Premises liability is one of those legal phrases that can be intimidating, but simply put, it is the duty that New York law places upon property owners to keep their property reasonably safe. This duty can vary according to a variety of factors, often centering on the nature of the property and whether the visitor was invited onto it.
In New York City apartment complex accidents, there are a variety of situations where premises liability comes into play. There are many different ways to categorize premises liability accidents; in this article we will break them down into common indoor and outdoor accidents occurring in residential complexes.
Hazardous Indoor Conditions
Residential property managers or owners have a duty to provide reasonably safe premises for their tenants, yet dangerous conditions inside apartment complexes often lead to the injuries of tenants or their guests. Some of the common causes of these injuries include:
- Staircase accidents, including faulty handrails or railing
- Ceiling falls
- Elevator accidents
- Worn carpeting and loose floorboards
- Inadequate lighting
- Lead poisoning
When these defective or dangerous conditions cause harm, the owner or management company may be legally responsible. If the responsible party was aware of the hazard (or should have been aware) yet failed to adequately protect the tenants, then the claimant has a good chance at recovering damages. However, the dangerous condition often isn't as visibly obvious as a cracked stair or loose handrail, and necessitates a thorough investigation and sound legal strategy if the injured party hopes to recover damages.
Dangerous Outdoor Conditions
Property managers or owners are also responsible for hazardous conditions on their outdoor property. If the responsible party fails to remedy dangerous conditions that result in a sidewalk accident, then the tenant or passerby may have an actionable claim. Some of the common outdoor hazards include:
- Uneven, cracked or crumbling sidewalks
- Raised grates or flagstones creating trip-and-fall hazards
- Sidewalk vaults and faulty access panels
- Improper snow and ice removal
- Insufficient outdoor lighting
These dangerous conditions can result in severe injuries such as fractured arms and wrists. A hard fall can even cause serious harm requiring knee or shoulder surgery.
What a Premises Liability Attorney Does for You
Even when an apartment complex accident seems cut-and-dry, the responsible party or insurer will likely fight the claim, stating that it was the victim's own clumsiness or carelessness that caused their injuries. A skilled attorney will conduct an effective investigation, documenting all relevant evidence, and in every aspect, prepare your case to ensure the most successful result.
An experienced attorney can help you recover damages for pain and suffering for the injuries sustained in the accident, medical bills, lost wages and other expenses related to the accident. If you or your child has been the victim of an apartment complex' dangerous condition, contact a premises liability attorney to discuss the unique circumstances of your case.