In New York, property owners and others have a duty to keep their properties reasonably safe. When they fail to meet this duty of care, then they can be held liable for accidents that result from unsafe conditions.
Premises liability cases can include slip and falls, dog attacks, assaults, elevator malfunctions, and other accidents that result in injury.
A New York premises liability lawyer from Dansker & Aspromonte Associates may be able to help you recover financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering after negligence leaves you or a loved one injured. With the help of one of our personal injury lawyers, you can pursue the compensation you deserve.
We know that an injury can alter the course of your day-to-day life. In one moment, an accident can introduce new challenges that you had not previously imagined. Yet, you do not have to face them alone.
If you want an advocate who will not settle for less than you deserve, who communicates clearly with you and offers support when you need it most, our lawyers will be there for you. Contact Dansker & Aspromonte Associates today to receive your free consultation and to learn more about how we can fight for a fair and just resolution of your claim.
New York Premises Liability Lawyer FAQs
Get answers to your questions about premises liability claims from experienced New York premises liability lawyers. Don’t see your question listed here? Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for more information.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me With My Premises Liability Case?
A lawyer will help with your premises liability case by acting as your ally as you move through the process of pursuing compensation for your injury-related damages. Lawyers wear several hats when they take on a personal injury case.
When you work with Dansker & Aspromonte Associates, a lawyer from our team will act as your:
For a free legal consultation with a premises liability lawyer serving New York, call (212) 732-2929
Your attorney can help you protect your rights from the moment they take you on as a client. They can investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident to collect evidence to support your case.
Your lawyer can gather witness statements, uncover important documents, and piece together information to prove what happened and who is responsible. The sooner you consult a lawyer, the sooner they can begin to secure evidence before it is lost and strengthen your claim for damages.
New York Premises Liability Lawyer Near Me (212) 732-2929
Your lawyer can also serve as your negotiator. Your lawyer will use the evidence they have uncovered to negotiate with the representatives of the at-fault party or parties on your behalf.
Instead of trying to navigate in unfamiliar territory on your own, you can spend more time focusing on your recovery, all while your lawyer fights for the best outcome for you. And since your attorney works for you, not the insurance companies, you can trust that they will be looking out for your best interests at the negotiating table.
If the parties responsible for your injuries do not offer fair and reasonable compensation for each and every type of physical, emotional, and economic injury you suffered, then a New York premises liability lawyer from Dansker & Aspromonte Associates will not hesitate to take your case to trial. They will argue your case before a judge or jury.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
At Dansker & Aspromonte Associates, we do not just see our clients as case numbers; we see them as members of our extended family. Every accident victim has gone through a difficult experience that is unique to them, and each client has specific needs.
We will do everything in our power to accommodate your case’s needs and alleviate the stress you are feeling. When you hire an experienced and dedicated team of lawyers at our firm, we can act as a resource for you.
It is important to take the time that you need to find the right lawyer for you and your family. You likely want your legal team to have the experience, compassion, and determination necessary to promote your case’s outcome. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can get started building your case.
Does Premises Liability Cover Animal Attacks in New York?
While many people think of slip and falls or other accidents when premises liability is mentioned, premises liability also covers animal attacks in New York. Property owners and other parties have a responsibility to ensure their property is safe for visitors. This responsibility extends to ensuring visitors are safe from an animal attack.
Claims involving animal attacks require very careful investigation regarding the entire history of the specific animal’s past behavior. Not every animal attack, even those with severe injuries, will lead to a successful claim. New York law requires a showing with evidence that the animal had a history of dangerous or violent behavior before the attack.
If a careful investigation of the case reveals such history through the evidence we gather, then you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Such evidence includes:
- Eyewitness interviews
- Police records
- Sworn statements
- Door-to-door neighborhood interviews
- Records of past complaints
If the dog owner and the property owner are not the same person, both parties may be held liable.
Determining Whether Multiple Parties Are Responsible for Your Losses
Besides the dog owner and property owner, other parties may be also liable for your injuries in an animal attack based upon the unique facts and circumstances presented. In some instances, we may be able to hold a property manager responsible if they knew or should have known about the dangerous behavior of the animal before your attack.
