When you take a trip to a store, restaurant, or any other establishment, you usually assume that the appropriate parties take the necessary precautions to ensure safety and prevent accidents and injuries. Unfortunately, when property owners fail to uphold their legal duty of care toward visitors, those entering such properties suffer severe injuries that burden them with physical, emotional, and financial challenges. Fortunately, if you sustain an injury while on another person’s property in New York, you can file a premises liability claim to seek monetary compensation for your damages. However, cases involving negligent businesses can be complex as your reasoning for being on their premises can affect whether you can recover compensation for your losses. Please continue reading to learn what parties can sue a business for negligence and how a competent New York City Slip and Fall Lawyer can help you seek reasonable compensation for your losses.
Can I file a premises liability claim against a business if I was injured on their property in New York?
In New York, property owners owe guests and visitors a duty to ensure the premises are safe from any dangers. It is critical to note that business owners have a higher standard of care owed than homeowners. This is primarily because businesses profit from inviting guests onto their property. They also expect more people to enter their property than a homeowner, which means they have a duty to remedy any unsafe property conditions, warn visitors of hazardous conditions, and inspect their premises for any dangerous property conditions to prevent accidents and injuries. If they fail to uphold their legal duty of care, they can be held liable for any injuries and damages that occur as a direct result of their negligence.
However, whether you can collect compensation for your damages hinges upon which category of guests you fall under. Generally, the law classifies individuals on a property in three different ways. The category in which you fall will determine whether the property owner owed you a duty of care and therefore is liable for your injuries. Individuals on a property are broken down into the following categories:
- Invitee: An invitee is an individual that has an expressed or implied invitation from the property owner to enter the property. In most cases, invitees come onto a property for a business transaction. For example, someone that enters a store is considered an invitee.
- Licensee. A licensee is an individual that has received an expressed or implied invitation to enter the property. However, they enter the premises for a purpose other than financial gain. For example, social guests visiting a friend’s home would be considered a licensee.
- Trespasser. A trespasser is an individual without consent to enter a property. For example, someone intending to burglarize a home or business would be considered a trespasser as they do not have permission to enter the premises.
Property owners and, in this particular case, business owners owe the highest standard duty of care to invitees. They do not owe trespassers a duty of care as they do not have permission to enter the premises. However, if a business owner intentionally harms a trespasser, they can be liable for damages.
If you have suffered an injury due to a business’s negligence, contact a determined lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Elbaum today. Our firm is prepared to help you secure the fair compensation you are entitled to.