Premises liability is a legal term that refers to the responsibility of a property owner for any injuries or harm that results from an accident on that person’s property. The standard that most states use is whether or not a property owner took the care a reasonable person would to maintain a safe environment that is free of unsafe conditions or any defects that could cause an accident.
It’s important to remember, however, that just because you get hurt on someone’s property doesn’t automatically make the property owner liable for your injury. To win a premises liability case, you must prove that the property owner was negligent, and that you did nothing to contribute to the accident.
What Circumstances Could Lead To a Premises Liability Lawsuit?
There are many circumstances that could lead to a premises liability lawsuit, but the most common include:
- Slip and Fall Accidents – If you slip and fall at a store, and you can prove that negligence caused your accident, you can file a premises liability lawsuit.
- Dog Bites – If a pet owner failed to keep reasonable control over a dog – especially a dog like a Pit Bull that is classified as a dangerous breed – and that dog bites you and causes an injury, you could file suit under the standard that the property owner failed to maintain a safe environment.
- Inadequate Building Security – If you visited a building and suffered an injury or assault due to lax security, you could hold the building operators responsible for what happened.
- Ice and Snow Accidents – This refers to any accidents caused by the accumulation of ice and snow, usually on a sidewalk or on a street.
- Inadequate Maintenance – A property that is not properly maintained, such as failure to fix loose floorboards, could cause a person to trip and fall, leading to serious injury.
Who Can File a Premises Liability Lawsuit?
In some states, a property owner’s liability is dependent on the status of the person who was visiting. This status typically falls under three categories, including:
- Invitees – This refers to a person who has the permission of the property owner to visit the property. For example, a store in the mall would welcome visitors to enter and buy items. Property owners must observe a high duty of care toward all invitees.
- Licensee – This refers to a person who has the implied permission of property owner to visit the property, but is doing so for his or her own reasons. In other words, the property owner did not expressly invite the visitor, but didn’t object to the visitor. For example, a door-to-door salesman would be considered a licensee. Property owners owe licensees less of a duty of care than they do to invitees, but they must warn licensees of any hazardous or dangerous conditions (if they are aware of these conditions).
- Trespasser – This refers to a person who illegally visits a property, and doesn’t have the property owner’s permission or consent to enter the property. For example, a burglar would be categorized as a trespasser.
The Need For An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Premises liability lawsuits can be complex and difficult to prove, because you must show that a property owner was negligent, and you also have to prove that you didn’t do anything to contribute to the injury you suffered, which is known as comparative fault. Therefore, you need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to help you win these types of claims. Please call the Law Offices of Duane O. King to schedule a consultation.