Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, L.L.P.

Staten Island Premise Liability

At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool our premises liability attorneys are very well experienced in defending the rights of individuals who have been seriously injured, or the families of individuals who were killed at the site of a business or on public or private property.

The law ordains that private property owners, landlords, business owners and state and municipal owners of every thing from government buildings to public pools have a duty of care to provide their guests with a safe and secure environment. Failure to do so means that an unsuspecting visitor can be seriously injured or even killed. Victims and the families of the deceased have a right to file a lawsuit in Court and seek to be compensated for the pain and suffering endured by the victim, medical bills, current and potential lost wages, loss of consortium as well disability and any other damages that were sustained due to the accident.

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
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.

Does Your Injury Entitle You To Compensation?

The occurrence of an accident followed by an injury does not constitute sufficient grounds for a valid premises liability lawsuit. In order to have a valid lawsuit, plaintiffs must be able to prove at least one of the following:

  • The property owner caused or created the hazardous area that caused the injury.
  • The property owner had knowledge of or was informed about the hazardous area.
  • The property owner had “constructive notice”, that is, the hazardous area had existed for a significant amount of time and should have been noticeable enough for a reasonable person exercising ordinary care. Thus, implying that the property owner had had the opportunity to remedy the situation.

It must also be proven that the property owner’s negligence directly caused the injury in question. Additionally, the sustenance of the injury must have caused the victim to endure either economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages include loss of current and future wages and medical bills, where as non-economic damages refer to emotional and physical pain and suffering endured as well as loos of consortium or enjoyment of life.

Staten Island Swimming Pool Accident Attorneys

Swimming pools can be considered the epicenter of relaxation, socialization and physical exercise. However, when improperly monitored and maintained, swimming pools can be hosts to devastating accidents, with the potential to be fatal in some circumstances. 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. Negligence on the part of swimming pool owners in this particular area has often resulted in some heartbreaking and absolutely tragic cases. 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. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool we understand that such an incident can permanently alter the life of the victim and thus 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 o 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.

Nature of Compensation

In the case that an individual suffers an injury in a swimming pool, he or she may be able to recover damages in a lawsuit. Damages may either economic or non-economic losses that an individual has suffered as a result of the accident. In the case that an individual sustain an injury in a swimming pool accident, which was directly caused by the negligence of another, the victim may be able to receive compensation for the following:

  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Contact Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool Today

Do not hesitate to call our New York law office today at 212.406.1700 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and discuss your legal options. We have accept our cases on a contingency fees basis, that is, no monetary fees is expected of you until and unless we are able to secure a monetary settlement on your behalf.

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