Anyone can claim that his or her injury was the result of another person's negligence in an attempt to recover compensation, but actually proving such fault is another matter entirely. If you are injured in a car accident, for example, and the driver was obeying all the rules of the road and displaying no reckless or negligent behavior, then that driver will likely not be found at fault in the accident. In the same manner, simply falling and hitting your head at someone else's house does not mean that you have a successful product liability claim on your hands.
Sometimes accidents are just that: accidents. Nobody is responsible, and nothing could have been done to prevent the incident. If you hope to recover compensation for a premises liability claim, you will likely have to prove one of two things:
- The accident could have been avoided if the property owner had been more careful or warned you of a potential danger.
- The accident was the direct result of the owner's refusal to fix a condition that he or she knew was a hazard, such as refusing to install a handrail on a stairway.
If either of these conditions were met, then there is a chance that you could recover compensation for your injuries. However, you will still need to demonstrate that it was one or both of these factors that contributed to your injury and not simply your own carelessness. For example, a property owner may knowingly refuse to provide a handrail, but if you were attempting to do a cartwheel down the stairway when you were injured, the lack of handrail likely had nothing to do with the injury.
If you have been injured on another person's property, and you believe that the other person was at fault, consider meeting with an attorney. A personal injury attorney who is familiar with New York premises liability laws will provide you with a better understanding of our state's laws and precedents, allowing you to build a stronger case for compensation.