A long Island premises liability attorney discusses the difference between a trespasser and an invitee and how it can impact a claim.

Historically, the law classifies visitors on a property as either invitees, licensees, or trespassers. This would be important in the event of an accident, as it may affect the injured party’s ability to file a claim for damages.

Most states still use this classification system. However, in 1976, New York abandoned this differentiation between classifications of visitors to a property. Let’s examine how these classifications once worked, and how New York now determines the property owner’s duty of care.

How does New York law classify visitors to a property?

New York used to classify visitors on a property in one of three ways:

  • Invitees (those whom the landowner explicitly invited onto the property, e.g., a friend, family member, customer)
  • Licensees (those who have implicit permission to remain on the premises, e.g., a door-to-door salesman)
  • Trespassers (those with no right to enter the property)

Under this system, the duty of care an owner owes to a visitor depends on the visitor’s classification. Property owners owe the highest duty to invitees, while they owe no duty to trespassers.

Now, New York measures a property owner’s duty to maintain safe conditions on the premises by the foreseeability of a visitor on the property, regardless of the visitor’s status.

How can I tell if I can file a claim against a New York property owner?

First, you must meet the following four elements of a premises liability case:

  • Duty of care: The property owner owed others a duty of care to keep the property free from hazards.
  • Breach of duty: The property owner failed to maintain the property in a safe manner, which may include disrepair of the property or lack of warning signs.
  • Causation: The owner’s negligence directly caused your injuries.
  • Damages: You sustained actual harm and losses, e.g., injuries, medical bills, and loss of wages.

If you apply these elements to the three visitor classifications, keeping in mind New York’s use of “foreseeability of visitors” to determine duty of care, you might get situations like these.


If a friend invited you to their house for a pool party and you tripped on a garden hose he left out, you might be able to file a claim for the damages you sustained in the fall.


If you were going around your neighborhood putting flyers on doors for your landscaping business and a home had an unrestrained dog in the yard with no warning signs, you might be able to hold the owner liable for your damages if the dog attacks.


Claiming damages as a trespasser is difficult because you are first at fault for trespassing on the property. If there were warning signs and barriers you ignored or avoided and still sustained injury, you might not have a significant case. However, if you can prove the property owner placed hazards maliciously with the intent to harm trespassers, you might have a claim.

Get a FREE Consultation with a Premises Liability Lawyer in New York

If you sustained an injury on someone else’s property, call Goldstein & Bashner to discuss your case. You may be entitled to compensation for your losses. We can help prove liability under New York law and maximize the value of your claim.

Some of the most dangerous truck accidents occur when a tractor-trailer runs over the back of a smaller car, or when the smaller car rides under the back of a truck. Both underride truck accidents and override truck accidents often cause devastating injuries or even death for the people in the passenger vehicle, because of the size difference in the vehicles involved.

How do override truck accidents occur?

Override truck crashes happen when a truck driver cannot or does not stop and runs over the back of the car in front of them. Because an override accident is a rear-end crash, the liability usually falls on the truck driver and trucking company. Sometimes a mechanical failure is to blame, although driver negligence plays a part in many of these crashes.

The actions and events that often lead to override crashes include:

  • Following too closely, especially in bad weather or low visibility
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Improper lane changes, often without signaling
  • Speeding
  • Brake issues
  • Tire blowouts

What causes underride accidents?

An underride accident can occur when a car crashes into the rear or the side of a tractor-trailer. Because of the height of trailer, these accidents often shear off the top of the car, or crush the passenger compartment.

Depending on the situation, the motorist could have made the deadly mistake, or the blame could lie with the truck driver. Often, the driver of the car follows too quickly and fails to stop in time to avoid hitting the truck, or changes lanes without checking.

Examples of negligent behavior that could lead to an accident involve:

  • The truck driver making an improper lane change, often without signaling
  • The trucker stopping on the shoulder
  • The truck driver not checking behind the trailer when backing up

An accident could also occur if:

  • The reflective tape on the side or back of the trailer is dirty or missing
  • The truck lacks required equipment, such as brake lights or an underride guard

While the law does require tractor-trailers to have rear underride guards, they are often inadequate because they are too high to prevent smaller cars from running underneath. Also, because these guards are only on the rear of the trailer, they fail to help the motorists involved in underrides on the side of a trailer.

