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I Was Injured on Someone Else’s Property. Why Isn’t The Property Owner Automatically at Fault?

woman who has slipped and fallen on an icy sidewalk on someone else's propertySlip and fall accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. They are especially common during the winter months here in the Northeast, where snow and ice cover the ground and temperatures linger around freezing for months at a time. And it seems as often as not, these accidents occur on someone else’s property.

When individuals are seriously injured as the result of a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, they often wonder: who is at fault for the accident?

Many people automatically assume that the property owner is “automatically” legally responsible for the injury. When seeking compensation for their injuries, they believe the property owner must be responsible.

However, contrary to what many believe, this is not the law.

Why Aren’t Property Owners Automatically At Fault for Accidents on Their Property?

Premises liability law evolved from roots in English “Common Law.” The concept of fault came to constitute the key factor, among a number of factors, that come into play when it comes to determining who bears legal responsibility for slip and fall accidents. The legal term negligence speaks to how fault is defined and determined under New York law.

Negligence is a breach in the duty of “reasonable care” owed by one person to another. In order for an individual to be entitled to damages for injury sustained as the result of a slip and fall accident, the owner of the property where the injury occurred must, by action or failure to act, have breached his duty of care, either by creating the condition that caused the injury or by neglecting to take action to correct the condition.

In other words, a property owner must have acted negligently in order to be held responsible for the injuries sustained by another individual on his property. If it cannot be proven that the property owner breached his duty to prevent foreseeable harm to another person on his property, then he cannot be found legally to be at fault for the accident that occurred and cannot be liable for damages.

The concept of requiring fault to recover compensation is itself based on the social policy that to the social system could not survive, economically, if anyone who fell on another’s property would “automatically” be entitled to compensation. It also helps to ensure that property owners have an incentive to keep their property maintained.

Who Is Responsible For My Slip and Fall Injury?

Determining who is at fault for a slip and fall accident on another’s property requires thorough investigation by an attorney who handles slip and fall cases, so that the proof necessary to succeed in court, if necessary, is acquired.

The best way to determine who it at fault is to retain an experienced personal injury attorney. He can gather the necessary information, and let you know if you have a viable premises liability case, and, if you do, make sure that the party at fault fully compensates you for your injuries.

Injured on Someone Else’s Property? Get The Help You Need.

At Anderson, Moschetti & Taffany, we’ve been handling New York slip and fall accident cases for decades. With more than 100 years of combined experience, our team knows what it takes to help you obtain the full compensation you’re entitled to when you’ve been seriously injured as the result of a slip and fall caused in whole or in part by the negligence of another individual.

During our years serving clients in the Albany, New York area, we’ve received numerous accolades and honors and successfully achieved record setting verdicts and settlements for clients. We have the legal knowledge and resources necessary to handle your premises liability case successfully.

Take the first step towards getting the compensation you deserve today. If you were injured in Albany, Saratoga or elsewhere in the greater Capital District, contact our legal team today. You can reach us at (518) 785-4900, or complete our online contact form to set up a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.

Related Resources:

Understanding Liability, Fault & Negligence Following an Accident – Find out what liability is and how it is determined in personal injury cases, including slip and fall cases.

I Slipped, Fell and Was Injured at a Friend’s Apartment. Do I Have a Personal Injury Case? – Learn about your options when it comes to pursuing compensation after you’ve been seriously injured at a friend’s residence.

How Soon After An Accident Should I Call a Personal Injury Lawyer? – Time is of the essence if you’re hoping to pursue a personal injury claim after you’ve been injured. Find out when you should contact a lawyer if you hope to obtain compensation.

Jeff Anderson

About Jeff Anderson

As the managing partner at the law firm, Mr. Anderson has over three decades of experience handling personal injury and wrongful death cases and has achieved numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of his clients. Read More About Jeffrey Kyle Anderson »