Property owners and business proprietors who invite others onto their premises have a duty to make sure that they maintain these areas in a safe condition. They must make sure that nothing on their property presents an unreasonable risk of harm to others who are lawfully there. Injuries caused by a failure to maintain the premises in a safe condition can lead to a claim of negligence. If you have been hurt in Queens or the surrounding area because of the carelessness of a property owner, you should consult an experienced premises liability attorney to find out whether you may be entitled to compensation. For three decades, injured individuals in Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, as well as in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, have enlisted the Cassisi Law Firm to assist them in pursuing the damages that they deserve.Risks Posed by Inadequate Maintenance
All buildings suffer normal wear and tear. This is especially true of business properties that keep long hours and in which the public regularly comes and goes, whether they are apartment buildings, hotels, parking garages, restaurants, or retail establishments. When a facility is heavily used, the owner has an affirmative responsibility to make sure that it is maintained in a safe condition. It must assess whether any conditions on the property, even if they are not currently dangerous, are likely to develop into serious hazards, such as:
- Leaking water or gas pipes, ducts, or tanks;
- Storage of chemicals or waste;
- Faulty wires or electrical fixtures;
- Broken gates, doors, locks, or fences;
- Burned out lightbulbs or broken light fixtures that cause insufficient lighting;
- Worn, broken, or uplifted flooring or concrete that creates uneven surfaces or transitions;
- Subsidence causing cracks in walls, ceilings, or flooring;
- Weakened beams, joists, trusses, stair supports, railings, or other structural fixtures; or
- Loose, unstable, or overloaded shelving, racks, and cabinets.
Conditions that may be normal or even expected as buildings or fixtures age can give rise to liability if a property owner has failed to maintain its premises in good repair.Pursuing a Negligence Claim After an Accident
Premises liability cases are often referred to as “slip, trip, and fall” cases because injuries on other property frequently occur when victims slip, trip or fall on slippery or uneven surfaces they were not aware of. However, these cases can arise in many different ways. Items falling off shelves, broken stairs or stair railings, exposure to chemicals, and other conditions can cause serious harm.
These injuries typically lead to negligence claims, which have four main elements. The defendant must have owed a duty of care to the victim, the defendant must have breached the duty, the breach must have directly led to an injury, and the victim must have suffered damages as a result. Landowners and business proprietors owe a duty to those who are lawfully on their property to keep their premises free of dangerous conditions that create a foreseeable risk of injury. Alternately, they must adequately warn others of potential hazards. Injury caused by a failure to fulfill this duty can produce liability.
Generally speaking, a business or other property owner is not liable if it was unaware of the hazard and had no opportunity to be aware of it. For example, if one shopper knocks down a bottle of oil in a store aisle and a second shopper immediately comes around the corner and slips and falls, the store can argue that it had no opportunity to either learn of the hazard or rectify it. However, there is an exception to this general rule when the owner should have known about a danger or potential danger if it had fulfilled its duty to properly maintain the premises. Thus, if the oil had been lying on the floor for several hours before the victim was hurt, he or she can use this circumstantial evidence to argue that the store should have been aware of the spill.Discuss Your Slip and Fall Case with a Skilled Queens Attorney
If you have been hurt as the result of a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, you can seek advice from a knowledgeable slip and fall lawyer at the Cassisi Law Firm. We have extensive experience helping Queens residents and other individuals throughout New York assert the right to compensation for injuries caused by negligent parties. You can contact us at (718) 441-5050 or by using our online form to set up a free, confidential consultation.