If you are injured as the result of a hazardous condition on someone’s property, you could be eligible for a slip and fall claim. However, there are several factors that must first be considered before an attorney will decide to litigate. One of the most important factors is your status as a visitor.
Under New York personal injury laws, you are assigned a “status” as a visitor on a property; the level of visitor that you qualify as will greatly determine your eligibility to file and collect on a slip and fall claim. These statuses include:
- Public invitee
- Business invitee
- Licensee by invitation
- Uninvited licensee
Public or Business Invitee Status
Business owners owe their visitors a higher level of liability. A public invitee is a person who is on a property, by invitation, to enjoy that property without any intent of doing business with the owner of the property. If, for example, a person is visiting a public park, that individual holds public invitee status.
A business invitee, on the other hand, is a person who is visiting a property for the purpose of conducting business – and the business benefits from that person’s presence on the property. For example, a shopper at a grocery store would be considered a business invitee. Business invitees are the most common type among plaintiffs of slip and fall claims.
Property owners, regardless of whether they own a business or a residence, are required to provide their visitors and invitees with a safe environment. That means correcting, repairing, or removing all known hazards as quickly as possible.
A trespasser has the lowest duty of care. Trespassers have no right to be present on the property; therefore, the property owner is not obligated to provide them with a safe environment. Whether a trespasser is entering the property unlawfully or just out of curiosity, his or her injuries are often not subject to personal injury claims. The same rule does not apply to child trespassers. When children trespass, the owner still needs to take proper precautions to remove hazards and warn of potential hazards, so that a child is not injured on the property.
Were You Injured in a Slip and Fall?
If you or a loved one has suffered from a slip and fall accident, contact Schwartzapfel® Lawyers, P.C. today. We offer free consultations and can help you receive compensation for your injuries. Schedule your consultation at 1-877-737-4806 or fill out our online contact form with your questions.