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NY Appellate Court Decides if Hazardous Condition Present with Slip and Fall


Anyone who has been injured in a slip and fallcase on another person’s property is required to demonstrate why they believe that the other person is liable for their injuries in order to win any type of award for damages resulting from that fall. That means that just because a person falls and gets hurt on another person’s property, that person may not carry any liability at all if the victim cannot show that the owner of the property knew, or should have known, of the hazardous situation. That owner is then responsible for resolving the dangerous situation before anyone is injured. If the owner has knowledge of the situation and then intentionally does not take steps to correct the problem, they may have liability associated to any injury that occurs as a result of their negligence.

A New York Injury Lawyer said in civil disputes, such as a slip and fall lawsuit, the burden of proof to establish negligence is on the victim and not the property owner. The person who files that claim must be able to show that the property owner was notified at one time or another that there was a hazardous situation on their property that could result in an injury to a person. The victim must then show that the property owner took no steps to correct the problem which results in a liability for them. Only then can the victim be awarded any type of damages related to the incident.

This type of review is necessary because a property owner should not be liable for an injury that results on their property that is not their fault. A Long Island Personal Injury Lawyer said just because a person trips and falls and injures themselves while they are on the property of another, that property owner is not responsible unless they created the hazardous situation. In one case, a person was traversing a stairway in a building and slipped and fell down the stairs. They filed a lawsuit against the property owner stating that the stairs had a spill on them that should have been cleaned up before someone was hurt. The victim did not establish how the property owner should have been made aware of the spill and had it cleaned up before the victim fell on the stairs.

The property owner in their defense, brought forth the maintenance staff and janitorial staff. The janitor testified that he had mopped the stairs within an hour of the person slipping on the stairs. Since the person stated that they slipped on some type of spill, and the janitor testified that he had just cleaned the stairs, the spill had to have occurred within the hour of the accident. There was no testimony presented that demonstrated that anyone notified the property owner of a spill on their stairs. A Brooklyn Personal Injury Lawyer said there were no complaints filed with the maintenance staff that there was a spill on the stairs. There was no evidence at all that any steps were taken to notify the property management, janitorial service, or owner that there was a hazardous situation on the stairs of the apartment building prior to the accident.

Because there was no notification of the hazardous situation existing on the stairs, the owner could not possibly have taken any steps to remove the hazard prior to the victim slipping and falling. That means that there is no reasonable way that the building owner could have prevented this accident. An accident is not a preventable incident if there was no notice provided of the hazard on the stairs. If the victim had slipped in soapy water from the janitor mopping the stairs, that would have been a different situation. In this case, however, the owner was able to show that they had taken every precaution that they could by attempting to ensure that the stairs were clean just moments before the accident occurred. The Supreme Court in their review also upheld that there should be no liability placed on the owner of the property for the accident.

At Stephen Bilkis & Associates a New York personal injury attorney is available to represent you from convenient offices throughout New York and Metropolitan area. Do not suffer from a fall that could have been prevented. Our New York slip and fall lawyers can provide you with advice to guide you through difficult situations.

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