Liability for New York premises owners

When somebody suffers an injury on somebody else’s property, the property owner may be held liable. According to New York law, the person must be on the property legally or the owner must know that the person is trespassing for the owner to be liable. The law also requires that the accident be the result of negligence on the part of the property owner, such as failure to repair or warn the person about any unsafe condition.

One example of this would be a cracked ceiling collapsing on a person performing some work for the property owner. Another could be the owner hosting a party shortly after having the building fumigated, resulting in guests becoming hospitalized from inhaling the fumes. The most common example of this, however, is a slip-and-fall accident.

The law does have an attractive nuisance clause involving children that does not require the owner to be knowledgeable of the child’s presence on the property, even if the child is trespassing. This means that if children enter the property for an unfenced swimming pool or any other condition that they would find attractive and suffer any injuries, the owner of the property is still liable for any injuries.

In any premises liability case, the injured person should report the injury to the property owner immediately or as soon as possible, seek immediate medical attention and completely document everything. An attorney may be able to help the victim file a personal injury claim against the property owner, and they could receive compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of income. The state limits the amount of time a person has to file a personal injury claim, so a lawyer may help ensure that the appropriate steps are taken in a timely manner.

Source:, “Premises Liability“, October 15, 2014