Representing People Hurt in Accidents at NYC Airports


Flying is not usually a peaceful experience for people using LaGuardia Airport or JFK Airport here in New York City. Long lines at security, delayed flights and large crowds do not usually make for a relaxing time.

Additionally, you should not have to fear being hurt in an accident at the airport. When store owners at the airport, the airlines or the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey fail to maintain safe premises, you have the right to take action. At The Orlow Firm, our attorneys have helped the victims of negligent property owners in Brooklyn, Queens and New York City recover millions of dollars in compensation for their injuries.

Accidents Can Happen Anywhere. Even Airports.

You may not think about it while you are at the airport, but you can be hurt in accidents like:

  • Tripping or slipping while trying to get on or off an escalator or moving walkway
  • Slipping-and-falling in a poorly maintained bathroom
  • Being struck by a security guard or airline personnel driving a cart
  • Suffering an injury inside a gift shop or restaurant

When you are hurt at an airport, you need experienced attorneys on your side who can effectively evaluate your injuries and gather the evidence necessary to build a strong claim. At The Orlow Firm, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are working with lawyers who are experienced in nearly every type of premises liability accident.

Contact The Orlow Firm Today to Discuss Your Case

Like in other premises liability cases, acting quickly to obtain legal representation is essential. Our New York premises liability attorneys can get to work while you focus on recovering from your injuries.

To schedule a free consultation and put our experience to work for you, you can contact us online or call (646) 647-3398 today.

Read More

Slips, Falls, and Other Premises Liability Claims

Our lawyers have helped victims who have been injured in by work-related knee injuries, traumatic brain injuries and other accidents throughout New York. We are dedicated to helping each client recover maximum compensation for their injuries.

Premises liability law involves the legal responsibilities of property owners and occupiers to prevent injuries to persons on their property. One of the most common causes of such injuries is a trip or slip and fall, such as on an icy sidewalk, a loose or uneven stair tread, or a piece of debris or spilled liquid on the floor. Property owner liability varies depending on the rules and principles adopted in the jurisdiction where the injury occurred. An experienced personal injury lawyer at The Orlow Firm in Flushing, New York, can evaluate the strength of your premises liability claim and help you recover damages for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.

Premises liability: general principles

Some states’ premises liability laws focus on the status of the visitor to the property. In such states, the injured person is generally defined as either an invitee, a licensee or a trespasser.

  • Invitee. An invitee is someone who is expressly or impliedly invited onto the property of another. The owner owes the invitee the highest duty of care, which includes taking every reasonable precaution to ensure the invitee’s safety.
  • Licensee. A licensee, by contrast, enters the property for his or her own purposes but is present at the consent of the owner. The owner is required to warn a licensee of hidden dangers, but is not necessarily required to fix them.
  • Trespasser. A trespasser enters the property without any right whatsoever to do so. In the case of adult trespassers, the owner generally has no duty of care and need not take reasonable care of his property or warn of hidden dangers. Even if a person was trespassing at the time of his or her injury, he or she may still be able to recover, however, if he or she can show that the owner knew it was likely that trespassers would enter the property. Children are owed a higher duty of care, regardless of whether they are considered trespassers. A landowner’s duty to warn is also heightened with respect to children.

In states where consideration is given to the condition of the property and the activities of the owner and visitor, a uniform standard of care is applied to both invitees and licensees. This uniform standard requires the exercise of reasonable care for the safety of visitors other than trespassers. To satisfy the reasonableness standard owed to invitees and licensees, an owner has a continuing duty to inspect the property to identify dangerous conditions and either repair them or post warnings as appropriate.

Proving owners’ liability in premises liability cases

In proving a premises liability case, an injured person must show that the standard of reasonableness required by an owner has not been met. Perhaps the most difficult element an injured person must prove is the owner’s knowledge of the condition causing his or her injury. The injured person must prove that the owner knew or should have known the condition in order for liability to attach, which is often quite difficult to establish.

Defenses to liability in premises liability cases

One of the commonly applied theories to limit an injured person’s recovery is comparative or contributory fault. A visitor has a duty, in most cases, to exercise reasonable care for his or her own safety, and when that degree of care is not exercised, an injured person’s recovery may be limited or reduced by an amount attributable to his or her own negligence.

In the cases where a person’s injuries are the result of slipping on an icy sidewalk in front of a business or on a grape, lettuce leaf, banana peel or other food item that has fallen on a grocery store floor, the property owner may or may not be liable for the person’s injuries. Although property owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care to maintain the premises in such a way to prevent injuries to lawful visitors, if a condition of the premises is noticed by a customer or other visitor or should be readily apparent, the property owner may avoid liability because the injured person has also a duty to protect himself or herself against the injury.

