Property Owner Negligence
When an individual suffers an injury at a friend or other homeowner's home, they may be able to recover compensation for any damages incurred. Homeowners have a duty to their guests to maintain a reasonably safe environment on their property. When a homeowner fails to repair a hazardous area on their property, and an injury occurs, they may be liable for any injuries suffered by their guests. As a result, individuals who have suffered an injury on a friend or other homeowner's property should seek the counsel of an experienced slip-and-fall lawyer. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our New York property owner negligence lawyers have a keen understanding of premises liability law. Our attorneys will help our clients understand and navigate the legal process. We handle all aspects of the claim, including interviewing individuals who witnessed the injury, hiring investigators, the filing of the lawsuit, negotiating settlements where appropriate, and pursuing maximum compensation in court.
Have you or someone you love suffered an injury at another individual's home? If so, you may have grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit. For a free consultation to help determine your legal options, contact us online or call us at 212.406.1700.Do You Have Grounds for a Property Owner Negligence Claim?
Suffering an injury on a homeowner's property does not necessarily present grounds for a lawsuit; even if the injury was the result of an unmaintained or hazardous surface. In order to have a valid claim, at least one of the following must be true:
- The owner of the property must have caused the hazardous area or surface.
- The property owner must have known of the hazardous area's existence and done nothing about it.
- The owner should have known of the hazardous area because a reasonable person would have discovered and taken care of the issue.
While any of the above may seem obvious to the injured individual, proving liability can be difficult. Premises liability cases have become difficult to try, due to the vague language involved in determining liability. For instance, it can be difficult to definitively prove that the property owner caused the dangerous condition or should have "reasonably" known about the hazardous area's existence. As a result, it is of the utmost important that injured individuals contact a slip-and-fall attorney with experience handling these kinds of cases.Determining Liability for Licensees, Business Invitees, and Trespassers
A homeowner's duty of care varies based on the type of guest that suffered an injury. As a result, whether an individual has grounds for a lawsuit can depend on if they are considered an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. The following are the different degrees of care that a property owner owes their guests:
Licensees: Licensees are individuals who the homeowner allowed to enter their premises, despite the fact that it is not public property. Social guests, family members, and solicitors are considered licensees. Homeowners have a duty to licensees to exercise "reasonable care" to prevent injuries from a hazardous area that they knew or should have known of at the time of entry. Part of a homeowner's responsibility to licensees is warning them of any dangerous condition or risk involved with entering the property.
Business Invitees: Business invitees are guests who have been invited to a homeowner's residence for a commercial or business purpose. Customers at a garage sale, contractors, and utility workers would be examples of business invitees. Homeowners owe a significantly larger duty of care to business invitees. A homeowner's duty of care to business invitees includes actively inspecting their property for hazardous areas and making repairs to any such dangerous conditions. Unlike the duty owed to licensees, a warning of hazardous conditions is not enough to exempt homeowners from liability. Homeowners have a legal obligation to repair conditions to the point that any "reasonable" person would consider safe.
Trespasser: A trespasser is a person who enters private property without permission from the owner. Homeowners owe no legal responsibility to trespassers regarding the condition of their property.Homeowner's Insurance
Many individuals who suffer injuries on private property are hesitant to file lawsuits because the area where their injury occurred is owned by a friend. Many property owners, however, own homeowner's insurance. Homeowners insurance typically covers personal liability, ensuring that the homeowner will not have to pay out of pocket for any injuries that occur on their property. As a result, individuals who have been injured on private property can rest easy knowing that their lawsuit will not cause their friend financial harm.Don't Hesitate to Hire a Skilled Slip-and-Fall Attorney
Individuals who have suffered an injury on private property should not hesitate to seek the counsel of a skilled slip-and-fall attorney. Due to the statute of limitations, victims of a property owner's negligence cannot afford to waste too much time before filing their lawsuit. The statute of limitations is a law that limits the amount of time following an injury that an individual has to file a lawsuit. Failure to file a claim before the statute of limitations expires can result in victims being forever barred for the compensation they may be entitled. In New York, the statute of limitations for premises liability cases involving injuries on private property is typically three years. However the statute can vary on a case by case basis. As a result, injured individuals should seek out a skilled attorney as soon as possible. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool our attorneys understand the time constraints imposed by the statute of limitations. We handle all cases in a timely manner to ensure our clients don't miss their opportunity to receive compensation.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury on private property, you may be able to recoup compensation for your losses. To find out if you have grounds for a case, call 212.406.1700 or contact us online. All consultations with Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool are free of charge.