Who is liable for these accidents?

While you might think this is an easy answer, it often is not. Because of vicarious liability laws, even though the truck driver was the one who caused your accident, you be able to hold the trucking company liable for your injuries. This is usually the case when the accident happened because:

  • The truck driver acted negligently (e.g., drove longer than legally allowed, drove intoxicated, was speeding, etc.)
  • The trucking company had lenient hiring practices or policies that allowed incompetent drivers on the road
  • Poor maintenance or a manufacturing errors led to the crash

New York laws allow for victims of truck crashes to collect damages to cover their medical bills, lost wages and other costs. If you or a loved one was involved in an underride or override truck accident, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation.

Those injured while riding in a taxi in Long Island may be able to file a claim with the assistance of a Long Island taxi lawyer

New York is one of 12 no-fault states, meaning that all drivers must carry a personal insurance protection (PIP) policy to cover injuries sustained in an accident, regardless of who is at fault in a crash. As a passenger in a car accident, you will also file your claim using the driver’s PIP coverage.

What does no-fault insurance cover?

New York’s no-fault insurance laws require drivers to carry a minimum of $50,000 coverage per accident to pay for injuries to both the driver and any passengers in their vehicle. Costs covered by PIP policies include:

  • Ambulance transportation
  • Hospital and doctor bills
  • Prescription medications
  • Physical therapy and other rehabilitation services
  • Lost wages

It is important to note, however, that the driver’s PIP coverage only pays according to the limits of the policy. Serious injuries can quickly eclipse these limits, but you may have other options.

Will my health insurance policy cover me?

If the driver’s insurer denies your claim or you have reached the limits of the policy, you may consider asking your health insurance company to cover your medical bills. In most cases, private health insurers do not provide car accident injury coverage, but some may assume the cost of treatment and rehabilitation if you can prove that the insurer denied your auto insurance claim. The health insurance provider can then attempt to recover their costs from other available sources, including the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

What if the driver does not have insurance?

If the driver you were riding with did not have insurance, you may have the option to file a claim under your own auto insurance if you carry an uninsured motorist policy. If you do not own a car or have coverage, but a family member in your household has uninsured motorist coverage, you can also file a claim based on her policy

If this coverage is not available to you and the driver of the vehicle you rode in lacked PIP coverage, you may be able to receive compensation through the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC) under its uninsured motorist protection program. A car accident attorney on Long Island can walk you through this process.

Do I have any other options?

If your injuries are serious enough and you have exhausted your other options, you may be eligible to file a claim against the other driver involved in the accident if he was at-fault. Be sure to discuss your case with a Long Island car accident lawyer to see if you are eligible to file a claim against the other driver.

Can Goldstein & Bashner help in my case?

Goldstein & Bashner helps Long Island car accident victims get the compensation they need, whether they were the driver or passenger. If you suffered injuries in a New York State car crash, we can help you get money to cover medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation expenses and more.

Long Island injury lawyers discuss what to do if called by insurance following an accident

Yes. If you were seriously injured in a taxi cab or car service accident, you can sue that car and any other cars involved that were negligent in causing the accident. If you have suffered serious injuries from a taxi cab accident, you would have the right to start a personal injury lawsuit for your pain and suffering after the accident and into the future.  You would also be able to sue for medical expenses and lost wages above the limits provided by no-fault insurance.  Each case is different and that is why we offer a free no obligation case evaluation if you have been seriously injured in a taxi cab accident. Contact us today and we will be happy to walk you through the process.

When you are a victim of a car accident, one person you will need to talk to is the insurance adjuster. This person may be very nice and friendly, but it is important to realize that they are not on your side. Their job is to have their employer, the insurance company, pay out as little as possible.

Insurance companies make more profit by settling claims cheaply than by recruiting new customers. Every dollar they save is profit for them. Their goal is not to get you fair compensation for your injury or damages.

That is why most attorneys stress the importance of talking to an attorney before speaking with the insurance adjuster. Attorneys know exactly how to get you the payment you deserve. We have spent the past 20 years fighting for our clients, and we will fight for you, too.

