Rochester Premises Liability Attorney

When you are injured as a result of a fall or other type of accident on someone else’s property, you may be able to collect compensation against the owner of the property if your injury was caused by the fault of the owner or occupier of the property.

This could be from a loose brick on a front stoop, failure to remove ice from a walkway or failure to control a dangerous dog. Faraci Lange has handled thousands of premises liability claims in the last 35 years and continues to succeed in these cases through superior preparation and diligent investigation.

What you need to know about insuring your home

Your home is your castle, a place for your children to grow, for your friends and family to visit, an investment in your future. Yet, a home is also a place where accidents happen, fires start, dogs bite, visitors slip and fall. For that reason, financial institutions almost always require home buyers to have homeowners’ insurance as a condition of obtaining a mortgage. A standard homeowners’ policy insures the structure of your home and other buildings on the property, such as the garage. It also covers personal possessions inside the house, including furniture, appliances and clothing. The policy should also cover legal expenses in case a lawsuit results after the accidental injury of someone on your property. Most homeowners’ insurance policies exclude coverage for damage caused by earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and mold that results from excessive humidity, leaks, condensation or flooding. Mold is, however, usually covered if it results from a sudden or accidental event, such as a burst pipe. Look for a homeowners’ policy that covers the replacement value of the property and provides at least $100,000 in liability insurance. It’s also a good idea to have an umbrella policy in case you are successfully sued for more than the standard liability coverage. Umbrella policies are not expensive and they supplement both your automobile and homeowners’ policies.

The Insurance Information Institute reports that 96% of all single-family dwellings in the United States have homeowners’ insurance policies. New York is a one bite state, which means a dog owner may be held liable if the victim of a dog bite shows the dog is vicious and its owner knew or should have known about the dog’s vicious character. In some states, the pet owner may not be held liable the first time their dog bites someone. A landlord’s homeowners’ policy typically does not cover damages to a renter’s personal property. Renters’ insurance, while not required by law, protects personal items, helps with temporary housing, and provides liability protection if the tenant is sued. “Perils” are specific causes of a loss, such as windstorms, fire, floods or theft. A “named-peril” policy covers the policyholder only for the causes of loss named in the policy. An “all-risk” policy covers all causes of loss, except those that are specifically excluded. 

What do I do if I think I am the victim of a homeowner’s negligence?

Homeowners have a responsibility to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. Dangerous situations – a loose brick or an uneven walkway – usually do not happen overnight. According to the law, a homeowner has “actual or constructive notice” to fix a problem. That means a court will look at whether or not the homeowner was aware or should have been aware of the problem. In determining liability, the court will also consider whether the homeowner had a reasonable amount of time to fix that problem. Homeowners who have an office or business in their home are held to an even higher standard because they are inviting the public onto their property. Unfortunately, accidents that occur because of a homeowner’s negligence happen more often than people think. If you believe you had an accident because the homeowner did not repair a dangerous problem in a reasonable amount of time, you should consult a personal injury lawyer. 

What will it cost to hire and attorney?

No reputable personal injury attorney will charge you for an initial or any subsequent consultation. Talking to an attorney soon after an accident can protect your rights in the event you decide to proceed with your case at a later date. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee, which means they get paid only if you do. The standard fee is one-third of the settlement, after expenses are paid. 

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