For example, if the property manager of an apartment complex knew that an unleashed dog regularly roamed the property and that it had acted violently in the past, then the property manager could face liability in any subsequent attack.
Our team will investigate your accident to determine our next steps. As with all injury cases, you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit.
Be sure to act quickly to protect your right to compensation. If you fail to bring your claim by the deadline, you may be forever prevented from recovering the compensation you deserve.
What Happens When You Go to Court for a Premises Liability Case in New York?
To file a successful premises liability lawsuit, you and your lawyer will need to file a claim by the deadline based upon a theory of fault that is recognized under the law and supported by evidence gathered in a careful and thorough investigation.
Once a premises liability lawsuit is commenced, the lawyers for all sides will exchange information and documentation in a process known as “discovery”. During this time, the responsible party or parties have an opportunity to offer a settlement of your claim. In some instances, an offer of settlement early in the legal process will be significantly less than the full value of your claim.
Your lawyers will carefully evaluate any offer to ensure that it is fair and just and provide advice throughout the process.
This is why it is important to have a lawyer that you trust to have your best interests at heart. At Dansker & Aspromonte Associates, we will act as your advocate and see your case through to completion even if that means presenting your case to a jury at trial in Court. We start investigating your accident from the moment you get in touch with us.
We will never settle without your permission, and we will fight for you to recover the best settlement possible.
To learn more about how the team at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates can help you, call us for a free consultation. If we accept your case, you will not be required to pay us any money upfront. We take all cases on a contingency-fee-basis, which means that we only earn a fee when you recover compensation.
What Damages Can I Receive for a Premises Liability Claim in New York?
Under New York law, if the evidence shows that your injuries were the result of negligence by another party or parties, you are entitled to financial compensation for all economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are just what they sound like: compensation for all of the financial expenses due to your injuries. Economic damages are not limited to bills that you have already received or paid; they can also be awarded based on what costs you can reasonably anticipate in the future.
For example, you may be awarded economic damages that are meant to compensate you for your medical bills (like hospitalization or surgery) after getting hurt. But what if you develop a chronic condition or need ongoing treatment due to your injuries?
If you continue to need physical therapy, follow-up visits, medications, surgeries, and other treatments for your injuries in the days, months, and years after your accident, then you may receive compensation for these expenses as well.
Lost wages and future earning potential also fall under this category. You can receive compensation for not only the work that you missed but the work and benefits that you may lose in the future. Some injuries can be debilitating, forcing you to leave a job or career that you loved, potentially entitling you to additional economic damages.
Every case is unique. When analyzing your economic damages, we may ask you to collect receipts for medications, transportation expenses, medical equipment such as wheelchairs or adaptations to your home, and hire an expert to evaluate the full range of your past and future expenses.
Though they are harder to calculate, non-economic damages are often the largest component of your claim. Under New York law, these damages include compensation for all pain and suffering, including loss of enjoyment of life and mental anguish caused by your injuries.
These non-economic damages include the pain that you suffered when you sustained the injury, as well as the pain that you continue to experience. Sometimes, the surgeries, medical treatments, and medications that you need to take add to your pain. All of this is potentially compensable. If the evidence shows that your injuries are permanent, you may be entitled to an award of pain and suffering damages for the rest of your life.
Mental and emotional pain can be just as important as your physical pain. A serious injury can be life-changing, and you may struggle to take part in the hobbies and activities you once enjoyed.
You may not even be able to go about your day-to-day life the way that you once did, affecting your quality of life and happiness. A personal injury lawyer can help you fight to recover non-economic damages for these kinds of losses.
An attorney can investigate your accident and determine a fair value for your case.
What Evidence Do I Need to File a Premises Liability Claim in New York?
You need to show evidence to file a claim that shows that the other side acted negligently.
This means that in order to bring a successful premises liability claim in New York, you do not need to prove that a property owner or other party intentionally caused your injuries. Instead, you only need to prove that a hazardous condition on their property caused or contributed to your accident and that the condition was either caused by that party or that the party knew or should have known about the dangerous condition before your injury.
With the help of a New York premises liability lawyer from Dansker & Aspromonte Associates, we will identify, gather and present evidence that shows that a property owner or other party failed to act reasonably in causing your injuries.
