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How does notice work in premises liability cases?

If you have been injured on someone else’s property in New York, it is possible that a dangerous condition on the property caused or contributed to your fall. Many property owners will try to defend against premises liability claims by simply claiming they did not know about the broken step or uneven flooring. However, this is not necessarily a strong defense. If your attorney can prove that the property owner had actual or constructive notice of the condition, they may still be held liable for your slip-and-fall accident.

Actual notice

Actual notice applies when the store owner knew of the dangerous condition that caused the accident. The owner either saw the danger with their own eyes or they were told about the danger by a third party.

Constructive notice

Many people assume that if you are unaware of the dangerous condition that caused the accident, you cannot be liable for the accident. However, you can be held liable even if you were unaware of the condition if you should have known about it.

Constructive notice applies in situations where the owner did not see the condition firsthand, but if they had exercised reasonable care in inspecting their property, they would have known about it. Generally, the condition must have been there long enough that any reasonably responsible property owner would have seen it.

A property owner with actual or constructive notice of a hazard on the premises that played a role in your accident will likely be partially or fully liable for your accident. A personal injury attorney can help prove that they had notice by establishing that the hazard existed on the property for a long time prior to your accident or presenting an inspection report that proves the owner was informed of the condition prior to your accident.

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