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Personal InjuryFebruary 08, 2024

Injured in Public? What Is a Business' Duty to Protect Their Customers?

Premises Liability Means Property Owners Must Prevent Dangerous Hazards to Their Customers

In New York, a business must keep its premises in a reasonably safe condition to prevent injury or harm to its customers. But how far does their duty to protect go? When is a business liable for injuries a customer suffers on their premises, and what should a person do if they are injured?

At The Case Handler, we represent individuals who have suffered harm on another person’s property. Whether you were injured in a slip and fall accident or as a result of negligent security, we may be able to help you secure compensation for your damages. Contact our office today to book a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our legal team.

What Is a Business' Duty to Protect Their Customers?

A business’s duty to protect its customers from harm stems from New York’s premises liability laws. In other words, a property owner is required to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition. If a dangerous condition that could cause harm to a customer is known to the business owner, they have a duty to repair it in a reasonable amount of time or to warn of the hazard. 

For a business owner to be held liable, they must:

  • Owe a duty of care to the injured person (i.e., a customer or invited guest);
  • Knew or should have known about the dangerous condition;
  • Their negligence resulted in your injuries; and
  • You suffered actual damages.

One common exception to this rule is if you were trespassing on the property. In general, a property owner is not liable for injuries that occurred on their property if they were a trespasser. However, a property owner may be held liable if a child is injured as a result of an attractive nuisance, such as an unfenced pool, even if they were trespassing.

Is a Warning Sign Enough?

While posting a warning sign may help a property owner prove that they warned customers about the dangerous condition, it may not completely alleviate them of liability. Under certain circumstances, a warning sign may be insufficient to warn customers of potential harm.

For instance, if someone is injured in a slip and fall accident due to a wet floor, a warning sign across the room may not qualify as a sufficient warning of the dangerous condition. If you are harmed on another person’s property, it is essential to speak to a premises liability lawyer to determine if the business had a duty to protect you from harm.

What If the Business Was Unaware of the Hazard?

While it may be more challenging to hold a business owner responsible for harm caused by a dangerous condition that was unknown to them, it is not impossible. Property owners are required to not only repair or warn customers of hazards that are known to them but also those that they should have known about. 

A business owner who fails to maintain their premises may be held liable for dangerous conditions that they were unaware of if they could have been reasonably discovered through routine inspection. 

Contact an Attorney to Review Your Case

If you are injured on someone else’s property in New York, you may have a valid claim for damages. It is important to discuss your case with an experienced attorney to determine who may be held liable for your damages. 
At The Case Handler, our legal team will work with you to secure the largest recovery possible based on the circumstances of your case. Contact our office today to schedule a free, confidential consultation. We have secured millions of dollars on behalf of injured parties throughout New York. Let us help you today.

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A personal injury or workplace accident can be devastating for you and your family. The Case Handler team digs deep to investigate your case, identify the responsible party or parties, and press for the maximum compensation for your injuries so you can move on with your life.

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