Have questions? Want to find out if you have a case? Contact us today to set up a free consultation.

When you win personal injury lawsuit, the compensation is for you. It is specific to the person who was injured and is not marital property.

In some cases, if a spouse is jointly named in the lawsuit, such as for loss of consortim, they may be entitled to some money specific for their claim. This amount is a very small fraction of the case, and would be specified in a verdict but not in a settlement.

Some spouses who win a verdict or settlement keep this money separate, but others who comingle funds keep all their joint money together and then it would become part of the joint marital funds.

Yes, it is possible. Injuries will vary.  Some will make a complete recovery, while others may have serious permanent injuries such as anoxia and hypoxia. Anoxia and Hypoxia are forms of traumatic brain injuries that decrease the oxygen supply in the brain. The two are similar in that they both indicate a low amount of oxygen going to the brain; however anoxia is the most extreme form of hypoxia. If you or a close relative have suffered traumatic brain injury from carbon monoxide poisoning, call our office today. We will go over the details of your injury and determine if you have a case.

Motorcycle crashes can cause even more damage than other types of motor vehicle accidents. The physical vulnerability of the motorcyclist is much greater, even when a helmet is used. Also, police sometimes jump to the conclusion that the motorcyclist was driving recklessly.

An experienced Long Island motorcycle accident attorney will have substantial experience dealing with the particular kinds of issues raised by motorcycle accidents. A  knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Long Island has the ability to make a strong case for you and get the compensation to which you are entitled. En Español.

Hazards for Motorcycles

While interstate highways have been the location of many motorcycle accidents, driving in more densely populated areas can also be dangerous. That is because drivers of automobiles frequently try to change lanes quickly, without noticing whether a motorcycle may be nearby. The American Motorcycle Association sponsored a study of motorcycle crashes that found that 59 percent of collisions happen in moderate to heavy traffic. Cyclists who try to lane split – moving up between cars that are stuck in traffic – must be very careful of these hazards.

Under current law, motorcyclists and passengers almost everywhere are required to wear helmets that comply with requirements set by the federal government. When purchasing a helmet, an individual should make sure to look for markings indicating that it complies with the standards issued by the Transportation Department. Motorcyclists must also have a permit that shows they have taken an approved course and passed a test proving they know how to operate the vehicle safely.

The moments right after a motorcycle spill can be frightening. It is important for the individuals involved to stay calm and not admit any wrongdoing. As soon as they can, an individual should get in contact with an experienced Long Island motorcycle accident lawyer.

Building a Case

It is never too soon to start gathering important information, such as names and addresses of other people involved, road conditions, and witness accounts. Experienced motorcycle accident attorneys in Long Island know how to question potential witnesses to get the information that will be most helpful in winning the case or obtaining a favorable settlement.

One smart thing to do is to take pictures of any injuries or damage to the motorcycle. A person should keep a comprehensive record of all medical expenses that are in any way related to the accident. Sometimes, individuals are injured in a collision while not wearing a helmet. However, this does not necessarily mean they cannot recover damages. The courts today will usually impose a comparative negligence standard.

Comparative negligence means that the injured party’s damages are reduced to reflect their own carelessness – in this case, not using a helmet. However, if the victim can show that the other motorist caused the accident through reckless driving, some compensation can still be obtained. The pursuit of such damages can be best accomplished by using a Long Island motorcycle accident lawyer.

Insurance Issues

Surprisingly, motorists who have insurance on their cars frequently do not have adequate coverage for their motorcycles, perhaps because they see them as recreational vehicles. This is a mistake. A person is more likely to suffer serious injury in a motorcycle crash, due to the nature of the vehicle.

Benefit of an Attorney

Whatever your situation, a seasoned Long Island motorcycle accident lawyer can help. They know that police accounts of accidents can sometimes be biased against the motorcyclist, and they are familiar with the particular kinds of injuries most likely to occur in motorcycle collisions.

A motorcycle accident attorney in Long Island will be diligent about gathering key evidence – including eyewitness accounts – and then putting this evidence together to build the strongest possible case.

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Goldstein & Bashner

1778 Hempstead Turnpike East Meadow, New York, NY 11554 (516) 874-7303
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