Commercial Property Accident Lawyers in NYC
A commercial property is one that people use for business activities instead of private residences. Commercial properties may accommodate small businesses, offices, retailers, and shopping malls. Some major commercial properties in New York City include the Westfield World Trade Center, the Shops at Columbus Circle, the Manhattan Mall, and the Rockefeller Group Business Centers. When businesses open their doors to customers, they must make sure their properties are safe for visitors. Lack of care leads to preventable accidents. As the victim of such an accident, learn your rights with help from Pazer, Epstein, Jaffe & Fein, P.C.
Responsibilities of a Commercial Property Owner
Commercial businesses welcome guests and shoppers through implied invitation. They permit customers to enter the property for the purpose of supporting the business and purchasing goods. The law classifies customers as “invitees,” or visitors with an implied or expressed invitation to enter a property. Property owners owe invitees the highest standards of care according to premises liability law. A business owner must keep the commercial property safe for guests with the following actions:
- Correct and repair known hazards. Property owners must fix anything that poses a foreseeable risk of harm to customers. This includes cracked sidewalks, loose shelving, exposed electrical wires, malfunctioning elevators/escalators, and any other dangerous element. It’s impossible for property owners to make premises perfect, but the building should not contain any hazards that are major threats to safety.
- Search for unknown hazards. The courts judge premises liability claims on hazards the property knew or “reasonably should have known” about. Property owners must regularly check their buildings, schedule routine maintenance, and take other steps to find dangerous conditions. It is due diligence to check a property every now and then to find potential risks and repair them.
- Warn against foreseeable hazards. Property owners must warn invitees of dangerous conditions that may not be obvious, such as slippery floors or a broken elevator. Posting warning signs or roping the area off are two ways an owner can fulfill this duty. A commercial business owner does not have to warn of obvious hazards or those that only pose a minor risk of harm to customers.
The law entitles invitees to expect reasonable care from business owners. If an owner fails to use reasonable care, resulting in an injury or death, he or she may be guilty of negligence. The injured party could recover from the property owner if the courts determine that a “reasonable and prudent” commercial property owner would have taken action to prevent the incident. It is the injured party’s responsibility to prove negligence in these types of claims, typically with help from a lawyer.
Commercial Property Accident? We Can Help
As an invitee, you have the right to expect high standards of care from a commercial property owner. Elements such as faulty stairways or objects falling from high shelves are examples of hazards you should not face with a diligent property owner. If you suffered injuries while shopping on a commercial property, give us a call right away. We have experience handling commercial premises liability claims, and we want to help you seek justice from a negligent property owner.