The Bronx – Premises Liability Attorneys
The attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool have been protecting
the rights of individuals injured or killed on commercial, private or
public property. Our legal team strongly believes in the principles that
business owners, landlords, private property owners and even state and
municipal owners, of government buildings, parks and pools, have a duty
of care to provide a safe and secure environment for visitors. In the
case that these institutions fail to abide by their duty of care individuals
can be seriously injured. The law provides a remedy to this solution by
allowing individuals who have been injured, or the families of victims
who have been killed, to recoup compensation for medical bills, lost wages,
disability, pain and suffering and any other damages sustained.
The Bronx personal injury and premises liability attorneys at Queller,
Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool represent individuals seriously injured
or killed in a plethora of premises liability claims including, but not
- Pedestrian or passerby injuries at a job or construction site
- Injuries resulting from collapsing stairwells or porches
- Faulty handrails, elevators or escalators that cause serious injury or
- Rape, robbery or assault on private or public property
- Injuries to tenants
- Swimming pool injuries
- Amusement park injuries
- Injuries to customers of businesses in the Bronx
- Injuries resulting from falling overhead objects
- Cases pertaining to the failure of landlords to provide safe and secure
living conditions, a fault that caused serious injury or even death.
Components of a Valid Lawsuit
The occurrence of an accident on another individual’s property does
not automatically implicate the responsible party. In order for there
to be a valid lawsuit at least
one of the following must be proven:
- The hazardous area, which caused the victim’s injury, was either
created by the property owner or resulted from his or her actions.
- The property owners had prior knowledge of the hazard or potentially dangerous area.
- The property owner had constructive notice. Constructive notice refers
to the notion that the property owner should have known about the hazardous
area as it was prominent and had existed for a period of time that would
have caused a reasonable person to notice and make the appropriate amendments.
Additionally, the lawsuit must be able to establish the fact that the property
owner’s negligence was directly responsible for the accident and
the resulting injury. In a nutshell, negligent behavior on behalf of the
property owner does not necessarily constitute liability. For instance,
in the case that the property owner had neglected a certain part of their
preemies but the accident occurred on another part of the property that
was not hazardous, liability cannot be established as the property owner’s
negligence did not directly cause the injury under consideration.
Lastly, it must be demonstrated that the victim sustained either economic
or noneconomic damages as a result of the injury. Economic damages pertain
to any economic harm the victim might have sustained as a result of the
injury and non-economic damages refer to any long-term physical and emotional
trauma the victim is forced to undergo as a result of the injury that
he or she sustained.
Common Legal Issues in Premises Liability Cases
In order to prove liability against the potentially negligent party, or
the tortfeaser, certain common legal issues need to first be addressed.
These common legal issues are applicable across the New York State terrain
to cases where injury occurs on the property of a landowner, homeowner,
lessor, tenant – essentially, cases involving a person or entity
that controls the safety of a certain location.
The first issue that needs to be addressed is that of the control of the
property and whether the potential defendant had the ability or presence
at a site to be aware of, or have the opportunity to be aware of, the
problem or defect that caused the victim’s injury. By establishing
the defendant’s knowledge of the defect it can logically be shown
that he or she had the opportunity to rectify the issue under question.
The issue of control is fairly problematic in cases where landowners claim
that they had divulged full ownership of the property to a tenant and
thus, by virtue of having no knowledge or opportunity to fix the problem,
are not responsible for its emergence and existence. In such instances,
it becomes pertinent to test the validity of the defendant’s claims,
Whether or not a defendant can be held legally liable for the damages sustained
in the aforementioned situation is predicated upon the quality of your
legal representation and their ability to challenge the defendant’s
claim that because he or she was not in possession of the property, responsibility
is evaded. In such situations, it is imperative that the extent od the
defendant’s involvement, as well as that of his employees or anyone
who had a key available through him, such as superintendents, handymen
or rent collectors, with the property be determined. It must also be discerned
who had a key to the property and was able to enter the premises with
permission. When it comes to this discovery process, the attorneys at
Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool are well versed with carrying
out thorough investigations and deposing several individuals in order
to deduce the involvement and presence of the defendant and his or her
employees at the property.
“Constructive notice” or absent actual notice is also sufficient
in order to prove liability against the defendant. Constructive notice
is proven by presenting evidence that shows that the dangerous condition
was prevalent for an elongated period of time, or at least for a long
enough time that the responsible party would have or should have, had
they exercised reasonable care, been aware of the situation and have worked
to amend it. Evidence may include testimonies by individuals who witnessed
the conditions and are aware of their respective time frames. In the case
the an individual testifies to the presence of a condition that, within
the period of time it existed, should have been addressed, the defendant
can be held liable. In certain cases, the nature of the condition itself,
such as a large build up of dirt or debris, is testament to its longevity.
In other cases, certain transient conditions are harder to prove. For
example, if an individual slips due to water on the staircase, with little
information as to how long that water had been there and whether or not
the responsible party had had a reasonable amount of time to clean it,
it is fairly difficult to prove constructive notice.
The existence of the “constructive notice” illustrates the
concept that having an accident and sustaining an injury is not sufficient
for one to receive compensation, the negligence of the responsible party
must be proven. According to New York State law, the burden is placed
on the Plaintiff to prove that more likely than not, the defendant was
negligent. The Plaintiff must base his or her case upon a preponderance
of the evident in favor of the Plaintiff’s argument. Failure to
do so, will result in an inability to prove negligence and thus an successful
premises liability claim.
