Brooklyn Premises Liability Attorney
Unintentional injuries happen every day—but most of them are preventable. When the incident that injures you happens on someone else’s property in Brooklyn, the property owner may owe you financial compensation. The law requires property owners, occupants, and managers to take steps to keep visitors to their properties safe from harm.
The legal team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP has the knowledge and resources to build the best case possible against careless property owners whose actions cause harm to others.
If you suffered an injury on someone else’s property in Brooklyn, contact the experienced Brooklyn Premises Liability Attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP for a free case evaluation to learn about your legal rights.
About Jacoby & Meyers LLP
After suffering a preventable injury on someone else’s property in Brooklyn, it is important to know that you have someone you can trust by your side to advocate for your legal rights. For nearly five decades, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, has fought to obtain compensation for Brooklyn residents and workers who got hurt through no fault of their own.
In case after case, our experience, skill, and commitment to hard work to further our clients’ interests has helped us secure top-dollar payment for our clients’ injuries from the parties who did them harm. You can read more about some of our recent results. Of course, we can never guarantee our clients will recover compensation for their injuries. However, we can promise to make our clients’ interests our top priority, and to put the skill, reputation, and resources of our firm to work to get them the money they need and deserve.
Premises Liability Explained
Unless you are a lawyer or a business owner, the term premises liability may not sound familiar. Simply put, premises liability is the legal terminology for the legal obligation of a property owner/occupant/manager to maintain a safe premises for visitors. In other words, every person who sets foot on another person’s property is entitled to do so without the property owner putting them at an unreasonable risk of injury. If an injury occurs, then that person may have a legal claim for damages against the property owner who should have taken reasonable steps to prevent it.
Those are the basics. In practice, however, the devil is in the details.
As summarized by the New York City Bar, a legal claim seeking compensation for injuries suffered on someone else’s property in Brooklyn usually must meet three specific criteria to entitle someone to payment of damages:
You had permission, either spoken or implied, to come onto the property. As a general matter, property owners have a duty to keep people who are allowed to be on a property safe while they are there. They have very few obligations to trespassers (unless those trespassers are children, to whom property owners owe a duty to keep out of harm’s way in all cases, especially around attractive property features like swimming pools, trampolines, or piles of construction material).
The property owner did not take reasonable steps to keep you out of harm’s way. A property owner cannot foresee every danger on a property. However, within reason, property owners should know about dangerous conditions on their premises, fix them, warn visitors about them, and keep visitors away from them.
You got hurt as a result of the owner’s failure to keep you safe. Obviously, without a personal injury, you cannot pursue a personal injury claim. However, you have rights no matter how minor you think your injury was. Never assume that lawsuits are only for people who get catastrophically or fatally injured in incidents on someone’s property. Virtually any injury may entitle you to compensation.
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we have years of experience in how to prove each of these criteria to maximize our clients’ chances of obtaining every dollar of compensation they deserve for their injuries and losses.
Common Settings for Premises Liability
The duties that property owners/occupants/managers owe to visitors exist in a broad range of settings, and lead to a wide variety of cases in which someone has the right to compensation for damages. Some common examples of the types of situations that have prompted our firm to take legal action on behalf of clients claiming damages for premises liability include:
Slip/Trip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall and trip and fall injuries account for many premises liability claims. While injuries from falling get the most attention when they happen at a public space or place of business, slip/trip and fall injuries can occur as a private residence as well. Often, people lose their footing and fall because of liquid or ice on the ground, but virtually any kind of fall can result in severe injuries.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Swimming pools can be dangerous, even for experienced swimmers. Property owners have a responsibility to make sure the pool is safe for all swimmers and to keep uninvited guests out of the pool. Accidents can happen when unsafe conditions exist in or around the pool or when a child enters an unsecured pool.
Any person who owns a pool, whether inground or above ground, has a responsibility to follow New York law regarding swimming pool safety. Specifically, all pools must have a safety barrier of at least 4 feet tall to prevent unpermitted access. Additionally, any pool installed or modified after December 14, 2006, must have an approved security alarm.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, over 4.5 million people suffer from dog bites every year. One in five of these people will need medical attention. New York law requires pet owners to maintain control of their animals. In the event of a dog bite, the pet owner will typically face 100 percent financial liability for any medical costs to the victim. The victim may also have the right to claim additional damages through a premises liability suit.
The liabilities of a property owner extend farther than you may think. In the event of an assault or attack committed on a property owner’s premises, the owner may face financial liability for failing to provide adequate security. The degree of security necessary to keep visitors safe may depend on a variety of factors including crime rates, lighting, and population. Appropriate security may include lighting, security gates, or a security guard.
