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What are the basics about the law for slip-and-fall accidents?

Our readers in New York probably know that an injury suffered due to a “slip-and-fall” may be the basis of a personal injury lawsuit. However, many people are unaware that seeking compensation for an injury suffered in these types of circumstances falls under the umbrella of “premises liability” law. So, what are the basics about the law for slip-and-fall accidents?

To begin, a large part of the case will be about responsibility. Who was responsible for the property – an owner, landlord or tenant? And, how does that party’s responsibility for the property in question impact their responsibility for maintaining the property so that it is safe? These are usually the first questions to ask in a premises liability case.

Next, was the person who was injured on the property allowed to be there? For example, was the injured victim a guest, an invitee or even someone who had a “license” – permission – to use the property for a certain reason? The legal status of the injured victim could be a hotly debated issue in a premises liability case.

Lastly, what exactly was the dangerous property condition on the property that caused the injury in question? Was it something that was obvious and that anyone who saw it should have been aware of the need to avoid? Or was it something that wasn’t so obvious – like, for example, a broken handrail or ice on a sidewalk – but was something that the party responsible for the property knew about and should have addressed?

These are all the bedrock questions that need to be addressed when New York residents are injured in slip-and-fall cases and are contemplating legal action. And with the answers to these questions and the assistance of legal guidance, an injured party can take steps to protect their rights and interests.