The property owner may also avoid liability by establishing that the debris had so recently fallen on the floor or that the ice had so recently accumulated that the responsible persons had no reasonable opportunity to correct the condition and avoid the hazard before the plaintiff fell. In other words, the plaintiff in a slip and fall case, whether it occurs in a grocery store or elsewhere, must show that the owner had a reasonable period of time in which to discover the dangerous condition and in which to remedy it. The determination of what constitutes a reasonable time will vary from case to case.

Contact a personal injury lawyer

Even common accidents such as slips and falls can present complex legal issues and complicated questions of both fact and law. Accordingly, if you have been injured in a premises-related accident, an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney at The Orlow Firm in Flushing, New York, can advise you on your rights and work with you to pursue a favorable outcome.

Copyright © 2014 FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

Read More

Premises Liability: Can You Prove It?

If you are hurt by an accident on someone else’s property, can you hold the land owner legally and financially responsible for your injuries? The question concerns an area of law called premises liability . The answer depends on whether you can meet these requirements:

  • You were lawfully on the property.
  • Your accident was caused by an unsafe condition.
  • The land owner was negligent in that he knew or should have known of the unsafe condition but failed to correct it or warn of it.
  • The land owner’s negligence resulted in your injury.

The Land Owner’s Responsibility

Property owners owe a reasonable duty of care to those who are invited or otherwise allowed to be on the premises. A land owner must maintain the property to avoid the risk of injury to those who use it. If the owner is aware of a dangerous condition he must repair it or erect signs, guards or barriers to warn of it. The fact that an accident occurs does not, in and of itself, mean that the property owner is liable for negligence. You must be able to show that the land owner knew or should have known that a dangerous condition existed.

There are two ways you can prove a land owner’s knowledge. Actual notice means that the land owner was told about the problem. Constructive notice means that the hazard was visible and apparent and existed long enough for the property owner to observe it and repair it. For example, if you hurt yourself by slipping and falling on a beer bottle in a stairwell, the land owner is not liable for your injury unless you can show that he knew that particular bottle was there. On the other hand, if the land owner knew that beer bottles tend to accumulate on the stairwell during weekends, he might be held liable for accidents and injuries that result.

Hazardous Conditions

Unsafe conditions on property occur in an endless variety of ways. The can injure repairmen as well as guests, tenants and shoppers at commercial establishments. A leaking ceiling may create slippery floor conditions and a risk of falling. A glass partition may be inadequately marked and dangerous to those who fail to see it while walking. Crumbling brick work and masonry on a building’s exterior may fall and injure workers and pedestrians below. Stairways can be especially risky due to

  • Broken or missing hand rails.
  • Steps that are too high or too steep.
  • Unevenness in step height or depth.
  • Worn or torn carpeting on stairs.
  • Slippery or icy conditions due to spills or weather.
  • Construction or maintenance defects that violate local building codes.

The Firefighter’s Rule

At times, firefighters, police officers or other emergency services personnel are injured due to unsafe conditions on property. In the past, they were unable to seek damages for their injuries under ordinary negligence rules. This is because, under the so-called ‘firefighter’s defense’ these workers were held to be specially trained to confront risks and dangers on behalf of the public. In addition, they were provided with job benefits and compensation in the form of sick leave and line-of-duty injury status.

Since the late 1990s, however, the law has changed. Generally, there is no longer any firefighter’s defense in lawsuits against private property owners. The rule may still apply in actions against municipalities and their agencies.

Ask A Competent Attorney

Injuries due to unsafe, defective or poorly maintained property conditions are unfortunate daily occurrences. It is not always easy to prove that a land owner is negligent and therefore liable for an injury. The attorneys at the Orlow firm are experienced and knowledgeable in this area of the law. They offer free initial consultations and operate four offices across New York City for your convenience. They can go to you if you cannot come to them. To contact the Orlow firm, call (646) 647-3398.

Read More

Dangerous Dogs: Does the Landlord Pay for Damages?

There are more than 1.5 million dogs in the city of New York. Many of them live in apartment buildings where, most likely, they will come into daily contact with other tenants. Dog bites happen rarely, but often enough that some landlords refuse to rent to dog-owner households. These landlords worry that they, as well as the dog’s owner, will be responsible for damages if the dog causes injury to another person in the building. Holding a property owner responsible for injuries caused by a tenant’s dog is a form of premises liability .

When Is the Landlord Liable?

