Premises liability is the basic idea that a property owner is responsible for keeping the conditions in and around their property safe. When they fail in this basic duty, it increases the likelihood of injury due to unsafe conditions. Here are five ways that property owners often fail to ensure their property is safe for people inside or around their buildings:
- Failure to clean up spills or debris
- One of the most obvious sources of potential harm from premises liability comes from spilled liquids and debris on the floor. This could include spilled food in a grocery store, a wet floor after rain or snow, or stray tools or parts left behind after construction. The law says that a property owner is responsible for ensuring these hazards are cleaned up, lest someone become injured from accidentally slipping or tripping and falling.
- Failure to fix broken or damaged floors
- It would seem to be common sense that a building owner would not want their buildings to be in poor repair, with broken or damaged floors or ceilings. And yet, a shocking number of premises liability cases come about from building owners who allow rotted floorboards, missing stairs, or other issues to go unaddressed. This failure to conduct basic maintenance substantially increases the chance of someone getting injured on the property.
- Failure to warn against dangerous conditions
- To be fair to property owners, it is not always practical to fix every problem right away. Many problems require getting a repairman of some type to come and fix the issue, and that means a potentially dangerous problem has to stay around until the issue can be fixed. However, a property owner still has a duty to warn of these dangerous problems, whether it is a slippery floor or dangling icicles. Failure to appropriately warn people of these hazards makes it more likely they will be hurt by them.
- Failure to provide adequate lighting
- In the modern day, lighting is something we often take for granted, with most people expecting they should be available wherever they walk. Not every property owner is so diligent about ensuring their property is well-lit, though, and that presents a number of potential dangers. Not only is it easier for someone to injure themselves in the dark, but a property owner must face the possibility that their lack of lighting could make it easier for criminals to carry out their crimes in dimly lit areas.
- Failure to install security measures
- While a crime is primarily the responsibility of the criminal that perpetrates it, a property owner is not off the hook for premises liability just because an injury was caused by a criminal. When a crime is predictable, and especially when it occurs in an area where crime is common, installing security measures like grates over windows and security cameras can help protect people. When a property owner fails to address these potential security issues, they increase the risk of harm to anyone passing by their property.
If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you should seek out the personal injury lawyers at Zlotolow & Associates. Our seasoned New York personal injury attorneys bring more than two decades of trial experience to your case. We serve all five boroughs of New York City, as well as Nassau and Suffolk County. We have helped thousands of clients recover through settlements and courtroom verdicts.