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New York Injury Lawyer’s Primer on Premises Liability

Injured due to unsafe conditions? Learn your rights under premises liability law. Consult an injury lawyer in New York for legal advice.
Thursday, November 30, 2023
Posted in Personal Injury

In an instant, a routine day can spiral into chaos, leaving you in need of an injury lawyer in New York. The National Safety Council reported nearly 225,000 preventable injury-related deaths in 2021, a sobering statistic that underscores the potential for harm lurking in everyday situations. 

For New Yorkers, understanding the common legal issues and knowing when to seek the expertise of a dedicated injury lawyer can be the deciding factor in restoring your life to its rightful course. This guide aims to navigate you through the complexities of such legal challenges and the pathways to resolution.

Premises Liability Law in New York

When you step onto someone else’s property, be it a store, an office building, or your neighbor’s front porch, there’s duty that the property owes to you to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition. That’s the heart of premises liability law in New York.

This set of laws says property owners must keep their spaces safe for visitors. If they don’t and someone gets hurt, the owner might have to pay.  

Now, this doesn’t mean a property owner is always at fault when an accident happens. The key term here is reasonable care.  There are also other legal concepts that come into play to demonstrate that the property owner is negligent, including, but not limited to, actual notice and/or constructive notice.

Imagine stepping into a grocery store and slipping on an unmarked wet floor—this scenario is at the core of premises liability law in New York. Property owners are legally bound to maintain a safe environment, and failure to do so could leave them financially responsible for any injuries that occur. However, liability hinges, in part, on the concept of ‘reasonable care’—a term that balances the responsibility between the property owner’s vigilance and the injured party’s awareness.

In New York, if you’re injured on someone’s property, you must show that either the owner (or his agents) created the dangerous condition that caused the accident. Or that the owner (or his agents) knew or should’ve known about the danger, but failed to remedy it. This can be a slick staircase, a wobbly railing, or a broken sidewalk. If you can prove this, you could have a valid premises liability claim.

For visitors, it’s important to know there are different categories, like invitees, licensees, and trespassers, and the level of care owed by the property owner changes for each. 

Know Your Rights

If you’re injured due to a property owner’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation. Winning a negligence case in New York hinges on proving a duty of care was owed and breached, leading directly to your injury. For instance, if a distracted driver disregards a stop sign and collides with your vehicle, their breach of traffic laws could be the linchpin of your claim.

Time is not your friend in legal matters. New York has a deadline, known as the statute of limitations, for a premises liability claim. Wait too long, and you might lose your right to compensation.  Expediency is critical, especially in cases where the offending party is a municipal entity, like the City of New York.

In New York’s personal injury law, comparative negligence is a critical concept. It means that if you’re injured, your role in the incident will be scrutinized.

The offending party will always argue that your conduct caused or contributed to the happening of the accident and seek to reduce your recovery by your percentage of fault. 

For instance, if it is determined that you were 30% responsible for your slip on that wet floor because you were texting while walking, a $100,000 award in damages would be reduced to $70,000 to reflect your share of the blame.

Now, it’s not about pointing fingers, but it’s about fairness. Even if you’re more at fault than not, you still have the right to recover damages; just less of them.

This system allows for a more nuanced look at accidents, as few situations are ever black and white. It’s all about the details, like warning signs, barriers, or even the footwear you had on. Each factor sways the scales of fault just a bit.

Steps to Take After an Injury

Right after an injury on someone else’s property, the clock starts ticking. First, check yourself for injuries, then get medical help even if you feel fine. Some injuries hide under the adrenaline rush.

Next up, document everything: snap photos of the scene and particularly the defect or dangerous condition that caused your accident, and your injuries.  Also, look for surveillance cameras in the area and photograph their location as well.

Do you have witnesses? Get their contact info. Their take on what went down can be golden. Then, report the incident to the property owner or manager, but stick to the facts and keep your communications simple. No need to play the blame game or put yourself in the mix.  You want to give enough information to report the incident, but not so much that you may end up compromising your recovery because you inadvertently said something damaging to your claim.

The follow-up is key. Contact a lawyer, especially if you’ve sustained an injury.  The extent or severity of an injury may not be immediately known, so it is important not to push everything to the side and let evidence disappear or deadlines unmet.  Keep all your medical records and bills; they’re the breadcrumbs that lead to your compensation. And remember, keep it tight-lipped with insurance companies. They’re fishing for anything to devalue your claim. Stay smart, and let your lawyer do the talking.

As you navigate the aftermath, engaging with a knowledgeable lawyer is your best strategy for a thorough and fair pursuit of your claim.

