Can New York property owners be liable for injuries?

On Behalf of | Aug 28, 2014 | Premises Liability

When a guest checks into a New York City hotel, they expect to be able to have a safe and comfortable stay. Shoppers in New York City also have reasonable expectations to be able to enter a store and not get injured. Generally, property owners in New York are responsible for providing their guests and visitors with a safe environment. Unfortunately, accidents do happen and people do get seriously injured on property owned by others. When an injury occurs, the victim may wonder whether they can hold the property owner liable for their injury.

In order to determine liability, many states look to the legal status of the property visitor. In general, visitors fall into four categories: invitees, licensees, social guests or trespassers. Those who are invited on to the property, such as customers in a store, are considered invitees. Property owners have a duty to invitees to ensure their safety on the premises. Social guests and licensees enter the property for their owner purposes with consent from the owner. Trespassers enter the property without the right to do so.

Property owners typically only have a duty of reasonable care to ensure the safety of non-trespassers. For invitees and licensees, the owner must also continue to inspect the property to identify dangerous conditions. The owner must then make repairs or post warnings. If an owner knows about a dangerous condition but fails to repair or warn, and someone gets hurt, the owner may be liable.

Courts will determine whether the owner acted reasonably depending on the use of the property, foreseeability of the accident and reasonableness of the owner’s actions. However it is important to note that an injured visitor’s damages can be reduced if the visitor themselves is found to have not exercised reasonable care for his own safety. While this information is for general purposes only, it should give you a good idea about a property owner’s duty to keep their premises safe.

Source: FindLaw, “Premises Liability: Who Is Responsible?” accessed on Aug. 26, 2014

Source: FindLaw, “Premises Liability: Who Is Responsible?” accessed on Aug. 26, 2014