Premises Liability

“Premises liability” means legal liability of the owner of (or person who controls) property to an injured person for failing to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition. Most premises liability cases involve slip or trip and falls. In an effort to cut costs of property maintenance, owners often fail to regularly inspect the premises for unsafe defects or fail to promptly remove snow and ice accumulations. The Syracuse premises liability attorneys of Michaels & Smolak has recovered millions of dollars to compensate victims of faulty property maintenance for financial for financial losses, pain and suffering and more. If you or a loved one is injured because of such a defect, you have the right to seek compensation for your financial losses and pain and suffering. Please contact us and speak to an experienced attorney who can help you recover for your losses. Read more below.

Premises Liability

What Is "Premises Liability"?

A property owner has a duty to protect others from dangerous conditions or defects on his, her or its property. A property owner generally has a duty to take reasonable measures to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition. If he does not, he may be deemed “negligent”. If this negligence causes injury, he is liable to the injured person. This is known as "premises liability". Every year, many people are hurt while in someone else's home, place of business or land. It can happen anywhere; on a flight of stairs, on a patch of ice or snow, or on a defective parking lot. The law regarding premises liability can include liability for toxic substances on the premises, and even for criminal attacks or assaults on the property. And it is not only the owner who can be held liable; a tenant or other occupier of the land responsible for the property’s maintenance can also be held responsible. If you have been injured because of broken pavement, icy sidewalks, or wet floors, or other defects or hazards in a home, store, mall, supermarket, office or other property, contact us.

There are many types of premises liability cases, but here are just a few examples of these types of cases:

Slip and Fall, Trip and Fall Cases

A property owner can be held liable for a slip and fall, or a trip and fall based by a hazard, defect or dangerous condition on his or her property. Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere; for example, on a public street or sidewalk, inside someone’s home, or in a supermarket, store, office building or shopping mall. Icy and snowy conditions can cause slip and fall accidents, especially in upstate New York. Slick surfaces on sidewalks, outdoor steps and parking lots can be hazardous for pedestrians, especially if the hazardous condition is not obvious, as with black ice. Properly owners have a duty to take reasonable measures to ensure that their sidewalks and parking lots are free of dangerous snow and ice. If you or a loved one was injured after slipping and falling on an icy or unplowed sidewalk, walkway or parking lot, an experienced personal injury attorney can explain your legal options. Please contact us to learn more.

Burns and Explosions

Victims of burn injuries often experience unbearable pain and suffering. They must often endure skin grafts, multiple surgeries, and long hospital stays. They may be disfigured for life. They are often at risk of infections. Common causes of burn injuries are: household fires, leaking gas, malfunctioning hot water heaters, inadvertent mixtures of explosive chemicals, and gas tank misuse. Explosions often cause even more catastrophic injuries than fires. The injuries are often not limited to burns; they include traumatic bone and “crush” injuries and traumatic brain injuries. At Michaels & Smolak we have successfully handled many explosion and burn cases. If you or a loved one has been injured in a fire or explosion, contact us to find out more.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Premises Claims in New York?

Generally, 3 years from the date of your injury. However, there are exceptions. For example, if the victim is a child under 18 years old, his or her statute of limitations does not even start to run until he or she is 18, so normally it would expire on his or her 21st birthday. Also, it depends on the defendant. If you sue the State of New York you must generally do so within 2 years, and if you sue a "municipality", a "public corporation", or their government agency, your statutes of limitations could by 1 year and 90 days or even shorter, depending on type of government agency you are suing. Further, when suing government agencies, you often need to serve or file a "notice of claim" or "notice of intention of claim" within 90 days of the injury, and sometimes even shorter time limits apply. There are other statutes of limitations and exceptions that may apply to your case. Contact us to discuss your statutes of limitations.

What if I can’t afford an attorney?

That’s impossible. A reputable personal injury attorney will not charge you for an initial consultation. Michaels & Smolak will give you a free consultation. If we decide to represent you, we will charge you on a contingency fee basis, which is usually 1/3 of the net recovery we obtain for you, whether from a settlement or from a jury. Since the initial consultation is free, why wait? So contact us today for a free consultation.

The Syracuse premises liability attorneys of Michaels & Smolak have recovered millions of dollars for clients injured in premises liability situations and for other injuries to cover their medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and more. If you or a loved one has been a victim negligent property maintenance, contact us for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer who can inform you of your legal rights and maximize your compensation.