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 limited to:
- 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 even death
- 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 liability attorney.
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.