When you move into a rental, you expect your new home to be reasonably safe and secure. When that isn’t true, can you sue a property owner for negligence in New York? Can a New York property owner bypass the repercussions of jeopardizing your physical safety and financial stability if they don’t properly maintain their property?
At Hach & Rose, LLP, we have over 20 years of experience protecting New Yorkers’ legal rights. We know that there are property owners in the city who shrug off their legal responsibilities when it comes to keeping tenants and visitors safe. How can you protect yourself? Can you sue a careless landlord for failing to keep you and your family safe? Our legal team has the answers you need.
What Is Premises Liability Law?
Premises liability is a legal practice area based on the New York laws that protect individuals from dangerous conditions on another person’s property. While most people think premises liability laws only pertain to slip-and-fall claims, premises liability protects individuals from a host of hazardous conditions that may be present on another person’s property.
In many situations, individuals injured on another person’s property typically turn to that person’s insurance provider to seek compensation for their injuries and financial losses. However, there are situations where an injured person may need to use the New York legal system to pursue the money they need.
When Is a Landlord Responsible for an Accident at an NYC Apartment?
Landlords and property managers must provide people who visit or live on their property with a reasonably safe environment. New York has extensive housing maintenance codes that hold landlords and property owners to high standards for protecting individuals. That includes tenants, visitors, and others legally allowed to be on the premises. Many tenants in New York apartments have leasing agreements with their landlord or property management company that outline the obligations of the landlord when it comes to repairs, safety hazards, and environmental concerns.
When a landlord or property management company fails to address safety concerns and hazards reasonably, they can be held legally responsible for injuries and financial losses incurred by the tenant or another individual following an accident. Although most companies and landlords carry insurance meant to compensate an individual after an accident, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit when the company refuses to compensate you, won’t negotiate in good faith, or denies liability.
How Do I Prove a Property Owner Was Negligent?
An individual cannot successfully sue a neighbor or landlord for negligence without evidence proving their case:
- You must demonstrate a dangerous condition exists on the property.
- You must establish via evidence that the property owner knew or should have reasonably known that the hazardous condition existed and they did nothing to remedy the problem promptly. Proving this can be the most challenging element in a l premises liability case, especially without the help of a skilled and tenacious New York premises liability attorney.
- You must show that the dangerous condition caused a significant injury and that injury left you with financial losses.
Proving your case against a careless landlord or management company takes evidence. Some of the documentation that may help prove your case can include:
- Photographs of the dangerous condition
- Surveillance camera footage
- Apartment maintenance records
- Incident reports
- Physical evidence
- Witness statements
- Previous correspondence between you and the landlord about the dangerous condition
Landlords and property owners are legally responsible for maintaining a safe environment for visitors and tenants. Failing to address hazards is careless behavior that can expose them to premises liability lawsuits.
Common New York Apartment Complex Hazards
What New York apartment complex hazards could cause an injury and trigger a premises liability lawsuit against a landlord or management company? These are some of the most dangerous conditions that can lead to significant accidents:
- Loose rugs and carpeting
- Poor lighting conditions
- Inadequate security measures
- Uneven surfaces
- Unmarked stairs
- Loose stairway railings
- Partially or poorly cleared snow and ice
- Spills and slippery floors
- Lack of window guards
- Defective property conditions
- Elevator malfunctions
- Malfunctioning fire doors and alarms
Unfortunately, poor lighting conditions, lack of security, or improperly trained security can also enable sexual assaults and other violent encounters. When a property owner’s careless actions contribute to a sexual assault or other violent encounter that injures an individual, that property owner may be held accountable under premises liability laws.
How to Sue a Property Management Company
To sue a property management company or landlord, you need aggressive legal representation. It takes tremendous evidence to build a compelling case against a landlord and prove that their careless actions and inability to respond to a dangerous condition led to your injuries and financial losses. One of the most challenging aspects of mounting a successful case rests on demonstrating that the landlord or management company failed to repair a hazardous condition, failed to disclose a hazardous condition existed or covered up their attempts to fix a threat.
An experienced New York premises liability attorney can help you sue a property management company by conducting a complete investigation into the cause of an accident at a New York apartment complex. An attorney can also move quickly to collect and preserve vital evidence.
A knowledgeable attorney can also manage crucial legal deadlines. Typically, injured individuals only have three years from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for their financial losses. Failing to file a case within the statutory period means your case faces dismissal, and you’ll lose the ability to recover maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
A New York Premises Liability Attorney Can Help
Have the careless actions or lack of response from a landlord caused you to suffer a significant injury? It is time to discuss the specifics of your situation with an experienced New York premises liability attorney with Hach & Rose, LLP. Our legal team wants to help you recover the money you deserve.