Premises liability is often brought into question when a person has been involved in an accident on another person’s property. This accident is often caused by an unsafe or defective condition that the property owner has failed to address. Premises liability is a personal injury case and requires legal representation from a personal injury lawyer.
Personal injury cases are established based on negligence. The negligent party must have had a duty of care that was abandoned. In a premises liability case, the property owner is expected to keep their property safe. However, if anyone were to be involved in an accident or suffer an injury on the premises, he or she will be required to prove negligence. Negligence may be in the form of a lack of proper maintenance.
While it is possible to file a personal injury claim against a property owner upon whose property you were injured, certain conditions must be met. To prove a personal injury case, you’ll be required to prove that the owner knew about the unsafe condition. If the property owner wasn’t aware of the unsafe nature of the property, this might be grounds for a counterargument.
Premises liability is an umbrella body under which there are several cases. Below are the common types of premises liability cases;
- Slip and fall accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Snow and ice accidents
- God bites
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Inadequate maintenance of the premises
- Toxic fumes or chemical
- Fires and burns
- Water leaks or flooding
- Amusement Park accidents
- Defective conditions on the premises
- Inadequate security measures leading to assault or injury
There is a wide range of scenarios that fall under premises liability. The common factor is that the injured party was on another person’s property legally and got hurt.
The Duty of Care in a Premises Liability Case
Many states across the US have rules that hold property owners to a high standard when it comes to keeping their properties safe. However, in some states, the duty of care of the property owner is limited to the status of the injured victim. For states that follow the old rule, a third party is classified based on their status as either a guest, a licensee, or a trespasser.
A guest is someone who has the permission of the property owner to be on their property. This permission may be express or implied. For example, friends and family have permission to be on the land owner’s property. Professionals like roofers, painters, construction workers, and others also have permission to be on the property if they have been invited for a job. In regards to the duty of care, the property owner has to keep invited persons safe while they are on the property. Safety measures include warning them of potential dangers and how to avoid them.
A licensee is someone who is on the property owner’s premises for their own purpose but has received express or implied permission to be there. People who fall into this category include salespeople, delivery workers, garbage trucks or waste management operators, etc. In regards to the older rule, the landowner has a lesser duty of care to warn a licensee of the impending dangers on their property. However, the landowner will be required to warn the licensee if the dangerous condition is known, and the licensee is most likely not to discover it on their own.
A trespasser is someone who does not have the express or implied permission of the property owner. Following the traditional rule, landowners have no duty to warn trespassers of dangerous conditions on their premises. However, an exception to the rule is if the trespasser were to be a child. For a child, the landowner is expected to exercise reasonable caution to guide the child away from harm.
Premises liability cases can be complex and complicated. Each state has its rules regarding such cases like this, so you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to work with.
Examples of Premises Liability Cases
Slip and Fall – Slip and fall cases are among the most straightforward types of premises liability cases. This occurs when you slip and fall on a property due to oily floors, wet floors, accumulated ice or snow, defective staircases, unsecured rugs, and more.
Inadequate Building Security – If you were in an apartment building or robbed and harmed while in a hotel, you can press premises liability charges. This is because the property owners have failed to provide the required security.
Swimming Pool Accidents – Most states have laws, and municipalities have ordinances that require a fence around swimming pools. If an unsupervised child drowns in a pool without a fence, a premises liability charge may be pressed.