Tag Archives: personal injury

rental property

“Open and Obvious” Hazards in Rental Properties

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Injuries are always a raw deal, but what happens when it was the type of accident that could have been avoided, or took place on a rental property? If you suffer an injury when in a rental property, either yours or that of someone you are visiting, you may want to consider seeking out financial damages from the landlord owning the property depending on any resultant injuries which you have suffered from the fall.

One interesting condition of this problem is when the hazard could be deemed “open and obvious”, meaning that anyone should have been able to tell that it was a hazard to begin with. There are two sides to this coin: on one hand, the landlord ought to have fixed the problem, since it was such an obvious issue. On the other hand, you should have been able to notice the hazard and go out of your way to avoid an injury as well! So when you suffer a slip and fall or trip accident on someone’s property due to a hazardous condition, who is to blame? Are you, or is the owner responsible? Let’s go and take a closer look.

In New York state, there is something known as premises liability law, and in this legislation it requires a landlord to keep their property reasonably safe. If they fail to do so and an individual presses their claim to the court, the court will then examine if the landlord took appropriate action towards reducing the hazard, if applicable. Sometimes, the courts will determine that if the hazard was ‘open and obvious’, meaning that a reasonable individual would be able to see the issue and avoid it, that the landlord was under no legal obligation to improve the hazard. This can create a dangerous loophole sometimes exploited by certain landlords to ‘fix’ the problem in the cheapest and least labor intensive way possible.

One extreme example is if there is a broken stair railing that would make leaning on the railing unsafe, the landlord could theoretically just remove the railing so that it was a very obvious hazard. Yes, you would know not to lean on empty air, but would the lack of any railing at all make the walk even a slight bit safer? Not at all. Or if there was a leakage or spill, a wet floor sign would notify pedestrians of the risk for slipping, but instead of mopping up the area or causing it to be safer over all, they have simply moved the burden of seeking safety onto the individual most likely to be harmed. While it is a technical fix, it does nothing to improve the lives of those nearby.

The laws surrounding ‘open and obvious’ risks when it comes to liability are not airtight, and with an experienced attorney you may be able to prove that the landlord was indeed responsible for an accident that may have befallen you. For more information into my experience in this area, call me, Mark Yampaglia, today for a free phone consultation at 844-847-0106. I look forward to speaking with you soon!

animal bite

Compensation for an Animal Bite

This entry was posted in Personal Injury and tagged , on by .

These days, many people complain about seemingly frivolous lawsuits. There are horror stories of suits for actions outside of the defendants’ control, or seeking exorbitantly high payouts for what would seem to be a minor inconvenience. However, there are some areas where compensation is justly awarded for unnecessary suffering on the part of the complainant, and getting bitten by an animal is among that category. Whether it’s the neighbor’s dog or a more dangerous wild animal, if you have been injured you should immediately (after getting medical care of course) seek out a competent attorney to understand your legal options moving forward. Here’s a look at some of the ways you can or cannot get compensation after being bitten by an animal.

In New Jersey, we have very strict liability laws, where pet owners can be held accountable for the damages of their animals, regardless if the creature had ever shown violent tendencies in the past. This is much stricter than in many other states, including those neighboring us. You will be entitled to file a personal injury claim, which will request more information and the results can vary depending on the type of the animal in question and the severity of the bite and your associated injuries.

The most common type of animal bite comes from dogs, those canine companions kept so regularly by most everyone you know. The pet owners are liable, as they would be similarly if you had been clawed up by a cat or even violently pecked by someone’s pet parakeet. More dangerous animals such as horses, regularly kept, can also cause serious injuries to those who deal with them. However, for large domestic animals such as cows or horses, the owners will be held responsible primarily if they had prior knowledge of the animal’s behavior and did not take the proper precautions to contain the animal or protect those would come in contact with it.

Some people these days are even taking to caring for more wild animals in their living space, and they can also be held liable even if they followed proper protocol to contain the animal. It should be noted, however, that if an individual is found to have acted recklessly or intentionally provoked the animal, they will lose their rights to claim compensation for their injuries. Legally, it will be classified as ‘contributory negligence’ for their role in the event.

If you have been bitten by an animal, you’ll know how difficult it can be—both physically painful, and also carry with it emotional trauma and financial difficulties. For relief from these troubles, you’ll want to seek out compensation, and we at Yampaglia Law are here to help. Contact me, Mark Yampaglia, today for a free consultation about your options and our experience in this area. I can be reached by phone at 844-847-0106 and look forward to discussing your case with you today.