Sometimes, serious injuries can occur on a property due to the negligence of the property owner. Premises liability is a type of law that means that a property owner may be held legally liable for injuries sustained by someone who has come onto the property and who has been hurt by a preventable and dangerous condition.
Just because a person is injured on someone else’s property, however, it doesn’t mean there is automatically a valid claim against the property owners. For a property owner to be found negligent, he or she must have known, or should have known, about the injury-causing dangerous condition.
Some of the most common types of premises liability incidents involve slip and fall accidents. A patron slips on some water in a grocery store, for example, or trips over a loose board in a restaurant floor. These type of incidents can cause very serious injuries. Frequently, slip and fall accidents injure necks, backs, knees, elbows, and heads, and it is not uncommon for these type of injuries to require serious medical treatment or even surgery. grocery shopper
Even if the injuries are severe, several other criteria must be met before a successful premises liability claim can be pursued. First, an investigation the incident will determine whether the injured party was invited to the property, or if he or she trespassed. A person who was asked to visit a residence, for example, or a patron shopping at a store, would be considered invited. If someone enters a property without permission, they are considered a trespasser.
A property owner is responsible for maintaining ordinary care for keeping the premises safe for those he or she invites to the property. That means the property owner must make sure proper upkeep is performed and there are no dangerous conditions that might injure someone invited to the property.
Alternately, a property owner is only responsible for not willfully or wantonly injuring someone who comes onto the property without permission. A property owner does not have the same responsibility for keeping a trespasser safe as he or she does for an invited guest. If a landowner has a dangerous condition on the property, but it is private property and he or she does not expect anyone to come onto the premises with the possibility of coming across the dangerous condition, the landowner is not responsible for a trespasser who injures him or herself.
Even if an injured party has been invited onto the premises, a property owner is still not liable for injuries just because the injury occurred on his or her property. Guests on a property must be careful and move about the property safely.
Many questions will be asked of the injured party during the course of a premises liability investigation. Was the injured party careful? Is there any way he or she could have avoided the situation? Was the injured party wearing shoes that are prone to trips and falls regardless of the condition of the property? If the injured party wears corrective eyewear or contact lenses, were they in place that day? Was there anything the injured party could have done differently to prevent the accident?
Of course, many questions will be asked of the property owner, as well. Was the property well lit? If not, is it because the property owner should have replaced burned out bulbs or provided better light fixtures? If a guest was injured due to a slip and fall, was there any way the dangerous condition could have been prevented by the property owner? Did the injury occur on an incline? Should the property owner have taken better care to provide a safe place for guests to walk?
Unfortunately, premises liability cases can be some of the hardest cases to win due to many of the reasons listed above. If you have been seriously injured on someone else’s property, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to represent your interests to the property owner’s insurance company. You should call a lawyer right away if you have been injured in a slip and fall incident.