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Dedicated New York Attorneys Manage Premises Liability Litigation

Determined advocacy for victims of negligence in NYC

Premises liability is the area of the law that holds property owners or lessees accountable for injuries to guests due to hidden hazards on the property. The principles of premises liability cover everything from slip and fall accidents. If you’ve been injured on property belonging to a person or a public or private entity, you may be entitled to full compensation for your losses. At The Tacopina Injury Firm, our knowledgeable attorneys fight to deliver the best possible outcome in your case.

What you need to know about premises liability accident cases in New York

To obtain compensation from a premises liability injury, you must be able to prove certain elements of the case by a preponderance of the evidence. Generally, you must prove you had a lawful right to be on the property. However, in some cases, the law even protects trespassers, especially children who may have been enticed to enter the property by what is called “an attractive nuisance.”

Additional elements include:

  • A hidden hazard — The hazard cannot be obvious to a person of reasonable intelligence proceeding with reasonable caution.
  • Landlord’s knowledge — The person in control of the property must have known, or a jury must find that a reasonable landlord in the same circumstances should have known, of the hazard’s existence.
  • Landlord’s unreasonable behavior — The person in control of the property has a duty to make the property reasonably safe for visitors. The plaintiff must show that the landlord’s acts or omissions with regard to the hazard were unreasonable given the likelihood of injury occurring.
  • The hazard caused the plaintiff’s injury — The plaintiff must show that if not for the hazard, the harm would not have occurred.

Our attorneys draw on more than 80 years of combined legal experience to build a strong case for your recovery when you have been injured on someone’s premises.

Common defenses to premises liability claims

A landlord has several viable defenses to a premises liability claim, such as:

  • Open and obvious — This defense basically says the plaintiff should have noticed the dangerous condition and taken proper steps to avoid it. Courts have held that a plaintiff who sees a hazard, such as clutter on stairs, and decides to continue across the hazard rather than taking an alternative route, assumes the risk of encountering the hazard. However, this defense doesn’t work if the plaintiff had no reasonable alternative than to take on the hazard. The open and obvious defense also might not work in circumstances where a plaintiff was distracted from noticing an obvious hazard.
  • Insufficient time to cure — This defense is used in cases where third parties create hazards on the property, like diners who spill water on a restaurant floor, or shoppers who knock mayonnaise jars onto the floor. Store owners might not be liable for slip and fall accidents that happen soon after a third party created a puddle, especially if the store had protocols in place for quickly dealing with spills and had a record of diligence.
  • Reasonableness — A landlord who takes steps to make a hazard safer while not completely eliminating it might escape liability by showing his actions were reasonable. For example, if a restaurant has a slight step down from the reception area to the dining room, customers are likely to trip. Painting the edge of the step yellow may make it more obvious but doesn’t completely cure the situation. However, a court might find the cost of leveling the entire surface was prohibitive, so under the circumstances, the restaurant owner’s actions were reasonable.

Our firm’s experience with premises liability cases helps us to overcome obstacles such as these so we can pursue the best results possible in your case.

Contact a winning team of premises liability attorneys in New York City

Complex, hard-to-win cases require determined legal representation. To learn how The Tacopina Injury Firm can manage your premises liability litigation, schedule a free consultation and case evaluation at our Manhattan office. Call us today at 347-246-5102 or contact our office online.