All Property Owners and Others Have a Duty of Care
Property owners and others owe others a duty of care to keep them safe. Regardless of whether a party was visiting for personal or commercial purposes, a property owner may be held liable if a defective condition on their premises leads to an accident. Defective conditions can include some of the following hazards:
- Cracked, damaged, or uneven sidewalks: These conditions can lead to trip and fall accidents that cause broken bones and traumatic brain injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Slick or wet floors: If left unaddressed, these conditions can lead to slip and fall accidents.
- Ice and snow: Property owners and others have a duty to address ice or snow that can pose a potential danger.
- Poorly lit or unlit areas: Unlit stairwells and alleyways can result in assaults due to negligent security practices.
- Inadequate security measures: Missing or broken locks, as well as other forms of inadequate security measures on a property, can result in injuries to tenants and visitors.
You or a loved one may have suffered injuries due to hazards other than those listed here.
Types of Evidence that Can Prove Negligence in Premises Liability Claims
Some types of evidence we may gather that may be helpful in proving the liability of a property owner or other party may include:
- Photographic evidence: Pictures of your injuries and the accident scene can prove not only what happened but also who is at fault for the accident.
- Video evidence: Surveillance cameras may have captured the moment you were injured, as well as the conditions of the accident site before and after the incident.
- Witness statements: Witnesses can potentially testify to your injuries, how the accident occurred, and whether the property owner knew about the hazard.
- Statements from expert witnesses: In some cases, we may need to enlist the help of expert witnesses. This could include a medical expert to establish how long your injuries might affect you, or an accident reconstruction expert who can help us determine exactly how your accident happened.
- Official documentation: Police reports, your medical records, and corporate accident reports can provide detailed accounts of what happened.
There are many other forms of evidence that could potentially support your case. A New York premises liability lawyer from Dansker & Aspromonte Associates will work carefully and diligently to gather evidence as soon as possible so that it can be preserved before it is lost.
Can I Sue Someone if I Hurt Myself on Private Property?
Yes, you can sue someone if you hurt yourself on private property. It ultimately does not matter whether you were injured on public or private property; all property owners and others have a legal obligation to keep their premises safe for visitors.
Many people are unclear about what the term “private property” actually means. Private property is an area that is not owned by the government. So, for instance, your friend’s apartment or your neighbor’s house would be considered private property. The law even considers most stores to be private property, although they are accessible to the public and welcome guests.
Falls that occur on public sidewalks in New York City are a very common example of a premises liability case. Depending upon the unique facts present in your case, a sidewalk fall may be the result of negligence by the City of New York, a private landowner, tenant, a public agency such as The New York City Transit Authority or Con Edison, or others.
The state of New York, unlike other states, does not differentiate between visitors or trespassers. In some states, if you were injured as a trespasser on another party’s land, you would be ineligible to recover compensation. New York does not make this distinction.
To recover compensation, you must prove that a property owner or other party acted negligently.
What Is a Premises Liability Case?
A premises liability case centers around the idea that a property owner did not make their premises reasonably safe for others. A property owner or other liable party in a premises liability case could be an individual, corporation, or government agency. Claimants in these types of cases claim that because the premises they visited were not safe, they were wrongfully injured.
Premises liability cases can involve:
- Negligent security practices: Property owners, whether they control public or private property, must employ adequate security measures. The extent of these security measures depends on the property. For instance, bars and nightclubs should employ security personnel. Apartment complex owners may protect tenants from assault by installing security cameras.
- Slip and fall accidents: Slip and fall accidents account for countless hospitalizations each year. Business owners and homeowners have an obligation to keep walkways clear of debris, spills, or other hazards. At the very least, they must post warning signs alerting visitors to the danger.
- Dog bites: In New York, dogs must be on a leash in public areas. If a dog owner fails to prevent their pet from hurting others, they could be held liable for any resulting damages.
There are other situations that can qualify as premises liability cases. Many of these cases are resolved via out-of-court settlements, per the American Bar Association (ABA).
How Long Does a Premises Liability Claim Take to Settle in New York?
Each premises liability claim comes with its own set of circumstances. How long your case takes to settle will depend on the details of your case, the evidence, the parties, the nature of your injuries, and where you were hurt. Because each case is so different, there is no way to generalize how long it takes for the average premises liability claim to settle in New York.