Types of Damages Recoverable in New York

In New York, you can seek damages for pain and suffering and economic losses.  When you get hurt in a premises liability accident, your wallet feels the pain too. Medical bills can pile up, you might lose pay from missing work, and occasionally, you can’t enjoy life like you used to. That’s where the law steps in, saying you might be entitled to damages, which is money to cover your losses.

Economic damages are the costs you can whip out receipts for. These are the hospital bills, physical therapy, and any other medical expenses tied to the accident.

Lost wages fall here, too. If you’re out of work for weeks or can’t earn the same paycheck anymore, economic damages aim to fill that gap.

Non-economic damages are about the pain and suffering that you can’t put a price tag on easily. Pain and suffering, the kind that doesn’t show up on a bill, is real. You might be awarded money for initial injury and for ongoing pain.

In New York, there’s no cap on these damages, but the burden of proof is on you. You’ve got to show how the injury has changed your day-to-day life.

The Litigation Process

Navigating the legal landscape after an injury on someone else’s property can be daunting. As an injury law firm in New York, we guide clients through the intricate process of seeking justice and compensation.

Here’s what you need to know about the litigation journey in the Empire State:

Filing the Complaint

The first step is to formally accuse the negligent party by filing a complaint (or in the case of a municipal entity, a Notice of Claim). This document outlines the defendant’s breach of duty and notifies them that you were injured as a result of their breach. It’s a critical move that sets the stage for your legal battle, and having a seasoned injury lawyer in New York by your side can make all the difference.

The Answer

Next, the defendant responds to your allegations, either accepting or challenging them. Occasionally, they might counter with claims of their own. It’s a pivotal moment where the expertise of an injury lawyer in New York is invaluable, helping to anticipate and counteract the defense’s strategies.


This phase is the legal equivalent of laying all the cards on the table. Both parties exchange evidence, such as incident reports and medical documentation. Depositions, where you provide testimony under oath, also occur here. It’s a meticulous process where the sharp analytical skills of an injury lawyer in New York are crucial.


In the pre-trial stage, both sides can request the court to make preliminary decisions. These motions can range from dismissing the case to excluding certain pieces of evidence. An adept injury lawyer in New York can maneuver through these requests to protect your interests. Or even use the process to your advantage to have liability determined in your favor without having to obtain a jury verdict at a trial.


Should negotiations not lead to a settlement, the case proceeds to trial. Here, evidence is presented, fact and expert witnesses are examined, and the legal expertise of your injury lawyer in New York is on full display. The goal is to convincingly show that the defendant’s negligence is more likely than not the cause of your injuries.


After both sides present their cases, the jury deliberates and reaches a verdict. If you prevail, they will also determine the compensation owed to you. The role of your injury lawyer in New York is critical in persuading the jury and ensuring that justice is served.

Throughout each of these stages, the guidance of a knowledgeable injury lawyer in New York is indispensable. Remember, the sooner you consult, the better your chances of securing the compensation you deserve. Don’t hesitate to reach out and set the wheels of justice in motion.

Choosing the Right Injury Lawyer in New York

Selecting the right injury lawyer in New York is a pivotal decision after sustaining an injury. It’s not just about finding legal representation—it’s about securing a firm who will advocate for your rights with the acumen and tenacity that personal injury law demands, especially within the intricate legal landscape of New York.

Experience is the cornerstone of a trustworthy lawyer. Investigate how long they’ve been championing the cause of injury victims. It’s essential to know if they have a history of winning cases similar to yours, as evidenced by notable settlements they’ve secured.

Client testimonials offer a window into their practice. What do their previous clients have to say? Positive reviews can be a testament to their capability and reliability.

An in-person consultation can be incredibly telling. It’s an opportunity to gauge whether there’s a rapport. A competent injury lawyer in New York should be able to demystify the legal process for you, avoiding jargon and clearly outlining their strategy for your case. Communication style is key—you deserve a lawyer who is as committed to keeping you informed as they are litigating your case.

Discussing the financial aspect is also critical. Most injury lawyers in New York operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win. However, it’s prudent to clarify any potential costs you might incur regardless of the case’s outcome.

In your search for the right legal ally, consider Grandelli & Eskenasi. Our team embodies the expertise, client commitment, and transparent communication you need. We’re dedicated to not just meeting but exceeding your expectations, with a proven track record to back it up.

A Track Record of Trust and Triumph

When faced with the fallout of an accident on someone else’s property, the path to justice should not add to your burden. This is where an injury lawyer in New York steps in.

At Grandelli & Eskenasi, we understand that the journey to justice should not compound the stress of your injury. Our legacy is built on a foundation of trust, with a track record of securing substantial recoveries for our clients.

If you’ve been injured on someone’s property due to their negligence, reach out to us. Together, we can explore your legal options and work tirelessly to achieve the compensation you deserve.


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