Landlords may be held responsible for injuries caused by a tenant’s dog, but only under certain conditions. Merely leasing property to a tenant with a dog does not, in and of itself, expose the landlord to liability. For example, if the tenant’s dog appears friendly but ends up biting someone, the landlord is not responsible for the resulting injury. To succeed in a lawsuit against a landlord for injuries caused by a tenant’s dog you would have to show

  • That the landlord knew the dog was dangerous and was legally able to make the tenant get rid of the dog or move out; or
  • That the landlord “harbored” or “kept” the tenant’s dog by caring for it or by exercising some control over it.

A landlord who knows only that a tenant’s dog is kept tied up and barks at passersby does not necessarily know that the dog is dangerous and will not be held liable for injuries caused by the dog. To prove liability, you have to show that the landlord had actual knowledge that the dog was dangerous and that it had already threatened or injured someone.

In one case, a landlord was caring for the dogs of a prospective tenant when they threatened his own grandchild. In spite of this, the landlord rented to the tenants and the dogs severely injured another child. The court held that the landlord had created a clear risk of injury by renting to the tenants and was therefore liable for damages. In another case, a six year-old girl living in a trailer park was seriously mauled by her neighbor’s two dogs. The jury found that the owners of the mobile home park had shown a blatant disregard for the safety of their tenants and awarded punitive damages on top of compensatory damages for the child’s injuries.

Ask an Experienced Attorney

A landlord or property owner who ignores obvious signs that a tenant’s dog is dangerous does so at his own risk. If the dog hurts another tenant, the landlord or property owner should be held accountable for his failure to take action. If you or a loved one has been injured by a tenant’s dog, seek medical attention immediately and consult a knowledgeable attorney. The attorneys at the Orlow firm are highly experienced in personal injury law. They offer free initial consultations and operate four offices across New York City for your convenience. They can go to you if you cannot come to them. To contact the Orlow firm, call (646) 647-3398.

Read More

Elevators and Escalators: Are They Safe?

Elevators in the U.S. make 18 billion passenger trips annually. Deaths due to elevator accidents average about 30 per year while the annual injury rate is estimated at 17,000. Though deaths and injuries are higher among workers who maintain and install elevators, passengers are generally safer on elevators than they might be if they were taking the stairs instead. When elevator accidents do occur, however, they can be quite shocking, distressing and frightening.

Recent Incidents

  • In 2011, a New York City advertising executive was killed while stepping into an elevator. The car suddenly shot upward with its doors still open. When the swift motion caused the victim’s knees to buckle, she fell forward into the shaft and was trapped between two floors. A subsequent investigation revealed that maintenance workers had bypassed the door safety circuit by using a jumper wire while servicing the elevator. A simple precaution like placing yellow caution tape across the elevator door jamb would have prevented the tragedy.
  • In April, 2013, a Florida hotel worker was cleaning out the bottom of an elevator shaft when a 3,500 pound elevator car came plunging down the shaft and crushed him. Investigators suspect that, due to a violation of the “Lockout/Tagout” procedure, main power to the elevator had not been completely turned off. Proper procedure requires that a person physically shut off power to the elevator and place a lock on the power lever. Only the person holding the key to the lock can restore power.
  • Other high profile recent elevator accidents involved a Cal State Long Beach student and a 5 year-old Brooklyn boy, both crushed to death when they tried to escape a stalled elevator. In 2011, 22 workers were injured in a New York City Bed, Bath and Beyond freight elevator. When cables supporting the elevator snapped, the car dropped three floors to the ground. The brake mechanism was defective and failed to stop the car. The elevator defect caused its occupants to suffer neck and back injuries.

Common Underlying Causes of Elevator Accidents

According to Consumer Watch, elevator accidents are usually caused by one or more malfunctions. The list may include:

  • Pulley system malfunctions causing an elevator to drop rapidly within the shaft.
  • Defective doors that allow passengers to fall into an open shaft.
  • Inadequate or incompetent repair, maintenance or inspection.
  • Electrocution caused by faulty wiring or elevator control malfunction.
  • Entrapment or wiring malfunction caused by heat from fire or water from emergency sprinklers or hoses.

Escalators

Escalators may be even safer than elevators, although children and senior citizens are more likely than others to suffer injury. A 2008 study covering 14 years’ worth of data found 40,000 escalator-related injuries among older people, but no deaths. Children experience about 2.6 escalator injuries per 100,000, although the rate is nearly twice as high among children less than 5 years of age. No fatalities have been reported. Serious injuries may involve amputations or the tearing away of body parts (avulsions). Among the general population, accidents most often result from tripping or being pushed while walking on an escalator or falling while trying to step on or off the escalator.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in an elevator or escalator accident, contact the attorneys at the Orlow firm for a knowledgeable determination as to whether legal action is warranted.

Read More