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Can I Sue a Business if I Was Hurt on Their Property?

| Jan 3, 2024 | Premises Liability

Imagine walking into your favorite coffee shop one morning, only to slip and fall because of an unattended spill. Or perhaps you’re shopping at a local store when a poorly stacked shelf collapses, causing you to sustain injuries. These scenarios are more common than you might think and can lead to serious consequences for both your health and finances.

At MJP Injury Law, we understand that accidents can happen anywhere, even at a business you frequent regularly. If you’ve been injured on a business property, you may be feeling confused, overwhelmed, and unsure of your next steps. It’s important to remember that you have the legal option to seek compensation for any pain, suffering, or other damages you’ve endured because of your accident.

We’re here to guide you through the complexities of personal injury law and help you understand your rights.

Premises Liability

Premises liability is a legal concept that holds property owners accountable for the safety of those who enter their premises. This means that if you’re injured due to a hazardous condition on a business property, the owner may be legally responsible for your injuries.

Examples of hazardous conditions could include slippery floors from a recent spill, uneven walkways, inadequate lighting, or a lack of warning signs about potential dangers. Each of these situations could potentially give rise to a premises liability claim.

New York Business Liability Laws

In New York, businesses have a legal duty to maintain their premises in a safe condition. If a business owner knew about a dangerous condition on their property and failed to address it, they could be held liable for any injuries that result.

The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

New York also follows the attractive nuisance doctrine. This means that property owners can be held responsible for injuries to children caused by attractive but dangerous conditions on their property, such as an unsecured swimming pool or construction equipment.

Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Case

To successfully claim compensation in a premises liability case, the injured party must prove negligence on the part of the business owner. Demonstrating negligence involves establishing four key elements:

  • Duty of Care: It must be shown that the property owner had a legal duty to ensure the safety of the visitors. For businesses, this typically implies maintaining safe premises for customers and promptly addressing any hazardous conditions.
  • Breach of Duty: The plaintiff must prove that the property owner breached this duty of care. This could involve demonstrating that the owner was aware of the dangerous condition but failed to take appropriate measures to correct it.
  • Causation: The plaintiff must show a direct link between the breach of duty and their injury. This means providing evidence that the injury would not have occurred but for the owner’s negligence.
  • Damages: Finally, the injured party must provide proof of the actual damages they’ve suffered as a result of the accident. This can include medical bills, lost wages, and evidence of pain and suffering.

Documenting the incident, securing witness testimonies, preserving physical evidence, and seeking immediate medical attention are all crucial steps in establishing negligence and building a strong premises liability claim. It’s also highly recommended to consult with a legal professional to guide you through this complex process.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim

If you’re considering filing a personal injury claim, it’s important to be aware of the statute of limitations. In New York, you generally have three years from the date of the accident to file your claim. However, certain circumstances may affect this deadline, so it’s crucial to consult with a legal professional to understand the specific timelines that apply to your case.

Comparative Negligence

New York operates under the doctrine of comparative negligence. This means that if you were partially at fault for your injuries, your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault. However, even if you were partially at fault, you could still be eligible to recover damages.

Steps to Take After an Injury on a Business’s Property

After sustaining an injury on a business’s property, it’s essential to take certain steps to protect your rights and ensure you’re properly compensated for your injuries. Here is a step-by-step process of what you should do following an accident on a business premises. Following these steps can significantly strengthen your personal injury claim and maximize your chances of a favorable outcome.

Seek Medical Treatment

After an injury, your first priority should always be your health. Even if you feel fine, it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional. Some injuries, like concussions or internal bleeding, may not show symptoms immediately.

Report the Incident

Notify the business owner or manager about what happened as soon as it’s safe to do so. If possible, make sure to get a written report of the incident.

Document the Scene and Your Injuries

Take pictures of the area where you were injured and the conditions that contributed to your accident. Also take photos of your injuries. These could serve as important evidence if you decide to file a claim.

Collect Witness Information

If there were any witnesses to the accident, try to get their contact information. They may be able to provide statements that support your claim.

Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney

Before speaking with the business owner’s insurance company, consult with a personal injury attorney. They can guide you through the process and help protect your rights.

Injured on a Business Property? We Can Help.

At MJP Injury Law, we’re dedicated to fighting for the rights of injury victims in the Bronx, New York, and throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Westchester County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County.

We know how challenging it can be to navigate the aftermath of an accident. The physical pain, emotional distress, and financial burden can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re committed to providing you with the support and legal advice you need during this difficult time. You don’t have to face this alone; we’re here to help.

Reach out to us today for a free consultation and let us help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. Your fight is our fight.