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Business owners may be liable for slip-and-fall accidents

New York business owners have a legal responsibility to keep their premises safe for customers, other visitors and even trespassers in some cases. This is true whether the space is owned or rented by the operator of the business. If an individual suffers injury due to a slip-and-fall accident that happens on another's property, he or she might have claims for damages. Among the conditions that can give support to a personal injury claim are wet floors, bad lighting, torn carpets and crowded walkways.

People who are injured outside the building might also have claims. In a case where a person slips and falls in the parking lot due to ice or snow, for example, he or she might have claims. To bring a lawsuit based on a theory of premises liability, the injured party must be able to show that the slip and fall was caused by a dangerous condition that the business owner was aware of or should have been aware of.

Halloween and premises liability claims

Halloween poses three insurance risks for homeowners in New York. First, there is the risk of becoming the victim of vandalism or burglary. Of all the Halloween-related property damage claims that are filed, an average of 19% are for vandalism while 21% are for off-premises theft and 60% are for on-premises theft.

Then there is the risk that trick-or-treaters will injure themselves on one's property. Those who decorate their homes for Halloween should watch out for any electrical hazards and trip hazards. For instance, strobe lights can cause seizures in people with epilepsy, and extension cords can trip someone. Homeowners need to consider food safety, too, warning children beforehand when the candy they hand out contains nuts.

Lawsuit tests the limits of premises liability laws

Shoppers at retail locations in New York and throughout the country generally expect a level of safety and security while on the premises. A lawsuit filed against Walmart may clarify the specific steps that an establishment is supposed to take to keep its patrons safe. The lawsuit was filed after a shooting at a Walmart store on Aug. 3 in El Paso, and the victims claim that the company was negligent because it had no armed security personnel at the time the shooting happened.

However, Walmart contends that it does have a policy in place when determining security needs at a given store. It claims it uses a combination of off-duty police officers, plain clothes officers and traditional security guards to keep customers safe. Since the shooting, the store is being protected by off-duty police officers. According to one property management professional, most retailers employ loss prevention employees instead of using security guards.

3 things to know about premises liability

When you enter a store in the mall, the supermarket or even your friend's apartment in Garden City, you expect to exit in the same condition. In other words, you don't expect to trip over loose carpet or slip on a wet tile and break a bone. Unfortunately, these kinds of accidents sometimes happen.

When a visitor to someone else's property suffers an accident, premises liability comes into play. Here are a few things you should know about premises liability if you have an accident while in a store, in someone's home or on government property.

New York's wrongful death law

If you lose a loved one to another's negligence in New York, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. While your family will naturally be grieving, you should know that the statute of limitations in this state is two years from the date of death. It is especially important that families try to file a wrongful death suit when the decedent was their primary financial provider.

A successful wrongful death lawsuit could reimburse your family for pre-death medical bills, loss of income, funeral and burial costs and loss of support. You may even sue for any pain and suffering inflicted on the victim before he or she died. As the plaintiff, you will have to prove that the decedent was the victim of the other party's negligence or recklessness.

First lawsuit filed over Walmart shooting

Those in New York who have closely followed the El Paso Walmart shooting may be interested to hear that a couple has filed what is believed to be the first lawsuit regarding the incident. The couple claims that Walmart's lack of security measures was a factor in the August 2019 massacre that left 22 dead.

The husband and wife who are suing Walmart were shopping with their two kids when a gunman opened fire. The man was shot in the spine and is in critical condition. The woman was shot in the legs and treated at a local hospital. She was released a short time later. The couple alleges that Walmart didn't employ armed security guards and that this put shoppers at risk. The couple also wants to question Walmart regarding a 2016 hostage situation at an Amarillo, Texas, location.

Avoiding a dog bite claim

New York residents should know that August 2019 has been a bad month for dog bite claims in some states. These claims cost insurance companies millions of dollars every year. In 2018, for example, State Farm paid out $123 million for 3,280 dog bite claims. With some 89.7 million dogs living in the U.S., dog bites are bound to happen.

Fifty percent of victims in these cases are children with those aged 5 to 9 being at the highest risk. Mail carriers and the elderly also run a high risk. Dogs of all breeds and types can bite, though most do not. Nevertheless, it's important to know how to avoid a dog bite incident.

Man crushed to death by elevator in New York apartment building

On Aug. 22, a New York man was crushed to death by a faulty elevator in a luxury Manhattan high-rise building. The incident occurred in the Kips Bay section of the city.

According to authorities, the victim, age 30, apparently rode the elevator down to the first floor and started to exit when it suddenly plunged down toward the basement, pinning him between the roof of the elevator and the shaft wall. Emergency medical service personnel were called to the scene, but there was nothing they could do. They pronounced him dead at the scene. According to the medical examiner, he died of blunt force trauma to his neck and torso. His death was ruled an accident.

Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Sheraton hotel leads to lawsuit

Residents of New York should know that an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel has led to Georgia health officials investigating some 75 cases of infection. Of these, 12 have been confirmed. The outbreak led to the death of one 49-year-old woman as well as a lawsuit from a 67-year-old photographer who covered a conference at the hotel. All of the victims either visited the hotel or stayed there.

On July 15, the hotel evacuated its guests and closed down. After a thorough cleaning, scrubbing and chlorination of the water distribution systems, it reopened on Aug. 15. Representatives of the hotel have extended their sympathy to the victims, but whether the hotel will accept responsibility for the injuries is another matter.

Tips to stay safe when walking in New York

Walking or running in New York can be a dangerous enterprise. Not only do you have to watch out for other pedestrians, but you may also have to dodge bike couriers and distracted or negligent drivers. One of the best ways you can protect yourself is to never assume that someone in or on a moving vehicle is going to put your safety first.

Fortunately, there are a few other things you can do to keep yourself safe the next you go for a walk or run. Here are a few safety tips to remember as a pedestrian.

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