If you were ever injured on the property of another, you may have considered filing a personal injury lawsuit to hold the property owner liable for your injuries. The following article will provide some helpful information you should know regarding whether property owners are liable for injuries sustained by others on their property.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a legal concept, based in personal injury law, which alleges that an injury a person sustained resulted from a defective condition on the premises of another (for example, a store owner, landlord, etc.). Regarding slip and fall accidents, the person injured is alleging that she slipped and fell and suffered resulting injuries due to a defective condition (such as wet floors, unsecured rugs, or loose steps).
What are Some Common Types of Premises Liability Cases?
There are various types of premises liability cases, which include the following:
- Slip and fall accidents: Slip and fall accidents resulting from wet floors, unsecured rugs, and loose steps can be very dangerous. If the property owner has failed to properly maintain the premises, he could be liable for any resulting slip and fall accidents.
- Elevator or escalator accidents: Elevators and escalators can pose danger if they are not properly maintained. If someone is injured while using an elevator or escalator on the premises, the property owner can be held liable for those injuries.
- Fire accidents: If a fire breaks out on the premises and someone is either injured as a result or suffers property damage, the property owner can be held liable.
- Toxic chemicals: Sometimes there are toxic chemicals on premises. If someone is injured by these chemicals (for example by inhaling or inadvertently touching them), a property owner can be held liable for those injuries.
- Defective conditions: If a property owner is aware of defective conditions on the premises of which others are unlikely to be aware, and fails to make these conditions safe, the owner can be held liable for any resulting injuries.
- Inadequate security: If a property owner fails to take necessary precautionary measures to ensure the safety of people entering the premises and someone is injured as a result, the owner could be held liable for any resulting injuries.
What Do I Need to Prove in a Premises Liability Case?
In order to make a successful personal injury case based on premises liability, you will need to show proof of the following elements:
- A dangerous condition existed on the premises at the time of the accident. This could be evidence of a wet floor, a loose floorboard, or other defective condition on the premises.
- The property owner knew (or should have known) of the dangerous condition. This element can be proven by showing some evidence that the owner knew of (or had reason to know of) the dangerous condition.
- The property owner failed to take reasonable care to protect people from the dangerous condition on the premises. If the owner becomes aware of a defective condition on his premises but fails to take the proper actions to rectify or warn others of the defective condition, he will be liable for the plaintiff’s resulting injuries.
As of a result of this failure, the plaintiff was injured. If an owner fails to take reasonable care to protect people from a dangerous condition on his premises that he was aware of (or reasonably should have been aware of) and the plaintiff suffers an injury or property damage as a result, this element is satisfied.