Upstate New York – Premises Liability Attorneys
At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool our attorneys have been representing
the rights of individuals injured or killed on commercial, private and
public property for over fifty years. We strongly believe 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 their guests and other visits.
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 New York law firm, Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool represents
individuals in a variety of premises liability claims, including, but
not limited to:
- Slip and Falls
- Injuries to tenant
- Pedestrian or passer by injuries at job or construction site
- Injuries from collapsing porches or stairwells
- Faulty elevators, escalators and handrails that cause serious injury or
in some cases, death.
- Robbery, rape or assault on public or private property premises
- Amusement park injuries
- Swimming pool injuries
- Cases against businesses in instances where, upon falling, elevated products
injured the customer
- Cases against New York landlords for unsecure property premises
- Injuries to customers of New York businesses
- Cases referring 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
It must be noted that the occurrence of an injury on the responsible party’s
property does not automatically insinuate liability. In order for there
to be a valid premises liability lawsuit at least one of the following
occurrences must be proven:
- The property owners had prior knowledge of the hazard or potentially dangerous area
- 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 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.
The lawsuit must establish the fact that the property owner’s negligence
was directly responsible for the accident. 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
Additionally, it must be demonstrated that the victim sustained either
economic or noneconomic damages due to 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
Upstate New York – Swimming Pool Accident Attorneys
People associate swimming pools with relaxation, exercise and socializing.
However, we often forget that in the case that pools are not properly
monitored or maintained, they can cause disastrous consequences, which
might even be fatal in certain cases.. Swimming pools that lack signs
indicating the depth of the pool at different intervals can cause severe
injuries such as concussions, fractured skulls and spinal damage. Additionally,
in the case that swimming pools lack a gate or proper fencing surrounding
them they may post a serious threat to small children.
In the case that swimming pool owners act negligently and fail to take
adequate precautions, some tragic consequences can occur. Individuals
who have a suffered an injury in the swimming pool due to the owner’s
negligence may be able to recover compensation for any damages that they
might have sustained as a result of the accident, by filing a valid premises
liability lawsuit in court.
The attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool understand that
such an incident can permanently alter the life of the victim. Consequently,
we are committed to helping our clients get their lives back on track
following an unnecessary injury. We understand that we cannot undo the
physical damage caused by the incident, but we can however, return a sense
of normalcy to your life by pursuing the maximum possible monetary compensation
on your behalf in court in order to ensure that you do not have to endure
an unnecessary financial burden and can focus on your health and your recovery.
Elements of A Valid Premises Liability Lawsuit
It is imperative to recognize that the occurrence of a swimming pool accident
is not sufficient grounds for filing a premises liability lawsuit. In
order to have a valid claim, it must be illustrated that the injury was
a result of the responsible party’s negligence and the injury resulted
in the victim sustaining either economic or noneconomic damages. In order
to demonstrate negligence, it must be shown that the pool owner violated
his or her duty of care. A duty of care of care is defined as the legal
obligation an individual has to act with a certain degree of care whilst
undertaking certain action in order to prevent harm to others. In the
case of swimming pools individuals have a responsibility to place fencing
around the pool and delineate the depth at certain intervals. Failure
to properly fulfill these responsibilities indicates that an individual
has violated his or her duty of care.
At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our lawyers have decades
of combined experience handling premises liability claims. Our ability
to prove that the property owner acted negligently has led to a number
verdicts and settlements, including one for $1.5 million. We thoroughly investigate all of our
clients' claims in order to prove the property owner acted in a negligent manner.
Nature of Compensation That Can be Recouped
Suffering an injury in a swimming pool accident due to the owner’s
negligence allows the injured individual to recoup compensation for the
damages that they have sustained by filing a premises liability lawsuit.
The damages may either be economic or non-economic losses that an individual
has suffered as a result of the accident. In the case that an individual
sustained an injury in a swimming pool accident that was directly caused
by the negligence of another, the victim may be able to receive compensation
for the following:
The Cost of Medical Bills: Injuries sustained in a swimming pool accident may require numerous medical
procedures and frequent trips to the doctor, resulting in extremely high
medical costs. In certain cases,, the victim’s insurance will not
cover the full amount of the medical treatment. Thus, the victim is eligible
to file a premises liability lawsuit to recoup compensation for any medical
bills not covered by insurance and any future medical expenses caused
by the injury suffered in the swimming pool.
Lost Wages: In the case that an individual suffers an injury due to a swimming pool
accident, he or she may miss significant time at work whilst recovering.
Though victims might be able to recoup some of their lost wages through
workers’ compensation, they may not be able to receive compensation
for all the losses that they have sustained. Consequently, victims are
allowed to recover compensation for any losses that workers’ compensation
does not cover in a general premises liability lawsuit. Additionally,
in the case that the injury proves extremely serious and long lasting
and the victim is unable to return to the workforce, he or she may be
able to receive compensation for any loss of future earnings
Wrongful Death: In the case that the swimming pool accident proves fatal, the family of
the victim may be able to file a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased. Families
may be eligible to receive compensation for their loved one’s lost
wages and future earning potential, loss of consortium, funeral costs
and pain and suffering.
Pain and Suffering: Pain and suffering are defined as non-economic damages and pertain to constant
physical pain, emotional trauma and loss of life’s enjoyment that
the individual has to endure as a result of the injury. Thus, the law
allows for victims receive compensation for the damages that they have
sustained from this particular category.
Upstate New York – Restaurant Accident Attorneys
Dining out is normally considered to be an enjoyable and luxurious experience.
However, in the case that restaurants fail to maintain a safe environment
for their guests, accidents may occur. Accidents include slippery conditions,
darkened stairways and slip and fall accidents. The Upstate New York Restaurant
Accident Attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool assist
individuals in various kinds of restaurant related injuries including,
but not limited to:
- Poor lighting
- Food or drinks spilt on the floor
- Lack of, or broken railways, on the stairs
- Failure to maintain premises
- Burns from unnecessarily hot food or drink
Slip and fall accidents are a common occurrence in restaurants and in certain
cases can result in serious harm to victims, including, but not limited
to, broken bones, back injuries and head injuries.
It is imperative that your attorney be able to complete a thorough investigation,
depose all witnesses with knowledge, and hire the appropriate expert witnesses
in order to properly represent your interests and to prove that the responsible
party was negligent because they knew or should have known of the dangerous
condition that caused the accident.
Contact Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool Today
Our law firm accepts cases on a contingent fees basis. That is no monetary
compensation is expected of you until and unless our firm is able to recoup
a financial settlement on your behalf in which case our legal fees are
a mere portion of the money you receive.
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.
In the case that 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.