New York’s Premises Liability Laws

When visiting somebody else’s property, you never expect to encounter a dangerous condition that causes you to suffer an injury. Unfortunately, this is something that happens far too often due to a property owner’s negligence. In these events, you may have the legal rights to hold the property owner accountable for the damages you sustained.

You must recognize just how these types of cases work to better understand your options moving forward. Below, we’ll explain New York’s premises liability laws and how different categories can impact a person’s ability to pursue compensation.

The Elements of a Premises Liability Case

If you suffer an injury on someone else’s property, multiple factors come into play that help determine your rights. This area of law can be complicated, so having a lawyer on your side is one of the most important things you can do to help prove the following:

  • You were legally on the property
  • The property owner knew or should have known of the danger
  • The property owner did nothing to fix the issue or warn of the hazard
  • You suffered an injury as a result of the negligence

It’s vital to show that the property owner knew or should have known about the danger on his or her grounds. If this cannot be proven, it is unlikely that the property owner will be found negligent. Gathering the evidence to prove prior knowledge of the danger can be difficult, which is why it’s imperative to retain legal counsel to represent you throughout entire process following your injury.

Invitees, Licensees, and Trespassers

New York premises liability law categorizes the plaintiff into one of three categories when analyzing his or her legal rights to file a compensation claim. Understanding the different categories is imperative in determining whether an injured plaintiff is entitled to compensation. Here are the different categories you should be aware of:


An invitee is someone who the property owner allows onto the property for financial gain. For instance, the laws considers a shopper at a grocery store an invitee because the property owner financially benefits from his or her presence. An invitee is owed a duty of care to prevent him or her from serious harm.


A licensee is someone, like a friend or family member, who is legally on someone else’s property, but there’s no financial gain for the property owner. While property owners owe a duty to invitees to inspect their property for dangers, they do not have this same duty to licensees. However, they must still warn licensees of potential hazards.


Property owners typically do not owe a duty of care to trespassers. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For instance, if the owner knew of the trespasser, a duty to keep the property safe for the trespasser may exist. A property owner may also be held liable for attractive nuisances, which can cause children to trespass on a property and suffer injuries.

Your Legal Rights

If you suffer an injury on someone else’s property, be sure to report the incident as soon as you can. The faster you can bring attention to your situation and seek medical treatment, the better. It is important to see a doctor as soon as possible so you can receive the proper care and treatment for your injuries. After receiving medical treatment, you should hire an experienced premises liability attorney to hold the property owner responsible and pursue compensation for your injuries.

At Richmond Vona, LLC, we’re committed to fighting for your rights. Our premises liability lawyers go above and beyond to help you get the results you deserve. We don’t make false promises; we respect you too much for that. We take the time to carefully evaluate your case and determine your legal options.

We offer free consultations, so you can get answers when you need them. Call us today to schedule your case evaluation with one of our legal professionals.