Your New York premises liability lawyer will try to settle your case as quickly as possible while at the same time ensuring that you recover the best possible compensation. Often the at-fault party or their insurance companies will make an offer to settle the case at an early stage in the claim process but typically early settlement offers do not fully compensate for all the damages and may be grossly unfair.
The lawyers at Dansker & Aspromonte will guide you through the process so you can make an informed and educated decision on whether to settle early or not.
When you contact the lawyers at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates we can explain further how we can use our decades of experience fighting for victims like you to recover maximum financial compensation.
Who Can I Sue in a Premises Liability Claim in New York?
You can typically sue in a premises liability claim in New York the party who owned the property where your accident occurred. For instance, if you were injured while visiting a chain grocery store, you may be able to sue the owner of the property that was leased to the grocery store. Other potential parties who may be held responsible could include:
- Grocery operator
- Security contractor
- Tenant operating inside the grocery store
- A contractor such as a floor cleaner or elevator maintenance company
You may also be able to file a claim against the City of New York, if the incident occurred on the sidewalk outside the grocery store.
When thinking about who you can sue in a premises liability case in New York, the answer will ultimately depend on your situation. Without all the details of your case, we can only provide hypothetical answers. Dansker & Aspromonte Associates can determine who is liable for your losses after a careful investigation. We can review the evidence associated with your case to gain insight into who was negligent.
Depending on your situation, multiple parties could be held financially accountable for your losses. You can call us today to learn more.
How Can I Prove Negligence in a Premises Liability Claim in New York?
You can prove negligence in a premises liability claim in New York by establishing the following:
- Duty of care: You must establish that the negligent party owed you a duty of care. All property owners have a legal obligation to keep their premises safe. All dog owners have a responsibility to keep their pets from harming others. This element in your case may be relatively straightforward.
- Breach of duty of care: You must show that the other party did not uphold their duty of care. For instance, if you slipped and fell at a store because management did not clean up a spill, this negligence would breach their duty of care.
- Causation: You need to demonstrate that the other party caused or contributed to your accident. Going back to the previous example, if you slipped and fell at the store, you must prove the element that caused your accident.
- Damages: If the evidence shows that another party was negligent, you are entitled to recover fair and reasonable damages for all physical, emotional, and financial damages. This includes money for your pain and suffering resulting from all physical and emotional injuries as well as any medical expenses and lost earnings. These damages may be available in the future if the evidence shows that your injuries are permanent.
To explore how our legal team can help you, call today. You can ask us legal-related questions at no cost.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Premises Liability Lawyer in New York?
If you are hesitant to hire a premises liability lawyer on our team due to the costs, don’t be. When you work with us, you will not be charged:
- Out of pocket
We understand that you might be in a difficult financial situation, and we don’t want to add to it. Instead, we will wait to take our payment once you receive compensation. If we can’t recoup your damages for you, then you will not be responsible for paying us—we walk away.
What a New York Premises Liability Lawyer Can Do to Help You
After getting injured in an accident in New York, the thought of taking legal action might seem insurmountable. Dansker & Aspromonte Associates is no stranger to the legal process, as we have been representing clients like you since 1988.
When you hire us, we take on the responsibilities of:
- Ordering the incident report
- Compiling and organizing evidence
- Demonstrating the other party’s negligence
- Managing all communication with the other party’s representatives
- Fighting for an appropriate settlement on your behalf
- Adhering to all state-mandated deadlines
- Disputing your case in court, if it comes to that
Our injury lawyers work for you, so don’t be afraid to reach out to them if you are ever apprehensive about certain aspects of your case or have questions about the legal system in general.
When Can I Expect to Get Paid from My Premises Liability Claim in New York?
There are many factors that play a role in how long it takes for your claim to be resolved and to recover money for your damages:
The At-Fault Party or Parties’ Cooperation
Your lawyer will present the liable party or parties with the evidence and full extent of your injuries. If the at-fault parties deny responsibility for the happening of the accident or dispute any aspect of your claim, your case may take longer to settle. Very often when there is more than one at-fault party, disputes between those parties will also delay the resolution of your claim.
