In order to recover for injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident, the plaintiff (the injured person) must prove negligence on the part of the individual or company that owned or managed the property. The duty owed by premises owners and managers is to use “reasonable care” in preventing foreseeable harm to persons on the property. There must be proof that the defendant breached that duty and that this breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
These requirements apply whether the victim fell at a store, police station or the property of a homeowner. Sometimes it can be difficult to identify who is responsible for the management of the property. For instance, in a shopping mall, there are individual stores which are typically leased from the mall owner. There may be a third-party maintenance company that has contracted with the owner or management company.
In most lease agreements, the store only has the right to possess and control the areas within their leased space; that being the area encompassed by the store itself. The management company or the owner of the shopping mall typically has the responsibility to maintain the common areas of the mall, including the entry ways, walkways and parking lots. Often, the management company will subcontract certain aspects of maintenance to other entities. (more…)
All motorists are required to use reasonable care while driving so as to prevent causing harm to others. If an employee is driving in the course of his employment, the question arises as to what legal liability, if any, his employer would have if an accident occur and the employee negligently caused harm to another motorist.
The basic legal principle is that if an employee negligently injures a person while acting within the “course and scope” of employment, the worker’s employer will be held accountable for that conduct. The concept is known as the doctrine of “respondeat superior.” The concept reflects the social policy that when one is doing work for an employer, the employer profits from the benefit of the task. If he is to profit from the task, he should he be liable for any harm that is caused during the performance of the work.
However, in order for this rule of law to apply, it must be proven that the employee had the express or implied permission of the employer to use the company vehicle, and that it was being used in furtherance of the business of the employer at the time of the accident. If the company vehicle was not being used for company business, or for example had been taken without the permission of the employer after the work day ended (and would not have otherwise been allowed based upon past practice), there likely be a finding that the employer would not be held legally responsible for an accident that occurred during such use. (more…)
It is an unfortunate fact that children are sometimes injured by motorists. As a parent, you are undoubtedly concerned over your child’s well-being and recovery. You should know how New York law may enable you to recover compensation on behalf of your child for his or her injuries.
Drivers have the duty to exercise “reasonable care” when operating a motor vehicle. In an area where children should be known to play, such as a residential neighborhood, near a school or playground, the driver has a duty to actively look for children who may run into the road to chase a ball or to cross the street. He is obligated to maintain vigilance in this kind of environment, and adjust his speed and pay closer attention to the road and on each side of the roadway. Children who are old enough to be outside without the direct supervision of a parent are nevertheless not always attentive to the presence of cars on the roads in their neighborhood as their interest is on having fun with friends playing a game or wanting to get to a friend’s house across the street. (more…)
This Winter of 2013-2014 has been unusually cold here in the Capital District, and we’ve had several storms that have resulted in the presence of snow and ice on sidewalks and parking lots that have not been properly maintained following the storm. You should know your rights if you slip and fall while attempting to walk from your car or while on a sidewalk at a mall or shopping center. You may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages if there was negligence on the part of the owner or maintenance company that failed to do what New York law requires. Call and speak with one of our Albany slip and fall attorneys who are knowledgeable in the law and experienced in obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Your right to obtain compensation from the property owner or maintainer is based upon whether he exercised ”reasonable care” in maintaining the premises. His legal duty is to keep the premises safe to prevent harm to foreseeable pedestrian’s use. Essentially, this duty of reasonable care requires that common areas, such as parking lots and sidewalks, be kept relatively free from snow and ice. (more…)
Some people love the winter and all the snow that comes along with it. To others, the burdens of snow removal and inclement weather make the season unbearable. Love it or hate it, snow and ice must be cleared from driveways, sidewalks and parking lots. In fact, owners and those in possession of property have a duty to keep walkways and parking lots safe for pedestrian use. If the failure to do so results in an Albany slip and fall and injury, the landowner or person or entity responsible for maintaining the property may held liable for injuries caused by slippery conditions caused by the presence of snow or ice.
In addition, if attempts to maintain the property aren’t done properly, a claim of negligence may also lie. While under New York law there is no duty to completely remove every inch of snow or ice, the effort and the result must have been such that “reasonable care” was exercised. Put another way, if, despite activity intended to remove snow, or treat ice, there is still what a jury would find to have been an unsafe condition for those walking on the surface, liability for injury will result. Further, if snow is removed from a parking lot or sidewalk in such a manner so as to create an unsafe condition, the landowner or those responsible for creating the condition will be liable for the injury and damages that results when someone falls. This principle applies to both commercial owners who clear snow from sidewalks and parking lots, and to private landowners who clear snow from property in a manner that causes danger on their own or an abutting property. (more…)
Those of us living in Albany and in the greater capital region know what it’s like to drive in extreme winter weather conditions. Blizzard conditions make travel difficult at times. While it’s always preferable to avoid driving during a storm, sometimes this can’t be avoided. Our daily lives place demands to get to work, or to pick up our children from school or daycare. And sometimes, despite the forecast, we are en route to a destination when the conditions suddenly change and we find ourselves faced with driving during snow fall that significantly reduces visibility. And, while we may slow our car to adjust to the conditions, many car accidents which cause serious personal injury are caused by careless conduct by a driver who fails to do the same.
