The legal concept behind premise liability claims involves an injury that is sustained as a result of defective or unsafe environmental conditions while on someone else’s property. The majority of such cases are caused by negligence, and to win, the injured party must demonstrate that the owner of the property was negligent with regard to maintenance.
Everything You Need To Know About Premise Liability Claims
It must be emphasized that merely being injured while on the property of another person doesn’t automatically mean that they were negligent. This might be true even in a scenario where the property was in a non-safe condition. You and your attorney must demonstrate that the owner should have known that their premises were unsafe and yet still refused to take the correct steps to resolve the matter. Premises liability also comes in different types, which includes:
- Accidents involving ice or snow
- Improper onsite maintenance
- Slips and falls
- Defective environmental conditions
- Insufficient building security
- Dog attacks and bites
- Accidents involving stairs, elevators, or escalators
- Accidents involving amusement park rides
- Fire hazard
- Flooding or water damage
- Toxic chemicals or fumes
- Accidents involving swimming pools
Premises liability encompasses a broad range of scenarios. Dog attacks and bites are included because although the injury is caused by the dog itself rather than the environment, the dog is part of the environment and it is the responsibility of the owner to control it.
Property Owner Responsibility and Care Duty
Most states in the U.S. require property owners to exercise care duty and responsibility when it comes to the maintenance of their property and all persons who enter it. However, there are also states which add an older rule which restricts the duties of the property owner based on visitor status. In these states, visitors to a property are split into 3 categories, which are:
The licensee is a person who the property owner has given permission to enter their property, who is visiting for their own purpose. An example of a licensee would be a salesman. Traditionally, the property owner has a duty to warn a licensee of potentially dangerous conditions if they are aware of it and it is unlikely that the licensee will encounter it.
The trespasser is an individual who has not been authorized to enter a property, but does so anyway. Examples of trespassers include drifters, squatters, and burglars. Traditionally, property owners have no duty to notify trespassers of environmental hazards unless they are a child.
The invitee is a person who the property owner has invited onto the premises. Examples of this include neighbors, friends, and family. The property owner has a duty to notify such persons of any environmental hazards so long as they are aware of them.
The rules for one state can differ widely from another which is why it is important to speak with a qualified local attorney to answer specific questions.