Often, fires or chemical exposure are the direct result of the property owner’s negligence. Property owners have a responsibility to comply with all fire and property codes and to conduct regular inspections. Outdated, damaged, or missing safety equipment can fail to alert occupants of potential dangers. If you are injured because of a fire or chemical exposure, your attorney can check to see if the building was up to code.
Amusement Park Accidents
Many dangers exist at an amusement park. Consequently, landowners, vendors, and event organizers have a high level of responsibility for paying visitors. While most people think of amusement park ride accidents as the source of injuries at a park, injuries can happen because of overcrowding, poorly maintained property, or food poisoning, too.
These are just examples of the scenarios that can make a property owner liable for injuries to a visitor. No matter what the setting of your injury on a Brooklyn property, the team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP has the experience and know-how to evaluate your rights.
Possible Injuries After a Premises Liability Accident
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 29 million people visit the emergency department annually because of unintentional injuries. Premises liability accidents, in particular, can cause serious or life-threatening injuries. After an accident, your health and safety is the number one priority. In the event of an emergency or life-threatening injury, seek immediate medical attention, even if you do not feel injured. Possible injuries after a premises liability accident include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries result from an external trauma to the head. These injuries typically happen when a person hits their head on a hard object or is struck by an object. Falls are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries and can happen because of unsafe property conditions. All traumatic brain injuries are emergency medical conditions. If you hit your head in a fall or other incident on someone else’s property in Brooklyn, regardless of whether you experience immediate symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. TBIs can take time to display symptoms, but a doctor can diagnose an injury right away.
Signs of TBI include:
- Memory loss
- Loss of consciousness
- Difficulty concentrating
Acquired Brain Injuries
Acquired brain injuries, sometimes called non-traumatic brain injuries, result from internal force or condition, such as a stroke or lack of oxygen. This injury can happen in connection with a chemical exposure or a near-drowning on someone’s Brooklyn property. The symptoms of an ABI are similar to a TBI, but again, err on the side of caution. If you have a scary incident, seek medical care to rule out (or in) any injury.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord relays messages between the body and the brain. An injury to the spinal cord can lead to catastrophic disability, including permanent paralysis. Contrary to popular belief, an injury does not need to sever the spinal cord to cause paralysis. Swelling, bruising, or contusions on the cord can lead to paralysis, too. Because of this, seek medical attention right away if you suspect a spinal cord injury. In some cases, a doctor may reduce the amount of damage the victim might otherwise suffer.
Symptoms to look out for include:
- Extreme back pain
- Numbness or tingling
- Radiating pain or numbness down the arms or legs
- Difficulty moving or walking
- Pressure on the back or neck
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
Lacerations and Infections
Lacerations and infections often go hand-in-hand. An open wound can easily become infected if left untreated or exposed to bacteria or dirt. Additionally, serious lacerations may lead to extreme pain, loss of movement, or permanent scarring.
Common causes of lacerations include:
- Dog bites
- Slip and fall accidents
- Contact with glass or another sharp object
What to Do After an Accident on Someone’s Brooklyn Premises
What you do after an accident can affect your legal rights.
Following the tips below may help protect those rights after you get hurt on someone else’s property in Brooklyn:
Check for injuries: After an accident, the first thing you need to do is evaluate the scene. Are you okay? Are you at risk for further injury? If the accident caused serious injury, do not attempt to leave the scene. Call for help and seek medical attention.
Gather evidence, if you can: Personal injury cases rely heavily on evidence. The more evidence you can collect, the better chance you will have at obtaining the compensation you deserve. One easy way to gather evidence is to take pictures with your cell phone of the dangerous property condition that caused your injury, preferably before the condition gets fixed. Be sure to include pictures of the location of the accident, the cause of the accident, your injury, and any other relevant details.
Report the accident: Report the accident and your injuries to the property owner or manager on duty as soon as possible, but do not demand or accept compensation (that is for your lawyer to handle). Keep a copy (or take a picture) of the report for your own records.
Go to the doctor right away (no later than 24 hours): You must treat your injuries for your own health, and avoid making them worse. Also, your medical records may well play a central role in any Brooklyn premises liability lawsuit.
Brooklyn Premises Liability FAQ
Every day, Brooklyn’s residents, workers, and visitors leave their homes to run errands, go to work, visit friends, or do any of the countless other activities of daily life. None of them walks out the door expecting to suffer a serious injury because of a dangerous condition at a property they visit.
