What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability refers to accidents and injuries caused by a defective and unreasonably dangerous condition on another person’s property. Some examples include:
- Slip and fall accidents;
- Trip and fall accidents;
- Accidents caused by falling objects
As a general rule, a property owner has a legal duty to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition.
A property owner may also have a duty to make routine inspections of the premises and make reasonable efforts to warn of any dangerous conditions and make necessary repairs.
The extent of a property owners duty and legal liability depends on the type of case you have.
Types of Premises Liability Cases.
1. Business Invitee
The first category of premises liability cases involves a “business invitee.” A business invitee is someone who visits the premises for a business purpose. A simple example is when a customer visits a place of business such as a supermarket, department store, or restaurant. Additionally, a business invitee may also include a landlord – tenant relationship.
As a business invitee, the customer is owed the highest duty of care by the property owner. The property owner has a legal duty to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition. That is, the property owner is required to make routine inspections of the property and to warn of, and repair, any unsafe conditions.
2. Social Invitee or Guest
The second category is a “social invitee.” A social invitee is one who is on the premises as the guest of the property owner in which business is not involved. A simple example would be party guests and friendly visitors.
Here, the property owner is liable only for dangerous conditions in which the owner had actual knowledge. There is no general duty to inspect the premises. Likewise, it is more difficult to hold a property owner liable for injuries resulting to a social guest unless you can prove that the owner had actual knowledge of the condition and failed to warn of or remedy the condition.
The third category is a “trespasser.” A trespasser is simply someone who is on the property without the owner’s consent. A property owner owes the lowest legal duty to a trespasser. The property owner is liable to a trespasser only for conditions in which the property owner purposely or intentionally causes harm without legal justification.
The Proof is in the Pudding.
Premises liability case are not very easy to win. It all depends on the facts of the case and the nature of the defect that caused the injury.
A property owner is not automatically liable just because an accident occurs on the premises. The property owner’s liability will depend upon several circumstances including:
- the nature of the defect;
- how long the defect was present;
- whether the defect was known or reasonably discoverable.
For example, let’s assume a customer is walking down a shopping isle and suddenly slips and falls due to water on the floor. If the water was accidentally spilled by another customer, it would be difficult to prove that the store owner is liable for the injuries.
However, if the customer can prove that the spill was present for a long enough period of time that the store owner should have discovered it, then the property owner would be liable. But proving that time period is nearly impossible to do. In fact, the spill could have happened only a minute or two before the accident which wouldn’t be enough time for the store employees to find the spill and clean it up.
On the contrary, if the water was on the floor because of a leaking refrigeration unit or because the area was recently mopped by a store employee, then there is a stronger case that store is liable since their employee caused the dangerous condition.
Additionally, a strong case can be made if the defect is more permanent, such as a large crack or hole in the floor. That is because defects like this do not usually occur instantly. Instead, they are usually the result of the property owner’s neglect and failure to properly maintain the property.
Services we provide
A personal injury lawyer performs many important duties. These common functions include:
If you’ve been injured due to dangerous premises, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the legal process and protect your rights. Our firm provides a range of essential services to help you every step of the way.
Explaining Your Rights
We understand that the aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ll explain how the law applies to your situation, including the duty of property owners to maintain safe conditions and any comparative negligence rules that could affect your case. We’ll make sure you understand your rights and can make informed decisions about your next steps.
We know that navigating the legal system can be daunting, especially when you’re dealing with the stress of a personal injury case. That’s why we’ll walk you through the process with the finesse of a professional tour guide. We’ll help you understand complicated legal procedures, interpret medical and insurance jargon, and complete all the necessary paperwork. We’ll also provide valuable advice, such as preserving evidence and refraining from making statements to the property owner’s insurance company, to protect your interests.
Representing You in Court
If your case goes to trial, you need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney by your side. Our team has the expertise to represent you in court and ensure that proper procedures and rules of evidence are followed. We know that litigation can be complex and stressful, but we’re here to guide you every step of the way.
At our firm, we’re committed to providing compassionate and effective representation for those injured due to dangerous premises. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll these accidents can take and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Choose us for comprehensive and personalized legal services that prioritize your well-being.”