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Filing a premises liability claim against a store owner

  1. It is hard to imagine that a routine trip to the grocery store can result in severe injury, but that is the difficult reality for many New York residents every year. If you have suffered injuries in a slip-and-fall accident, you may file a premises liability claim against the store owner and other parties responsible for your injuries.

Generally, to build a premises liability case against a store owner requires you to prove that your accident was caused by the negligent actions of the store owner. You will need to establish the following:

Dangerous condition

In order for a store owner to be held liable for your accident, you must show that your slip-and-fall accidents was caused by a dangerous condition on store premises. Some of the most common dangerous conditions include:

  • Slippery floors due to spilled substances

  • Icy sidewalks/parking lots

  • Poor lighting

  • Obstructions in the aisles

  • Uneven carpeting

  • Lack of handrails

  • Broken steps

Notice of the dangerous condition

Store owners are legally required to take reasonable steps to inspect their property for dangerous conditions to protect their customers. The store owner must have had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition to be held liable for your accident.

  • Actual notice means that the store owner was made aware of the dangerous condition that caused your fall and had a duty to fix the problem or warn of the problem.

  • Constructive knowledge means that the dangerous condition was something that a store owner should have known or could reasonably be expected to know.


Additionally, you will have to show that the store owner acted negligently by failing to take reasonable steps to maintain the property. Common forms of negligence include:

  • Failure to properly train employees

  • Failure to inspect the property for dangerous conditions

  • Failure to fix the dangerous condition

  • Failure to warn of the dangerous condition

Causation and damages

Lastly, you will have to show that the store owner’s negligence directly and proximately caused your accident and that you suffered damages as a result of the accident. The store owner may try to prove that your negligence contributed to your own accident. However, in New York, you can still recover damages if you are less than 100 percent liable for your accident.

Proving a premises liability claim in court can be difficult without the help of an experienced attorney specializing in personal injury law. An attorney can advise you as you go and give you the best chance at recovering damages.

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