Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Homeowner's Liability for Slip, Trip and Fall Accidents

What can I do if I am injured on my neighbor's property?

Getting along with your neighbors is a good idea, but sometimes things can wrong. For instance, you can be visiting a neighbor just to say hello, and while you were there, slip and fall and suffer a serious injury. What will you do?  If your neighbor was negligent in keeping the property safe, you may be able to bring a lawsuit based on premise liability.

While these cases are often brought against retail stores, restaurants, and other establishments or public places, individuals can also be injured in a private dwelling. These accidents can be caused by wet floors, broken stairs or loose handrails, poorly lit hallways, and ice or snow or cracked sidewalks. In fact, many towns and municipalities have ordinances that require homeowners to maintain sidewalks surrounding their property.

In short, if there is property damage or if the premises has not been properly maintained, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. If the homeowner was aware of an unsafe condition, or should have been, and failed to correct it, he or she may be liable. On the other hand, if your carelessness contributed to the accident, for example by spilling a drink and not cleaning it up, you may not have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit.

Homeowner's Insurance

The good news is that homeowners are required to carry insurance that covers claims for injuries that occur on their property. The bad news is that insurer's are driven by profits, and often attempt to settle claims for far less than what they are worth. Insurance companies also have highly-skilled attorneys who will look to demonstrate that your carelessness contributed to the accident that caused your injuries.

You should never accept a settlement or even speak to an insurer before you consult with an experienced attorney who can negotiate for the compensation you deserve.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident on a neighbor's property, you may be entitled to compensatory damages such as medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages and emotional distress. If a fair settlement is not obtained, a personal injury attorney can also litigate the case in court.

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