When a New Yorker is seriously injured on another person’s property, the first question they often ask is “Who is responsible for this?” If the injured party decides to file suit against negligent property owners, the success of the injured party’s case will hinge on whether they can prove that the owner is responsible.
Proving that the owner is responsible can be challenging in cases like this. The first thing to consider is whether the owner could have actually prevented the accident. If the owner was careful to prevent an accident from occurring and it happened anyway, the owner may not be held responsible. They may also not be liable for things that a reasonable person would have avoided. For example, if a person is injured by an item that is normally found in that location.
However, in many premises liability cases, the property owner did breach his duty to maintain reasonably safe conditions. Property owners are required to take reasonable steps to make sure that their property is safe for others and free from dangerous conditions that could cause someone to injure themselves. In order to show that you have been injured in a slip-and-fall as the result of a dangerous condition on the property, you need to be able to show that the owner knew or should have known of the condition. Alternatively, evidence can be provided that a reasonable person in his position would have known about the condition and fixed it. You can also prove that the owner or an employee of his did know about the condition but did not fix it. If you can prove that the owner or employee caused the dangerous condition, you may be successful in your case as well.
By proving the elements above, you will better your chances of winning your slip-and-fall case against a negligent property owner.
Source: FindLaw, “Proving Fault in Slip and Fall Accidents,” accessed on Aug. 18, 2015