Every year, many preventable on-premise accidents and assaults occur. Landlords, property owners, and shop owners are all responsible for keeping their tenants, visitors, and customers safe. Examples of this type of claim might include:

  • Intruders were able to enter because of insufficient illumination or alarm systems
  • An unsatisfactory perimeter fence resulted in a break-in
  • Broken security cameras
  • Inexperienced or incompetent security personnel failed to evaluate and prevent danger adequately
  • Deficient locks resulted in an entry
  • Scarce security guards resulted in an injury in a commercial area
  • Insufficient bouncers resulted in a bar brawl or assault

Swimming Pool Accidents

From 2010 to 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 3,900 accidental drowning fatalities each year. Operators of public pools and water parks and owners of private backyard pools must ensure the safety of all visitors. Swimming, although excellent exercise and a pleasant sport for most people, can pose certain dangers. Drowning and near-drowning, slip-and-fall accidents, and diving incidents are all possibilities in and around swimming pools.

Defective Escalators or Elevators

Factors that can contribute to escalator and elevator defects include improper installation, breakdown, or maintenance. A variety of other reasons may cause a malfunctioning elevator or escalator. Suppose the owner neglected to conduct regular safety inspections, failed to employ sufficient safety guards, or allowed the equipment to fall into disrepair to save money on maintenance. In the above cases, property owners may be held liable for injuries.

Snow and Ice Accidents

In New York, the laws regarding snow and ice removal are ambiguous. The state building code does not require that businesses clear all snow from their premises. Companies only have requirements to clear snow from steps and walkways that lead to entrances. However, businesses do not have to remove snow from other areas, such as parking lots and sidewalks. Sometimes, property management removes snow and ice from their premises negligently and exposes individuals to the risk of injury.

Train and Subway Accidents

Subway accident injuries may happen in a variety of ways. Passengers, for example, could be harmed if a subway vehicle comes to an abrupt halt without notice or if a subway car derails. Accidents may also occur because of equipment faults or inadequate maintenance. People may also be injured if they slip and fall on subway platforms or inside train cars. People have also suffered injuries because of faulty subway doors, which shut too fast or caught a person’s body, part of their clothes, or a bag, resulting in crushing or dragging injuries.

Dangerous Stairway or Stairwell Conditions

The steps of a staircase may be uneven, cracked, or chipped, or a stair may give way. Handrails may be missing or in disrepair, leading to injury. One of the most common dangers in stairways and stairwells is fall-related injuries. According to the National Safety Council, falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries in the United States, and falls are among the top three leading reasons for preventable injury-related deaths each year.

How Leav & Steinberg LLP Can Help You

New York property owners must keep their property safe. This property includes the actual land and the structures on it and the common areas like walkways, driveways, hallways, lobbies, stairs, porches, parking lots, pools, parks, and so forth. Whether a property owner knows of an unsafe condition or not, it is their duty of care to ensure your safety when on their property.

Each of the partners and associates at Leav & Steinberg LLP is highly knowledgeable about various types of premises liability. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, please contact Leav & Steinberg LLP today at 347-427-5171.