If you are injured in such a situation, your Albany car accident attorney will need to prove that the other driver breached his duty of “reasonable care” to you, and that this caused the accident and your injuries. In the case of a sudden whiteout or snowstorm, this is a very fact-dependent analysis. The other driver must exercise a reasonable degree of care required given the circumstances then existing, meaning that he must pay attention to the conditions, to any change in the conditions and adjust his speed to a “reasonable speed” for those conditions. In addition, if he fails to ensure that his ability to see the road and other vehicles, his conduct may nevertheless not be found to be “reasonable,” if it can be shown that the reduced visibility was a substantial factor in bringing about the accident. (more…)
Attorney Jeffrey Anderson settled the lawsuit against a commercial management property company for $675,000 on the eve of trial. The case involved a then 52 year old mechanic who exited a department store at a local mall and fell as he stepped onto an inclined handicap ramp, striking his head on the concrete sidewalk.
Investigation revealed that the concrete ramp had been painted with a semi-gloss latex paint three (3) months earlier, as it had been annually for more than a decade. Employees of the management company claimed that each time it was painted, they had added an abrasive “grit” to the paint, in order to make the surface slip resistant. While the ramp had been repainted shortly after the accident, precluding expert analysis to determine whether the surface was in fact, slip resistant, eyewitness testimony by an off duty police officer of the fall, and his conclusion by sliding his foot along the surface and characterization that it was “slippery,” provided valuable proof that either the “”grit” abrasive had not been applied, had not been properly mixed with the paint, or that the abrasive had not spread uniformly, resulting in the surface being unsafe. (more…)
The New York Vehicle and Traffic Law requires that motor vehicles be equipped with front and rear defrosting devices to prevent the accumulation of snow and ice on the front and rear windshields of vehicles under Section 375(39). The vehicle’s owner, or an individual driving with his permission, has the responsibility to ensure compliance with this law. Motorists must take reasonable steps, in light of weather conditions, to prevent the accumulation of snow and ice on car windshields that could interfere with visibility and thereby cause or contribute to an accident. This is part of a motorist’s duty to use “reasonable care” so as to prevent harm to others.
The duty extends to the maintenance and preparatory work before operating the motor vehicle. The motorist should make sure to clean his front and back windshields, windows, mirrors and other areas covered with snow or ice, to ensure his vision is not obstructed. Motorists who fail to clean their car are exposing themselves and other drivers and passengers, as well as pedestrians, to a significant risk of personal injury. (more…)
For those of us living in Albany and the greater Capital Region, negotiating the hazards that winter brings is no easy feat. Unfortunately sometimes people fall and are injured on accumulated snow or ice. In some localities, a local law, usually called an ordinance, places a duty on landowners to keep the sidewalks in front of their home or business clear of snow and ice. For example, the City of Albany has ordinance Section 323-21 which requires the removal of snow from the sidewalk adjoining an owner’s property within twenty-four (24) hours after the snowfall ends.
This does not mean that a landowner is automatically liable for any injury to a person who fell on the sidewalk even if it can be shown that the ordinance was violated; unless, as is the case with some municipal ordinances, the ordinance specifically states that a landowner who fails to comply will be held liable for any injury that results from that failure. Typically, violation of an ordinance establishes some evidence of negligence. (more…)
All drivers in New York are held to a duty to exercise reasonable care in the operation of a motor vehicle. Should a driver breach this duty, you will be entitled to compensation if it can be proven that this breach was the cause of your injuries. This duty is extended to passengers of vehicles as well. Under New York law, a passenger may be held liable if he distracts the driver and an accident results, causing injury to others. Consider the following examples from cases decided in New York.
In Collins v. McGinley the defendant-driver, McGinley, failed to stop his car at an intersection and it collided with another vehicle. The passenger, Collins, sued McGinley seeking compensation for her injuries. A jury returned a verdict that apportioned liability between both the passenger and driver. This is because there was evidence that the passenger distracted the driver, and as such, is also responsible for the injuries caused. If other drivers and passengers, not in McGinley’s vehicle, were injured, they would be entitled to seek compensation from both the driver and the passenger under these circumstances. (more…)