In cases where Defendants lack knowledge, it is primarily due to poor supervision
and the failure to properly maintain one’s property. Indeed, homeowners,
business owners, tenants, and landowners often forego much needed maintenance
and repairs in order to increase profits, at the expense of persons who
are seriously or catastrophically injured, or even killed.
In light of these circumstances, and because often times dangerous conditions
are not very noticeable to the public and passerby’s, expert opinion,
instead of “lay” witnesses, is required in order to prove
negligence or a defective condition. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs
& Kool our attorneys will hire a cornucopia of experts to establish
the fact that had the Defendant exercised ordinary case, he or she would
have been aware of the defective condition.
Some examples of experts that were retained to corroborate the negligence
of the responsible parts are:
- Retention of electrician or electrical engineer in cases where electrocution
has resulted in wrongful death.
- Hiring engineers to prove lack of maintenance or poor design in accidents
involving falling objects or collapsing ceilings.
- Utilization of experts to examine the condition and maintenance of floors,
stairwells, handrails and bannisters. Testimony includes safety tests
and opinions on the conditions of the property with specific reference
to legal guidelines.
The most common types of injuries resulting from premises liability accidents
include bone fractures, articular fractures, brain injures and in certain
cases, even death
The Bronx - Animal Attack Attorneys
Though as a society we do our very best to attempt to domesticate animals
and maintain a symbiotic relationship with our environment, often times
we cannot control animals and they may pose a serious threat to our well-being.
Animal attacks are a startlingly regular occurrence that may result in
serious injury or even death. According to the Center for Disease Control
and Prevention there are over four million animal bites annually. Unfortunately,
majority of these animal attacks are caused by the negligence of the pet’s
owner and could have been prevented had the owner taken adequate precautionary
measures. Consequently, the legal system allows for injured victims to
recoup compensation for the damages that they have sustained. The premises
liability attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool are committed
towards protecting the rights of individuals that have been injured during
an animal attack that resulted due to the negligence of the owner. The
legal attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool understand
that animal attacks are an extremely serious matter resulting in emotional
scarring, developmental delays and physical ramifications. Consequently,
our legal team utilizes their knowledge and expertise in order to ensure
that our clients receive the maximum possible compensation that they deserve.
New York Legislation Pertaining to Dog Bites
In dog bite cases most states follow either the “One Bite Rule”
or a law enforcing strict liability. Strict liability laws hold pet owner’s
accountable for any injuries or damages that their pet might have caused.
Alternatively, the “One Bite Rule” only holds the pet owner
accountable for the injuries caused by their pet if the pet had had a
history of violence, such as biting individuals in the past. In the State
of New York, premises liability law relies on a combination of strict
liability statutes and the “One Bite Rule”. Dog owners have
a strict liability for any medical or veterinary bills incurred by their
pet. However, dog owners can be held liable for non-medical damages only
if their pet had had a propensity for violence in the past.
Components of a Valid Animal Attack Lawsuit
Unlike most other states, in the State of New York negligence on behalf
of the pet owner does not constitute sufficient grounds for establishing
liability. In order to recoup compensation beyond medical expenses related
to the injury, it must be established that the dog under question had
a history of a dangerous or vicsious temparanetn. Proving that the dog
had a history of violence can be a tedious task that requires extensive
investigation which is why it is pertinent that you retain a skilled premises
The Bronx - Public Building Accident Attorneys
A city, a state or the federal government can be held accountable for any
accidents that occurred on its property which were perpetuated by the
property owner’s negligence. Just like any other property owner,
a municipality, the state or the federal government can be held liable
if they were negligent in the maintenance of their property. However,
filing a claim against a public entity is significantly more difficult
than seeking compensation from a business or private individual. In addition
to varying filing requirements, the time times limits are also different
for cases against public entities. Consequently, it is of utmost importance
that you retain an expert and skilled attorney that will be able to adequately
represent you in a lawsuit against a public agency. At Queller, Fisher,
Washor, Fuchs & Kool our premises liability attorneys have been defending
the rights of individuals injured upon public premises for over fifty
years. Our legal team has the sufficient knowledge and experience to ensure
that you receive the maximum compensation that you deserve.
The importance of Time
Unlike other types of personal injury claims, lawsuits against the city
of New York work within a quicker time frame and any injured person must
file a notice of claim within
90 days of the injury, informing the city of his or her intention to sue. The
lawsuit must be filed within a year and within ninety days following the accident.
Contact Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool Today
Due to the statute of limitations, victims of premises liability violations
have a specified amount of time during which they can claim compensation
for any damages that they have sustained. If individuals fail to file
a claim within that specified period, they might be forever banned from
receiving compensation from the law. Consequently, it is imperative that
individuals contact a premises liability attorney today, in order to avoid
any conflicts with the statute of limitations.
If you, or a loved one, have sustained an injury on another’s premises
due to the responsible party’s negligence, do not hesitate to contact
a premises liability attorney at the New York law office of Queller, Fisher,
Washor, Fuchs & Kool today at (212)-406-1700, or contact us online.
Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool will schedule a free consultation
to review the facts of your case and your legal options.