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As businesses in New York prepare to open after months of temporary closures, it is important to keep the safety of the premises in mind while moving forward. It is crucial that the grounds are safe so that hazards cannot threaten the safety of any visitors. People who are injured due to the negligence of a business owner can pursue legal action under premises liability law. Continue reading to learn more.

What are the Three Legal Classes of Visitors?

There are three different classifications of visitors under premises liability law:

  • Invitee: A person who is invited onto the premises. This does not have to be in writing. The invitation is to transact business for the mutual benefit of both parties. 
  • Licensee: A visitor who is on a property for personal reasons, not business or commercial purposes. An example of this can be having a guest to your home for dinner. Those who come onto a business property are usually invitees, not licensees.
  • Trespasser: Individuals who are on a property without invitation, violating trespassing laws. This may be a burglar or customer that refuses to leave when asked to. While business owners do not have a legal duty to keep trespassers safe, they cannot cause harm to them on purpose. 

What are Common Causes of Injury Claims?

There are several ways a personal injury accident can happen on business property, including the following:

  • Slippery surfaces: Rain, snow, ice, spills, wet or waxed floors, etc. can cause slip and fall accidents. 
  • Faulty stairs and escalators: Broken guardrails, slippery steps, and mechanical failures can cause stairwell and/or escalator accidents.
  • Falling merchandise: Objects that fall off shelves can injure employees and customers.
  • Physical obstacles: Property owners must take care of poorly placed electrical cords, protruding furniture, floor mats or door moldings, door stops, fallen merchandise, etc. immediately.
  • Inadequate lighting: Without proper lighting, hazards that should be visible can cause injuries. This can include curbs, physical obstructions, steps, potholes, etc. 
  • Parking lots: Accidents can be caused by concrete car stops, potholes, misdirected cars, uneven pavement, poor signage, construction, criminal activity, etc. 
  • Sidewalks: Injuries can be caused by broken, cracked, or uneven sidewalks. Generally, business owners are not required to care for government-controlled sidewalks. However, they can be liable for sidewalks adjacent to their business. 
  • Food poisoning: Customers can be made sick due to poor food handling, poor storage, or the transmission of disease from employees at food-service locations. 

Contact our Firm

If you have been injured in a New York City car accident, Swerling Law is here to help. Our firm understands the challenges that many people face after being hurt in an accident and is prepared to help you receive an award of significant compensation to ease some of your burdens. To schedule a consultation with an experienced construction site accident attorney in New York City, contact Swerling Law today.


Settlement to a barista who slipped and fell on a defective stairwell while working for Starbucks who sustained back injuries requiring multiple surgeries in 2012.


Settlement to a woman who was assaulted and sustained back/hip injuries in 2015.


Verdict to a high school student who was assaulted by a school dean during her lunch period dislocating her hip in 2014.


Settlement to a man who was run over by a dump truck on a Brooklyn street causing him to sustain multiple injuries, including but not limited to a broken leg and detached urethra in 2019.


Settlement to a woman who slipped and fell down a wet stairwell in a New York City Housing Authority building requiring a back surgery in 2018.

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