Unfortunately, for some Brooklyn-ites, that is how the day turns out. Through any number of incidents and circumstances, they encounter hazards at residential, commercial, and public properties, and end up sustaining painful, debilitating injuries through no fault of their own.
Victims of these so-called premises liability injuries often have questions about their legal rights to seek money damages as compensation. Below we answer some of the most common of those questions.
For answers to your specific questions about an injury you suffered on a property owned or operated by someone else, contact our experienced Brooklyn premises liability attorneys today.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is a good chance the property’s owner, occupant, or manager may have a legal liability to you. Others might owe you money damages as well.
In New York, owners, occupants, and managers of properties have a legal duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition for anyone who sets foot there. This duty takes on different dimensions depending on the circumstances, but it generally requires owners and others to prevent dangerous conditions in commercial establishments, in the common areas of residential buildings (such as stairways and lobbies), and on single-family residential properties. The duty extends to all types of property owners and occupants, from huge companies to government entities to individuals.
So, if you suffered an injury on someone’s property because of an unreasonably dangerous condition that they should have fixed or at least warned you about, then the owner, tenant, or manager of that property could owe you damages under New York law.
Other parties unconnected to the property could also owe you damages, if their dangerous decisions or actions also contributed to your injury. For example, a property owner might owe you damages for injuries you suffer when you slip on a slick floor, but so might the manufacturer of the flooring material, if that material had a defect that made it slippery and likely to lead to a fall.
Speak with an experienced Brooklyn premises liability lawyer today to learn more about your rights after suffering an injury on someone else’s property.
A hazardous condition on a property can take a wide variety of forms.
However, some of the more common examples of hazardous conditions that Brooklynites might encounter at a property include:
- Bad lighting in a stairwell or walkway;
- Broken or missing handrails on stairs;
- Holes or other openings in walkways;
- Slippery floors that result from spills or leaks;
- Cracked, uneven, or broken sidewalks;
- Unsalted or unshoveled patches of ice or snow;
- Decorations or decorative pieces near an entrance that can harm guests;
- Inadequate signage;
- Inadequate security; and
- Building Code violations.
This is just a partial list, of course. Virtually any property condition could prove unreasonably dangerous in the wrong circumstances. Speak with an experienced Brooklyn premises liability attorney today to evaluate whether someone should have prevented or warned you about the condition on a property that injured you.
Call us and let us investigate.
Until you do so, know that under New York law, if a dangerous condition on someone else’s property causes you an injury, then you may have a legal claim against the property owner, tenant, or management company.
To figure out if you have a potential claim, first ask yourself whether the property owner or others had either constructive notice or actual notice of the dangerous condition.
- Actual notice exists when the property owner knows about the property hazard, such as by discovering it, creating it, or being told about it.
- Constructive notice exists when a dangerous condition is so apparent that the property owner, occupant, or manager reasonably should have known about it, even if they did not actually know. Constructive notice is often a question of what is reasonable to expect a property owner to know. A restaurant owner might not know about spilled water that makes a floor slippery the second it happens, but probably should know about it after 15 minutes, for example.
Once you can determine that the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition, the next question is whether the property owner took reasonable steps to fulfill the legal duty to keep the premises safe for others through a combination of fixing the condition, warning about it, and preventing access to it. Did the owner mop up a spill and put out a “Danger, Wet Floor” sign? Did the building manager replace a broken handrail in a stairwell? Every case of premises liability has its own unique facts that will determine whether you have a claim.
For help determining if you have legal rights to sue for a premises liability injury, speak with an experienced Brooklyn premises liability attorney today.
If you suffered injuries on someone else’s property while working, then you may have several means of recovering compensation. First, you likely have the right to receive benefits under the workers’ compensation insurance policy that covers you, which virtually all Brooklyn employers must purchase for their employees. Workers’ comp pays for your medical care and replaces a portion of your income when you miss work due to a work-related injury or illness.
Next, you may also have legal rights to seek compensation from the property owner. New York labor laws, such as the Scaffolding Law, impose obligations on property owners to protect workers on their properties in certain circumstances.
You may also have legal rights to seek compensation from third parties whose dangerous decisions or actions contributed to your injury. If you suffered injuries due to the use of defective equipment, for example, the manufacturer of that equipment may have a legal liability to you for your injuries.
An experienced Brooklyn premises liability and workers’ compensation lawyer can help you evaluate your potential rights against property owners and others if you suffer a work-related injury while on someone else’s property.
Yes, it’s possible. If you suffered an injury while trespassing on someone else’s Brooklyn property, speaking with an experienced premises liability lawyer anyway to see if you have the legal right to file a claim.
