Premises Liability

When you on the property or business of someone else, you have a reasonable expectation you will not be injured. The property owner, operator or resident is responsible for providing a safe environment. When they don’t, are negligent, and you are injured, they may be liable for your accident and injuries.

This area of the law, premises liability, has many different types of claims and requirements set forth in the law. Not every accident may be actionable, meaning, a potential lawsuit. The only way to know is to consult an attorney.

Contact our firm at 800-883-2299, chat with us, or fill out the inquiry form on this page for a no cost, no obligation initial consultation.

What are some of the types of premises liability claims?

Slip and fall is a type of injury where someone is negligent by leaving an object or creating an unsafe condition that causes harm. For instance, a spill in a grocery store that they know about  and has not been cleaned up should have a warning sign or “cone” with sign letting people know there is an unsafe condition present. If there is no warning, they could be liable for an injury.

There are countless situations considered a slip and fall personal injury claim.

How is personal injury different from premises liability?

Personal injury is where the harm or damage is not a result of a property or location danger where there should have been a reasonable care to provide a safe environment.

Is there a difference between being invited into someone’s place or onto their property or not being invited (trespassing)?

Yes.

  • Invited: Someone who shops at a store, for instance, is invited to enter and do business. The store owner or operator is charged with providing a safe environment.
  • Social guest: A social guest is an invited visitor.
  • Trespasser: Someone who enters a property or location without invitation (trespassing) is not owed a reasonable expectation of safety.  However, some states say that a property owner or operator may be charged with a responsibility to warn of danger if it is likely there would be trespassers. This could be a “No Trespassing” sign or more, to give a reasonable warning to prevent injury.
  • Licensee: A licensee is a different category of legal status. They enter the property for their own purpose but with consent of the owner.
  • Are children treated differently?

Maybe. If a child is likely to be on premises, the owner or operator must give a warning if they know or should have known there could be a dangerous situation or condition that could lead to injury of a child.

What is an “attractive nuisance?”

Two examples of an attractive nuisance at a private home are a swimming pool and a trampoline. Even if you have a fence around them, in most states you have a reasonable duty of care to prevent injury to visitors. This may apply to uninvited persons who are trespassing, if you do not have a secure fence or other means that demonstrates you are attempting to keep people out.

What do you do if you believe you have been injured where there may be a premises liability claim?

  1. Notify the property owner or operator immediately. If possible, fill out an incident report with the details of and the circumstances leading to your injury. Most businesses have a standard operating procedure in place for injuries that take place on their premises, required by their insurer.
  2. Seek medical attention.

What about “comparative negligence” or “comparative fault?”

These are when the injured person may be partially at fault for their injury. Visitors also have a duty of care, in most instances, to act in a safe manner. When they don’t, their compensation from a lawsuit may be reduced. Comparative fault in most states mean there is an assessment of the degree of fault by each party. If you and the property owner/operator were equally at fault, your recovery or compensation may be reduced by 50%.

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