Suffering an injury under another person’s property should make you eligible for compensation for your sustained damages. While it should be an owner’s responsibility to provide relief for accidents that occur on their properties, there are different stipulations across all the regions in the US. For example, in New York, there are complex laws that come into play when deciding if a property owner is liable to pay for damages following a slip and fall accident.
The Prerequisites for Considering a Slip and Fall Case
Under New York’s court, a person may only be entitled to compensation if they are injured under these four prerequisites:
- A dangerous condition must be present in the landowner’s property.
- The landowner must have knowledge of these dangerous conditions before a person’s accident.
- The landowner must have enough time to remedy the dangerous presence but didn’t attend to it willingly.
- The landowner must have failed to fix the dangerous presence in their property that caused a person’s injuries.
Since there’s no exact definition of what qualifies as a dangerous condition, the court will generally need more information on the case following the other prerequisites. On the other hand, there are more black and white distinctions to affirm slip and fall cases. For example, liquid spills and structural hazards like broken walkways fall as a potentially dangerous condition in a landowner’s property.
Keep in mind that identifying a dangerous presence is just the first of many hurdles you need to overcome. You’ll also need to prove the other conditions to demand reparations from a landowner.
The Accountability of a Landowner’s Knowledge or Neglect
The next obstacle with defending your case is to prove the landowner’s awareness of the dangerous condition of their property. You may need to establish information that only the owner has possession of. This evidence usually falls under actual or constructive knowledge.
Actual knowledge is affirmed if the property owner admits to recognizing the dangerous condition in their property. This makes it easier to move forward with your case concerning the other prerequisites of filing a claim. On the other hand, constructive knowledge requires you to present enough evidence that a property owner has prior knowledge of the property’s condition, which led to your accident.
In cases where structural defects are apparent, an injured person seeking reparations will be easier since these property conditions need to have been present for a long time. For example, broken staircases and pavements can exist for a long time, so a property owner cannot simply raise that unaware of their property’s condition in this way. In contrast, a slip and fall case caused by liquid spillage in restaurants may not be as easy to contest.
If enough evidence is accepted of dangerous conditions, there must be proof that the landowner had enough time to attend to the dangerous condition’s repairs properly. Otherwise, they can still be at fault for paying back damages if their repairs were insufficient.
There’s typically no excuse for a property owner to walk away from an accident leading to a stranger’s injuries on their property. However, these legal stipulations provide a double-edged sword on protecting the landowner and alleged victim’s rights. Without proper processing, one of the parties could take advantage of the other under the legal jurisdiction of the law. This is why it’s vital to have a reliable legal expert in defending your case.
Getting the right people to defend your rights significantly increases the chances of winning your case. At Housenbold Law, we provide legal counsel 24/7 for your slip and fall cases. Contact our office today at (212) 354-5048.