Premises owners must maintain their property, inside and outside buildings, in a reasonably safe condition. Those who are injured due to a defective condition or in an unsafe place, such as an apartment complex, restaurant, parking lot, shopping mall, or grocery store may be entitled to compensation for their injuries, pain, suffering, medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses that arise out of an accident.
Timely and thorough investigation is important for premises accidents. Appropriate medical treatment should be sought immediately. Photographic or videographic documentation of the injuries and the defective condition should be made as soon as possible. At a minimum, a written note should be made as to where the accident occurred and how the defective condition looked at the time of the accident. For example, was the sidewalk missing, cracked, obstructive, snow-covered, icy, only partially cleared of snow or other debris, or something else? Potential witnesses should be interviewed, and their names and addresses collected. An investigator, surveyor, engineer, or architect may need to visit the site.
In addition, it is very important to always send a request to preserve any video surveillance or still images. Often at premises the accident is captured by video surveillance. That can be critical evidence to show how an accident occurred. Moreover, sometimes if you request the video and the defendant or building owner fails to maintain or keep the video that can be evidence that we can show the jury that the only reason they destroyed the video was because it showed things that were harmful to their defense and favorable to our client's position.
Common types of premises liability cases include:
- Sidewalk Accidents: raised sidewalk, hole in sidewalk, cracked sidewalk.
- Inadequate Security: at school (or field trip), club, bar, restaurant, apartment building, and more: resulting in roughhousing, fighting, assault, sexual assault, battery, murder, etc.
- Animal Attack
- Hot Water
- Snow and Ice
- Inadequate lighting
- Faulty design of stairs, landings, doorways
- Lack of or improper handrails
- Turnstile Injuries
- Exposed wiring or electrical equipment
- Failure to post warning signs
- Failure to adequately train employees
- Objects blocking walkways
$2,875,000 Settlement: obtained for 78 year old man who fell on a defective staircase outside a medical building. Plaintiff sustained a central cord spinal injury.
$925,000 Settlement : just prior to opening statements was obtained for a 47 year old female who while stepping onto the sidewalk in Brooklyn was caused to trip and fall due to a defective and broken sidewalk adjacent to McDonalds. The client sustained a fracture to her leg as well as torn ligaments in her knee resulting in what is knows as "foot drop" which requires her to wear a brace to lift the lower part of her foot up. The client returned to work and after initial offers of much less, they made an offer that was acceptable to her and her family.
$183,797.40 settlement reached for a 65 year old woman who was leaving her building in the Bronx. The super had propped open the only exit door with a bucket. Client was waiting for her transport vehicle to take her to a doctor. As she tried to open the door and move past the bucket she was caused to trip as the bucket moved into her path and she fell. She sustained a fractured elbow that required surgery.
Disclaimer: Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.