The Law Office of Reuven Epstein

271 W. Route 59
Spring Valley, NY 10977

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The Law Office of Reuven Epstein

Sometimes, people think that if they are hurt on somebody else’s property, they are automatically going to receive a settlement or compensation. That is not necessarily correct, as it depends on a reasonable standard of safety. A property owner must ensure that their property is reasonably safe. In a claim against a property owner, the injured party must be able to prove that the property owner did not maintain reasonably safe conditions. When evaluating whether the property was reasonably safe, there are multiple aspects to examine. One aspect is whether there was a dangerous condition that existed on the property. If a person just falls on their own, without any cause for the fall, it does not lead to automatic monetary compensation, as there was no dangerous condition causing the fall. Dangerous conditions can include broken pipes that are protruding from the floor, uneven concrete, unstable stairs, a leak, or similar conditions. Another aspect of liability is whether the property owner had knowledge of the dangerous condition. An owner will be liable for the accident if they should have known about the condition, and had enough time to become aware of it and repair it. If the owner knew about the condition, had enough time to fix it, but – for whatever reason – did not, they will be liable anyway.

What Some Examples Are Of Conditions That Cause A Slip And Fall Or Trip And Fall Incident?

If workers at a store (grocery store, clothing, or any other type) are cleaning or mopping the floor without putting signs around the wet areas, they create a dangerous condition. If a shopper slips and falls because of this dangerous condition, the store would be liable for their injuries. The same situation applies if a shopper spills something, such as milk, and the workers are notified of the dangerous condition but do not clean it within a reasonable amount of time.

What Is The Example Where Property Owner Would Likely Not Be Held Liable?

Property owners may not be liable in several situations, which are the counterparts for the situations we have just discussed. For example, if there is not a dangerous condition, and a customer hurts themselves just by falling, being clumsy, or something not related to a dangerous condition, the property owner would not be liable. Another situation where the owner would not be liable is if the dangerous condition does not exist long enough for the owner or the workers to fix it – such as a customer spilling sugar and immediately slipping on it. If a worker at a store is mopping the floor and has placed caution signs around the wet area, but a shopper was texting on their phone and did not pay attention to where they were walking, the property owner would not be liable for a slip and fall, as customers are also expected to have reasonable caution and awareness of their surroundings.

What Are The Differences Between Permanent And Temporary Hazardous Conditions? Is A Property Owner Responsible For A Fault Caused By Both Or Either?

The standard of safety applies to both temporary and permanent hazardous conditions. However, in a temporary situation, such as a customer spilling milk at 9:00am, and another customer slipping on it at 9:01am, the property owner could argue that there was not enough time to eliminate the dangerous condition. In a permanent hazardous condition, such as extremely uneven concrete on someone’s walkway that has been there for 5 years, the owner would have a difficult time arguing that they did not have enough time to eliminate the condition.

In both temporary and permanent hazardous conditions, the standard of safety remains the same, but the likelihood of a valid defense is different.

For more information on Slip and Fall Cases, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (845) 208-2444 today.

The Law Office of Reuven Epstein

Call For Free Consultation
(845) 208-2444