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What Are Your Landlord’s Responsibilities When It Comes to Slippery Steps?

The owners and managers of all types of properties in New York – including rented dwellings –  have a responsibility to ensure that the property is free of hazards that can cause injuries to visitors or tenants. One of the most common areas in which hazards exist is on stairwells, where damaged flooring materials, ice, liquid, and other debris can collect and cause someone to lose their footing, resulting in a slip-and-fall accident.

Slip-and-fall accidents are often regarded as minor or even frivolous claims, when in truth, these can be extremely serious accidents, resulting in severe injuries such as broken bones, injuries to the head or spinal cord, and cuts and bruises. If you have been injured in an accident caused by your landlord’s failure to ensure that the stairs at your apartment building were as safe as possible, you can seek compensation for the economic and non-economic impacts of your injury with the assistance of an experienced premises liability lawyer.

Premises Liability and the Responsibility of Landlords

Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility that landlords and other property owners and managers have to keep others safe from hazards on the property. This responsibility requires the landlord to perform frequent and regular inspections of the property in search of hazards. If dangerous conditions are revealed through these inspections, the landlord is required to promptly mitigate the problem. 

If the condition that caused the steps to become slippery is something that cannot be repaired immediately, the landlord also has a responsibility to prevent injury by warning visitors through prominently placed signs or even barricades.

Landlords who fail to take actions to make the property safer or warn guests of the hazard can be liable for slip-and-fall accidents occurring on the steps, and their insurance provider may be required to pay for the expenses and impacts of injuries that occur to tenants and visitors. This is true not only for landlords of rented residential dwellings, but also for those who lease out commercial properties.

Proving Liability in a Slip-and-Fall Accident

In New York premises liability claims, the claimant and their attorney must be able to prove liability, by showing several elements that occurred in their case. The first element they must prove is that the landlord owed a duty of care as the owner or manager of the property. Additionally, it must be shown that the landlord was negligent in their care of the property, as they failed to mitigate a hazard that they knew or reasonably should have known about. Finally, it must also be proven that the accident was the result of this negligence.

Landlords and their insurers will often use a common defense to avoid liability for slip-and-fall accidents. One common defense to this type of claim is that the landlord did not have reason to know that the hazard existed, as they are not inspecting the property at all times of the day or night. However, hiring a skilled premises liability lawyer can help to ensure that you get any compensation you may be owed after your accident.

Did You Fall on Slippery Steps in New York? Contact Dalli & Marino, LLP

Injuries from a fall on slippery steps can happen in an instant, but the physical damages caused by the fall can last for months or even years, along with significant medical expenses, wage loss, and a cascade of impacts through every part of the claimant’s life, such as the inability to enjoy important activities or even to live without pain. The legal team at Dalli & Marino, LLP focuses on providing the individual attention you deserve in order to help you obtain the compensation you need.

With more than 25 years of experience, our legal team has the experience and understanding of the law that is needed as you navigate the personal injury claims process. Let us evaluate your claim and help you understand your legal options for obtaining compensation for the injury you suffered in your slip-and-fall accident. Simply send us a message online or call our office at (888) 465-8790. Our team also speaks Spanish.


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