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Is Premises Liability the Same as Negligence?
Negligence is the failure to take proper care. Sometimes, one party’s negligence results in damage or injury to another person. In the eyes of the law, the negligent party is liable for his or her (or their) harmful actions.
As a New Yorker, the law offers you protections that enable you to seek justice if you were injured on someone else’s property. The responsibility of property owners is governed by premises liability law. Yet, is there a difference between premises liability and negligence?
First, you should understand the similarities. Negligence and premises liability are both legal terms used in personal injury law. Both may involve the failure of one party to act as one would reasonably expect under a certain set of circumstances.
What You Need to Know About Negligence Claims
Negligence may be a factor in nearly any type of personal injury claim, from car accidents to medical malpractice. If someone (the defendant) acted negligently by accident, a personal injury lawyer could take legal action to seek justice for the victim (the plaintiff).
In any case, an attorney would base a negligence claim on at least four essential components:
- The plaintiff suffered an injury or a loss. When people or organizations make illegal mistakes, they might face legal consequences. For instance, they may pay a fine, forfeit a privilege, or spend time in jail. Yet, if their actions did you no harm, you cannot sue for financial compensation.
- The defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff. The relationship between the defendant and the plaintiff matters. The duty of a physician, for example, is to provide competent medical care for patients. Another person, on the other hand, would not owe the same duty to you that a doctor would. Thus, he or she would not have the same liability under the law.
- The defendant breached the duty. To breach a duty means failing to fail to live up to responsibility, whether by law, contract, agreement, or code of conduct. Courts determine whether or not the defendant did (or failed to do) something that a reasonable person would have done in a similar situation.
- The breach caused the plaintiff’s injury. Negligence, rather than any other factor, must have caused the injury. A court would also consider whether the damage was foreseeable or not. People could expect, for example, that driving drunk would endanger the lives of other motorists. Yet, hardly anyone could predict a sudden landslide would obstruct a lane of the highway.
Evaluating these requirements is a complex process. People could easily miss out on winning the compensation they deserve unless they have help. Our experienced legal team would be happy to evaluate your claim for free.
How To Understand Premises Liability Claims
Then, what is premises liability? This set of laws specifically governs property owners, their premises, and the people who might enter their properties. In court, the condition of the property influences the decision. If the dangerous condition was foreseeable but the defendant did nothing to prevent an accident, then you have the determining factor right there.
Simply put, lawyers use the following factors to establish premises liability claims:
- The defendant controlled the property. Was the property in the care of the person who caused the accident? For instance, did he or she own, lease, or live in the property where you got hurt? A personal injury lawyer investigates to determine which party had an obligation to maintain the property and warn others of foreseeable hazards.
- The defendant was negligent. Next, attorneys need to establish the property owners’ negligence. Did they fail to perform regular inspections, post warnings, and fix dangerous issues? Proving that the defendant did not look after his or her responsibilities despite foreseeable hazards is crucial for a premises liability case in New York.
- The defendant’s negligence caused your injury. Your injury must be due to the owner’s negligence. If the injury happened because of another factor or at another location, your claim would be invalid.
Each state has its own laws about premises liability. So, what applies to legal actions in other states might not apply to a New York case. As you may imagine, hiring a New York law firm with the right experience could be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful local claim.
Get Your Questions Answered
How can you be sure what kind of legal claim you have? At Hill & Moin, our clients are like family. We offer New York residents free case evaluations. During your session, we can determine whether you have a premises liability or another negligence case. Call (212) 668-6000 at your earliest convenience to schedule an appointment.
Our telephone lines are open 24 hours a day because getting in touch with us is urgent. Both premises liability and negligence claims are subject to a strict deadline set by the State of New York. If you hesitate too long after a personal injury incident, you could lose the opportunity to get extraordinary results.
As a New Yorker, pursuing your rights after a personal injury accident could secure your future and restore your peace of mind. Whether you have a negligence or premises liability claim on your hands, our legal team can lighten your load by implementing our Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ to get extraordinary results. Don’t wonder about your rights! Schedule your free consultation today.