Basics Of Premises Liability Law

Freda A. Nix

A premises liability law is a type of personal injury law that holds the owner of an establishment or property liable for any injury caused by unsafe circumstances prevailing in the area. Under this law, property owners are legally responsible for maintaining safety and providing a secure environment for the property’s visitors. If the owner fails to comply with the standards and requirements the law sets, he will be charged with a premises liability lawsuit. To get answers to personal injury questions, speak to a personal injury lawyer. 

Some common instances where premises liability charges are placed include :

  • Slip and fall cases
  • Accidents that take place in snow or ice
  • An accident caused by improper maintenance of the premises
  • Defect issues 
  • Insufficient building security
  • Elevator and escalator mishaps
  • Dog bites 
  • Swimming pool hazards 
  • Mishaps at amusement parks
  • Fire accidents
  • Water leakages that lead to flooding. 
  • Toxic fumes or chemical damage. 

Determining Liability

Liability is determined by considering the following factors:

  • Legal Visitor Status

The landowner is legally required to provide reasonable care and maintain living standards for invitees, while licensees and trespassers are withheld from such treatment.

  • Property conditions and owner/visitor activities

In some states, liability is decided based on property conditions and the actions of the owner and visitors. While determining liability for any accident caused on the premises, it is checked whether the event was foreseeable and how the property was put into use. It is also assessed if the owner previously made any efforts to repair the conditions leading to the accident. 

  •  Presence of children on the property

Under the attractive nuisance doctrine, the landowner is primarily responsible for providing warnings related to hazardous conditions if children are on the premises. Failure to do so may result in a charge.

  • When both parties are at fault

It is common for the injured person on the premises to be partially liable for the accident caused. A visitor is legally required to exercise specific safety measures for personal well-being. If the accident is caused due to their negligent conduct in exercising the said measures, they will be held at fault along with the property owner. This may lead to a reduction in their compensation as the accident is partly due to their negligence.

Landowners are encouraged to regularly inspect their property and repair any malfunctioning items to avoid such accidents. They must try their level best to ensure that reasonable care is taken for the safety of tenants or visitors. The owners should take preventive measures against any hazards within time to reduce the chances of severe accidents. Tenants and property visitors are encouraged to be mindful of their activities and act with care and reason.

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