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Premises Liability

Premises Liability

Injuries can happen anywhere and we're here to help.

What is Premises Liability?

Let’s say you’re in a popular toy store to buy a birthday gift for your niece. You’re walking down an aisle, and you step on a small toy car that was left out of its box. You slip, lose your balance, and sprain your wrist. This is where “premises liability” comes into play.

“Premises liability” is a promise that all businesses, such as toy stores, supermarkets, or movie theaters, make to their customers. It means that the people who run these places need to keep them safe for everyone who visits. They should ensure the floors are clean and clear of hazards. If a toy is left on the floor, they need to put it back in its place quickly. Also, they’re responsible for things like making sure shelves are secure and won’t fall over.

If a business fails to do this and someone gets hurt because of it, that’s when we say there’s been a “breach” of premises liability. The business could be held responsible, or liable, for the injuries. This might mean they have to pay for the injured person’s medical expenses, any wages they lost because they couldn’t work, or even for their pain and suffering.

So, whenever you’re at a store or any place of business, remember they have a duty to keep you safe. If they don’t do their job and you get hurt, the rule of premises liability may help you get what you need to recover.

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Common Types of Premises Liability Accidents

Premises liability is a broad term and covers many types of accidents that can occur on someone else’s property. Whether it’s a business or an individual, the entity in control of a property has a legal duty to ensure the area is safe. However, despite their best efforts, sometimes accidents still happen. These accidents can vary greatly, from slips and falls to more unique incidents. Below, we’ve provided a list of some of the most common types of premises liability accidents:

  • Slip and Fall: This is perhaps the most common type of premises liability accident. It occurs when someone slips, trips, or falls because of a hazardous condition, like a wet floor, uneven pavement, or poor lighting.
  • Inadequate Building Security: This refers to situations where inadequate security measures lead to injury or harm, such as an assault.
  • Swimming Pool Accidents: Property owners can be held liable if they don’t adequately secure or maintain their swimming pools, leading to accidents or drowning.
  • Dog Bites: Owners can be held responsible if their pet causes harm to someone on their property.
  • Elevator and Escalator Accidents: These can occur when elevators or escalators aren’t properly maintained and cause injuries.
  • Fires: Property owners may be liable if a fire breaks out due to poor maintenance or safety violations.
  • Toxic Fumes or Chemicals: This can include exposure to hazardous materials stored or used on the property.
  • Amusement Park Accidents: Accidents caused by poorly maintained rides or lack of adequate safety measures can lead to premises liability.
  • Construction Site Accidents: Owners can be liable for injuries sustained due to unsafe conditions at a construction site.
  • Snow and Ice Accidents: If a property owner fails to adequately remove snow and ice, leading to slips and falls, they can be held responsible.
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To Sue or Not to Sue

In order to be successful in a premises liability case, you must prove that the property owner:

  • was aware of the hazard, or
  • should have reasonably known about the hazard, and
  • didn’t take appropriate steps to prevent your injury.

A property owner is liable for injuries caused by a dangerous condition on their property if they knew or should have known about the condition. “Should have known” means that a reasonable person in the same situation would have known about the condition.

For example, if a property owner has a hole in their sidewalk that they have not repaired, and a visitor trips and falls in the hole, the property owner may be liable for the visitor’s injuries. Even if the property owner did not actually know about the hole, they should have known about it because it was a large and obvious hazard.

If you are injured on someone else’s property, it is important to speak with an attorney to discuss your legal options. An attorney can help you determine if you have a premises liability claim and can help you gather evidence and file a lawsuit if you do.

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