The Full Nature of Your Damages
Our lawyers will never suggest that you resolve your claim until we have a clear picture of the full nature of your injuries and whether you will require future medical care or have permanent injuries. A quick resolution of your case is often a mistake in cases involving serious or protracted injuries because once you settle your claim you may never request additional money if your medical condition worsens or you require more medical treatment.
The Strength of Your Evidence
You cannot expect to receive compensation for your losses based on your words alone. You must refer to evidence to secure compensation. The stronger your evidence, the easier it will be for your lawyers to fight for the best recovery for you. On the flip side, however, the weaker the evidence, the less likely the at-fault parties will offer satisfactory compensation.
There are other factors that could prolong the progression of your case. Dansker & Aspromonte Associates has over 30 years of experience. Since 1988, we have been defending the rights of injured claimants throughout the New York City metropolitan area.
We understand the tasks and obligations that go into building a successful case. Our main goal is to help you recover maximum compensation for your premises liability case as soon as possible.
What You Can Do to Help Your Premises Liability Claim
After you’ve been injured, you might think that what’s done is done, and there’s nothing you can do to help keep the validity of your case. This notion could not be farther from the truth, as you can:
Keep a Daily Log
Every day, we encourage you to write down how severe your pain is, your mood, regular activities that are difficult or easy for you to do, and an idea of what you did during the day. This journal can serve as evidence, as it can connect the accident to your injuries, which makes it difficult for the insurer to dispute your claim.
Avoid Posting on Social Media
Whether your status update, picture, or video is about the accident or not, do not post on social media. The insurance companies have their ways of accessing your account. They might find a simple picture of you enjoying the day and claim that you are not as injured as you make yourself out to be.
In that case, they might deny your claim or offer you an insufficient settlement. Wait until your case is over to post.
Direct All Phone Calls, Emails, and Messages to Your Lawyer
Don’t be surprised if the other party’s insurance company gets in touch with you. They might ask you to give a recorded statement. We highly urge you to refuse to do so and promptly refer them to your lawyer.
While you’re vulnerable, they might trick you into admitting that you were careless and that the accident was your fault. This admittance can hurt your chances of achieving the best possible outcome.
Alternatively, they might offer you a settlement. Chances are the initial offer won’t completely cover your damages. Once you accept a settlement, the case is closed, and you can’t pursue any more compensation.
Does Premises Liability Cover Assault in New York?
Yes, premises liability does cover assault in New York. All property owners, property managers, and others have an obligation to keep their premises safe. This includes hiring security personnel, making sure that the property is secured, and removing security threats from the property.
If you were assaulted in New York while on another party’s property, you may have a successful claim for negligent security. Property owners and others are responsible for:
- Fixing broken locks or doors: Property owners must protect others from getting hurt. This includes making sure that perpetrators do not enter a property and assault people. Property owners must monitor their premises to minimize the risk of assault.
- Hiring security personnel: Bars and nightclubs can be hotbeds for assault. Property owners must hire security personnel to break up fights, remove aggressors from the property, and keep trespassers from entering the premises. Otherwise, if another party gets assaulted, they can be held responsible.
- Installing security cameras: Some perpetrators scope out certain areas before committing an assault. They may target areas that are not properly secured. Security cameras not only record certain events but also deter attackers. Property owners can exercise their duty of care by employing certain measures to reduce the risk of injuries.
If you or a loved one was assaulted in New York, another party could be responsible for any physical, emotional, and financial losses that occur. Whether you were hurt on public or private property, you may have the right to bring a claim for negligent security. Call Dansker & Aspromonte Associates to learn more.
If I Suffer an Injury on Public Property, Is the City Liable in New York?
This ultimately depends on the specifics of your case and how you were injured. To hold the city liable for your losses generally for a sidewalk or roadway accident, we must prove that the City of New York had prior written notice of the specific condition which caused your injury.
The City of New York is responsible for maintaining sidewalks, streets, and curbs. Unfortunately, slip and fall accidents occur often, and if you are injured due to a defect, such as a hole or crack on a public street, you can only sue the City of New York if:
- The City had prior written notice of the defective condition, filed with the proper agency at least 15 days before the accident occurred
- The City or someone on its behalf actually caused or created the condition that led to the injury
Claims against the City of New York must be brought within a specific deadline. If you fail to file a document known as a Notice of Claim within 90 days of your incident, you may be forever prevented from recovering any compensation from the City of New York. Contact our lawyers immediately after your accident so that we can protect your rights.
