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New Yorkers might be able to file premises liability claims

New York City residents who get injured on properties owned by others may have legal recourse to file claims for damages subject to the state's premises liability laws. However, not all inuries are covered under legal theories that premises oweners bear liability for all injuries from accidents occurring on their properties.

For instance, if a person suffers a seizure, falls down and strikes his or her head on the ground and suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI), it would be nearly impossible to find the property owner liable unless there were additional factors of negligence. Such could be the case if the person who had the seizure was a patient in a nursing home and wasn't given prescribed anti-convulsants.

But let's mix up the scenario a bit. The same injuries occur to a hotel guest who slips on a floor slick with melted ice or snow. The hotel could find themselves named as defendants because the property owner had a duty to keep the premises hazard-free and knew or should have known about the dangers of a wet floor in inclement weather.

It could be harder to prevail with a claim of injuries suffered in a criminal attack at the hotel unless negligence was a contributing factor to the crime, e.g., failing to provide guest with rooms with securely locked doors.

Businesses and other entities must use reasonable care to protect customers and other visitors from hazards while they are on their property.For instance, owners of buildings and their managers must exert reasonable care to avoid tenants being injured when escaping fire. That could include having sprinkler systems, posted escape routes, fire extinguishers and fire escapes that can be accessed by the tenants.

Sometimes social guests can sue their hosts for injuries that occurred on the premises. Homeowners have a duty to inform guests of any hazards that guests couldn't recognize on their own.

If you suspect another party may be legally liable for your injuries, learn all of your options before agreeing to any settlements.

Source: FindLaw, "Premises Liability FAQ," accessed March 02, 2018

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