If you have been injured while being a legal visitor of a property, the owner of this property could be responsible for your injuries if their negligence was a factor in your getting hurt. What you must prove in a premise liability case is that you were on the property legally as either an invited guest or a contracted worker, and you were injured because the property owner was negligent.
Slip and Fall Liability Cases
Just because you fell down on a piece of property, does not mean you have an automatic case of liability. Your falling must be caused by a negligent act of the owner of the property. For example, if it’s raining and you slipped outdoors on some wet grass, that would be considered general clumsiness. If you get hurt tripping over a pothole on a designated walkway on the property, the property owner is likely to be negligent. The reason for your accident must be because the property owner didn’t fix a necessary repair, or did not rope off a potentially hazardous area. Slip and fall accidents are common during snowy and icy New York winters when landlords, home and business owners neglect to clear their sidewalks of ice and snow.
Dog Bite Liability
As one of the most prevalent injuries in the US, dog bites represent a significant percentage of premise liability lawsuits filed in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 885,000 people require medical attention each year after being bitten by dogs.
If you have been bitten by a dog, whether in a public place or on the property of the dog owner, a number of factors are considered when looking at dog owner liability. In the state of New York, the most important piece of information looked as is if the dog has a history of dangerous behavior. If the dog has bitten someone else in the past, and then bites and injures another party, the dog owner will be liable for the injuries sustained.
Other factors considered in a dog bit premise liability lawsuit include:
- Whether the dog bite victim was acting peacefully around the dog.
- Whether the dog was provoked by the victim.
Avoiding Dog Bites
While dog owners obviously have a responsibility to do what they can to prevent their pets from engaging in violent behavior, here are some safety tips that anyone can use to avoid being bitten.
- The Humane Society advises never approaching an unfamiliar dog. They also urge anyone who pets a dog – even their own dog – to let the dog see and sniff them beforehand.
- There are signals that a dog may feel threatened, aggressive, or otherwise prone to biting. These signals include furrowing their brow, rolling their eyes back, pulling their head back, pulling their ears back, keeping their tail stiff and/or keeping their body tense.
- Be aware that dogs of all sizes and breeds are capable of biting.
- If you see a dog behind a fence, keep your fingers away from the fence.
- If you are approached in a public place by a dog that is unleashed, do not run away from the dog, and do not make loud noises, such as screaming. Keep your hands at your sides. Avoid making eye contact with the dog.
- If a dog jumps up on you, try to keep your back to the dog, and try to keep your face away from the dog. Stay as calm as possible. If there is an object nearby that you can hold in front of you as a shield, hold it against your body. Do not try to push the dog away with it.
Dog Safety & Children
It is especially important to teach dog safety to children. Children between the ages of five and nine are at a higher risk for dog bite injuries than any other age group.
Some of the most important pieces of information for children to know are:
- Do not play with a dog if you are not with an adult;
- Always ask a dog’s owner for permission before you pet it;
- Be cautious around a mother dog who is with her puppies;
- Never tease dogs;
- Do not touch a dog while the dog is sleeping or eating; and
- Tell an adult if you see a dog off its leash.
What to Do After You’ve Been Bitten by a Dog
If you have been bitten by a dog, you should wash your wound with soap and warm water, and contact a physician.
Dog bite victims are often reluctant to notify authorities about what has happened, because they are concerned that the dog will be euthanized. However, reporting a dog bite does not automatically mean that the dog will be put down. In the state of New York, judges and justices are only permitted to order a dog euthanized if the dog has caused serious physical injury or death to a person without justification, or if the dog has a history of violent behavior.
Understanding Negligent Security
The negligent security law is established to provide recourse for those that have been injured while on a property because of a lack of security or safety measures in place. This law is intended to cover you in the event of a third party attack while being on someone else’s property. For example, if you are at a bar and you are attacked out of nowhere by one of the patrons, the bar owner may be responsible for your injuries because of the negligent security law.
While it’s impossible to predict the behavior of individuals at any home or commercial property, it is the owner of that property that can be liable if one party injures another. This is why there are often bouncers at drinking establishments in order to keep the peace. You have the right to safety when you visit a residential or commercial property, and if you are injured unprovoked, you will have a viable negligent security lawsuit on your hands.
When you have been injured because of the negligence of another person, it’s important to take a good look at your injuries. Make sure that you get treatment for your injuries, and that this treatment is well documented by providers. It’s necessary to follow the advice of your treatment providers, as this will show that you have a commitment to healing from your very real injuries. If you don’t follow medical advice or you don’t seek treatment, it may appear as if your injuries are not as bad as you are trying to claim.
If you believe that you are the victim of a case that involves negligent security or premise liability, it’s time to meet with experienced attorney Paul Giannetti. You should bring any medical records that you have regarding the injury, and be prepared to answer plenty of questions regarding the incident, where you were when it happened, and how the injury occurred. The more information you can provide to you attorney, the better they will be able to assess your case. Injuries happen all of the time, but if your injury was caused because of the negligence of another person, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries.
Contact our office today to set up a free consultation with attorney Paul Giannetti.