Upstate New York Premise Liability
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
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 consideration.
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 deathUpstate 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 of favorable 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.
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.