In some states, trespassers have limited rights to seek compensation for an injury they suffer on someone’s property. In New York, however, property owners must keep their properties in a safe condition for all property visitors they can reasonably foresee setting foot there, which includes reasonably foreseeable trespassers. So, if you trespassed on a property where the property owner should have foreseen someone would trespass, and got hurt because of a dangerous condition there, then you may have a claim for damages.
Further, in New York, property owners, occupants, and managers owe special duties of care to keep children safe from harm, including child trespassers. These duties include taking reasonable steps to prevent children from having unsafe or unsupervised access to property features that anyone would reasonably expect a child to try to visit or use, such as a swimming pool, trampoline, or idle construction equipment.
Every Brooklyn premises liability case is different, so we cannot offer specific advice.
However, people who get injured on someone else’s property can often safeguard their legal and financial rights by:
- Notifying the owner of the property immediately or as soon as possible after suffering an injury (but not making any demand for compensation at that time).
- Seeking medical attention as soon as possible, regardless of the severity of the injury. Many serious injuries may not show immediate symptoms, but if left untreated could lead to severe, even fatal, health complications. By seeking a full exam from a doctor right away, injured people can protect their health and also ensure the creation of medical records documenting the connection between their injury and the incident on someone’s Brooklyn property.
- Contacting an experienced Brooklyn premises liability attorney as soon as possible. The sooner an attorney can get to work on a client’s behalf, the better the client’s chances of recovering the full amount of compensation available under New York law.
Generally speaking, people injured on someone else’s privately-owned property or business in Brooklyn have three years from the date of the injury to take legal action. If they do not take action within those three years, then they risk losing their legal rights to compensation, in most cases.
Remember, three years is the outside time limit—an expiration date, not a target date. Most experienced attorneys would prefer to get started seeking compensation for a client as soon as possible after a Brooklyn premises liability incident, to maximize the client’s chances of a favorable outcome.
People injured on publicly owned property, such as a city park, typically have far less time to take action. Claims against the City of New York, for example, begin with filing a Notice of Claim, which must happen within 90 days of the injury in most cases.
Do not risk losing your legal rights by waiting too long to take legal action. Speak with an experienced Brooklyn premises liability attorney as soon as possible to give yourself as much time and opportunity as possible to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Hiring an attorney as soon as possible after getting injured on someone else’s property in Brooklyn can help you in numerous, important ways. Every case is different, of course, so the specific tasks an attorney performs for a client will vary.
However, in general, an experienced Brooklyn premises liability lawyer can:
- Investigate the incident and injury to determine how it happened and who should bear legal and financial responsibility for the dangerous property condition that contributed to it;
- Assess how the client suffered harm, to ensure that any legal action taken on the client’s behalf seeks full compensation for injuries and losses;
- Answer the client’s questions about how the process of seeking compensation works, and what the client should or should not do to enhance the probability of success;
- Plan a legal strategy that serves the client’s specific needs and goals;
- File legal actions on the client’s behalf in Brooklyn courts;
- Negotiate settlements, if possible, with insurance company representatives and defense attorneys; and
- Go to court to fight for the client’s rights to receive maximum compensation from a Brooklyn property owner, occupant, or manager, or anyone else whose dangerous decisions or actions caused the client harm.
Your initial consultation with our experienced Brooklyn premises liability lawyers is always free of charge. You should never have to pay to interview a lawyer who may want to represent you, and we don’t make you do that. The purpose of an initial consultation is for the lawyer to learn a little about your case, and for you to learn a little about your potential legal right to receive compensation for your injuries and losses.
If you and our Brooklyn premises liability lawyers agree to have us take your case, then we will represent you on a contingency fee basis. In this arrangement, the lawyer’s fee consists of a percentage of any money he or she can recover on your behalf. You pay the lawyer nothing up front, and the lawyer does not bill you by the hour or by the task. The lawyer gets paid only if you get paid.
To learn more about your rights after suffering injuries because of a dangerous condition at someone else’s property in Brooklyn, contact the experienced Brooklyn premises liability attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today for a free case evaluation.
Call Our Experienced Brooklyn Premises Liability Lawyers
You deserve compensation for injuries you suffered on someone else’s property in Brooklyn because of a dangerous property condition the owner, occupant, or manager should have fixed or warned you about. Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP today at (877) 565-2993, fill out our online contact form, or start a chat with one of our live representatives for a free, no-obligation case evaluation from one of our experienced Brooklyn premises liability attorneys.
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