Understanding Premises Liability

Understanding Premises Liability

Normally, visitors trust that property owners appropriately manage and ensure the safety of their property. Property owners must maintain the property and ensure reasonably safe conditions. If a property owner fails to upkeep secure grounds and this, in turn, injures someone, then that person may file a lawsuit. Yet, just because someone sustained an injury on another’s property does not automatically confirm the property owner’s negligence. In this brief post, we will explore the factors and elements of a premises liability claim. 

What Is Premises Liability?

Premises liability occurs when the person in charge of a property or an owner’s negligence results in another’s injury or damages. Property owners have a duty of care to eliminate or reduce dangers on the property. Duty of care mandates that the owner protects people on the property from hazards or warns them of potential risks. People or companies who own or control property must exercise reasonable care to maintain and inspect the property and repair or warn of any dangerous conditions. Premises liability holds the property owner liable for negligence that contributed to any injuries or damages on the property. 

Some states order that property owners have to extend the duty of care to anyone that enters the property. Meanwhile, other states may lessen the owner’s responsibilities depending on the type of visitor. These states categorize visitors into three divisions: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Property owners grant invitees (family, friends, customers, etc.) clear permission to enter the property. The property owner owes invitees a reasonably safe property, but not necessarily for licensees and trespassers. For instance, a property owner must only warn a licensee of a known danger or may have no duty at all to protect trespassers. Licensees are people on the property for their own benefit and purposes. Salesmen or utility workers may fall under the licensee category. 

Who Is Responsible for Premises Liability Claims?

There are several situations and locations in which premises liability applies. Defendants in a premises liability lawsuit can include:

  • Business owner 
  • Homeowner 
  • Property management company 
  • Restaurant 
  • Store 
  • Renter or leaser 
  • Landlord

Furthermore, premises liability covers a wide range of areas such as stores, parking lots, apartments, homes, parks, offices, and more. 

Premise Liability Claims

Premise liability is very common in personal injury cases. In premise liability claims, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the property owner’s negligence in preserving their property resulted in harm or damages. Negligence refers to a person or entity’s failure to use reasonable care. If a person sues another under premises liability, the plaintiff may claim the property owner failed to: 

  • Maintain aspects of the property like appliances, railing, or other fixtures
  • Implement effective security such as locks, gates, alarm systems, etc. 
  • Mitigate slip and fall hazards 
  • Restrain a dangerous dog 

A lawsuit needs to show that the owner knew or should have known about the dangers and still failed to rectify them. 

Exceptions in Premises Liability

There are some exceptions under certain circumstances in premises liability. For instance, if the visitor knew about the hazard before the injury, they may not be able to recover compensation. Additionally, if the hazard was clearly visible or obvious, this may negate the injured person’s premises liability claim. Finally, if the injured person’s reckless actions caused their injury, this may exclude them from a premises liability case. Before ruling out your opportunity to pursue a premises liability lawsuit, speak with an attorney who can help determine if you have a valid claim. 

Examples of Premises Liability 

Numerous personal injury lawsuits fall under premises liability, including: 

  • Slip and fall accidents (the most common premises liability case)
  • Elevator and escalator accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Swimming pool accidents 
  • Amusement park accidents
  • Trampoline park accidents

Premises liability is an extensive subset of law, so these are just a few examples of premises liability. It is best to consult with a knowledgeable attorney concerning your particular situation.

How The Lake Law Firm Can Assist You

Did you suffer an injury on someone else’s property due to negligent conditions? The attorneys at The Lake Law firm would like to speak with you about the event surrounding your injury. 

The Lake Law Firm was founded by Edward J. Lake, Esq., a personal injury lawyer for over 25 years. Our dedicated team of attorneys is committed to seeking justice on behalf of those who have suffered injury or death due to the negligence of others. Our experienced attorneys handle many different types of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and other defective products. The lawyers in our firm have helped collect millions of dollars for their clients. The Lake Law Firm will advocate for you and your rights. Please contact us for a free confidential case evaluation at (888) 274-0139.