New York Premises Liability Law Covers a Wide Range of Accidents
Premises liability isn’t limited to slip or trip and fall accidents. There are other accidents that can happen on another person’s property, including:
- Swimming pool accidents
- Sidewalk accidents
- Dog bites or attacks
- Negligent security
- Elevator accidents
- Amusement park injuries
- Fire or burning injuries
- Toxic chemical exposure
If you don’t see the kind of accident you sustained on someone else’s property on this list, don’t fret. When you call us, we will listen to your situation and see how we can help you.
What Safety Standards Do Property Owners Have to Have in Place in New York?
The safety standards that property owners must have in place depend on the areas they maintain. In general, property owners must act reasonably to maintain safe premises.
For instance, store managers are responsible for:
- Keeping walkways clear of spills and debris
- Sealing off areas that present certain hazards
- Removing aggressors from the premises
- Regularly inspecting the premises to make sure the premises are safe
Property owners that lease spaces to tenants must:
- Respond to work orders in a timely manner
- Make sure that certain areas have adequate lighting
- Board up cracked or broken windows
- Ensure that stairways have proper railings
- Inspect all common spaces to check for dangerous or defective conditions
Property owners must also be diligent in foreseeing certain hazards that could hurt people. For instance, if there is a chronic leak in an area that routinely forms a puddle, the property owner or manager can reasonably assume that this hazard could hurt someone.
What if I’m Partly At-Fault in a New York Premises Liability Case?
New York operates on a pure comparative negligence system. This means that even if you were partially responsible for an accident, you can still recover compensation. You can even be 99% responsible for the accident and still secure financial recovery in some form. However, your portion of the fault will directly affect the amount of money you can receive.
Let’s examine the following hypothetical scenario to better understand pure comparative fault. Perhaps you slipped on a puddle of water at the grocery store that was the result of the negligence of the store operator. If you were texting at the time of the accident and did not see the puddle your recovery could be reduced by the percentage of fault that you are held responsible for.
What Should I Do After Injuring Myself on Someone Else’s Private Property?
If you are involved in an accident that was the result of the negligence of another, there are certain actions you should take as soon as possible after injuring yourself on someone else’s property to ensure the best recovery:
If you are able, you should consider:
- Calling the police and report the incident
- Requesting medical attention at the scene
- Taking pictures at the scene of the condition that caused your fall
- Recording the names and contact information of all witnesses
- Recording any visible injuries on your body with photographs
- Documenting your physical injuries by receiving follow up medical treatment
- Following all medical advice
- Contacting a lawyer immediately for advice
- Not giving any statements to representatives of the at-fault party
- Not posting on social media about your incident or injuries
- Keeping copies of all out of pocket expenses
Owners of buildings of more than three family residences, smaller buildings that are not exclusively residential, and commercial buildings are charged with the duty to maintain the sidewalk in front of their premises in a reasonably safe condition. Therefore, if you are injured on their property, they can be held liable.
Owners of up to three family dwellings used exclusively for residential purposes are not responsible for maintaining the public sidewalk, but there are exceptions, such as:
- The owner is liable for defective or dangerous conditions caused or created by the owner or someone working on behalf of the owner
- The owner is responsible for areas where the owner makes special use of the sidewalk, such as a driveway
If you or someone close to you has been injured due to the negligence of a property owner, our premises liability lawyers are here to help.
We Have Secured Millions of Dollars for Injury Victims in New York
It is our mission to get our clients the best possible outcome. Our past case results are a testament to that, as some premises liability turnouts were:
- $8 million for fire victims in Harlem
- $5 million for an elevator accident victim
- $2 million for a woman being exposed to toxic chemicals
Choose Dansker & Aspromonte Associates for Your Premises Liability Case
If you or a loved one has been injured on a property due to someone else’s negligence, a personal injury lawyer from Dansker & Aspromonte Associates can help you fight for fair and just compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering that you deserve
Contact us today so we can get started protecting and fighting for your rights. Call Dansker & Aspromonte Associates for your free consultation and to learn more about how our New York premises liability lawyers can help you.