What is premises liability? Sometimes known as slip and fall cases, this is where an individual or an entity is responsible for injuries that took place on property they own. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 17,000 premises liability accidents happen every year. Whether the result of slippery floors, faulty safety equipment, fire, spills, or faulty wiring, read on to learn all you need to know about premise liability.
How Serious Are Premises Liability Cases?
When it comes to personal injury cases, 22% of all incidents result in the injured party having to miss more than 31 days of work. Slip and fall cases can result in lost work, permanent disability, expensive medical bills, and other serious loss.
Who is Responsible?
The first thing to determine in any premises liability case is exactly who is responsible for the property where an accident has happened. A person or entity possesses a property if they occupy it to control it, have occupied it to control it and no one else has done so since, or are entitled to occupy it immediately if no one else is currently occupying it.
Who Was Injured?
Another important thing to determine in a premises liability case is the status of any person injured on a property. There are generally three reasons a person might be on anyone else’s property. If the injured persona was invited by the owner or permitted or licensed to be there for non-business reasons, this aspect of the case is fairly straightforward. A trespasser on a property without license or invitation has far more limited options for bringing a personal injury claim.
What Causes Personal Injury?
Although premises liability claims are typically called slip and fall cases, injury can also result from fires, bad wiring, the presence of toxins, or from falling objects. Accidents and injures are especially possible on work sites.
What Makes Liability?
Sometimes, an accident is just an accident. Personal injury lawyers are there to help discover when someone was actually at fault. To be at fault, generally, the entity that owns the property must have failed in a legal duty towards the injured person. This failure of duty usually happens when an owner fails to keep the property maintained, fails to correct or fix a safety issue, and/or fails to warn people of a safety issue or hazard. It must also be clear that the plaintiff in a premises liability case should have known about the hazard that caused injury.
What About Causation and Damages?
If a premises liability case proves negligence on the part of the person or entity that owns a property, it must then go further. The claim must also prove that this negligence was the direct cause of someone’s injuries. As a simple example, if a business owner fails to clear away ice from a sidewalk, the owner may indeed have acted negligently. But if the injured person actually slipped and fell in a place where there was no ice at the time, their personal injury claim will be harder to prove because the negligence may not have been the direct cause of the injury.
Premises liability and personal injury can be complicated and difficult to navigate. That’s why it’s always wise to have the advice and strategic help of a good lawyer. Good attorneys are often willing to talk to you for a few minutes at no charge to help you understand whether you have a case and what they can do for you. If you have been injured due to the negligence of someone else, look for an attorney near you who specializes in helping injured parties get the compensation the law provides them.