The term premises liability refers to a form of personal injury in which a person has suffered an injury or ailment due to the hazardous condition of a property. In order to be able to file a premises liability claim, the victim has a duty to demonstrate that the owner or operator of the property acted negligently in regard to the hazardous condition of the property. While a person may be injured in the property of another, this does not necessitate a valid premises liability claim. In order to have a successful claim, the victim has to demonstrate that the property owner or property operator acted:
- Negligently in some way and that this negligence caused or created the hazardous condition
- Negligently in maintaining the property
- Negligently in inspecting the hazardous condition
- Negligently by failing to repair the hazardous condition
Note: It’s worth mentioning that this is not an inclusive list and there are other factors that can constitute a liable property owner or property operator. If you have been injured in the premises of another, consult with a qualified attorney as he or she may help you to understand if you have a valid claim.
Interpreting the Legal Term Negligence
In a personal injury lawsuit that involves a premises liability claim, negligence becomes a central part of the lawsuit. In order to establish negligence, the following actions could be required:
- The property owner or property caretaker acted in a carelessness manner about any potential hazards in the premises
- There was a breach of duty of care
Note: It is important to understand that similar to other negligence lawsuits, the specifics of any particular case will dramatically impact the case and ultimately affect the claim’s legal investigation. Since every case will have different specifics, most cases will be handled differently. Consult with a qualified personal injury attorney who has experience in premises liability cases. An experienced attorney will help you understand what legal strategy will work best for your case.
While demonstrating that there was negligence in a premises liability claim, there are other important elements that must also be carefully considered.
Understanding the Owner or Operator’s Duty of Care
Property owners and/or their operators are burdened with the responsibility of the property. These individuals owe a basic duty of care to those entering the premises. They have a duty to protect these visitors or residents from any potential hazards. This responsibility is not infinite. They need to protect those in the property from harm so as long as this harm can be reasonably avoided.
A property owner or operator’s duty of care can seem simple and straightforward. This person must give a rational sense of attention to the property’s maintenance in order to discover, restore, or even caution against all hazardous conditions of the dwelling. This is so that there is the greatest amount of prevention of injury to any property visitors, residents, and/or other tenants.
Note: Every state has different laws pertaining to what is the legal duty of care of each property owner or property caretaker. Every state will also have a different rule regarding as to whom is protected under this law. For example, some states will state that all those who enter the premises will be protected under this law. This could even mean that even an intruder or burglar can be protected and can sue an owner or property caretaker for not maintaining a reasonably safe property. Other state laws will not protect these sorts of individuals but can in fact protect a minor who entered into the property without the owner or property caretaker’s permission. Consult with a proficient attorney who knows the current and applicable state laws. An attorney with the appropriate experience can save you time and money by ensuring that you have a valid case.
Analyzing Reasonable Care
A duty of care can also seem quite straightforward but is in fact complex. Property owners and property caretakers are responsible for maintaining a safe property but there is a certain degree to which they can be held legally accountable.
Dependent of state law, a property owner or property caretaker’s responsibility can be quite subjective. For instance, there is no concrete answer to the following questions: Are property owners and operators responsible for:
- Safeguarding against every single hazardous condition, without regard to the cost of the reparations?
- Have to warn against every single potential hazard?
- Do property residents and visitors have any responsibility with regard to avoiding potential hazards?
Note: Given many state laws, there is no single correct answer to questions concerning this subject matter. Seek the advice and representation of a qualified attorney. Your state may have a guideline of important factors that your attorney may know of. In either case, a qualified attorney may be able to strategize for your case given the specifics of your individual case.
The Importance of Finding a Qualified Attorney
If you or someone you know has been hurt while in the premises of another as a visitor, resident, or even as a trespasser, contact a professional attorney. An attorney who has experience in premises liability cases can help you determine if you have a valid personal injury case. Premises liability cases can be difficult to present. As a victim, there are several factors you must demonstrate which could include the following:
- Medical records that indicate there was in fact an injury
- Did the property owner or property operator fail to warn you of any hazards in the location
- Did the property owner fail to repair the hazard
- Should the property owner or property caretaker have known about the hazard
There are many rules and regulations that pertain to your particular state that could affect the outcome of your case. A competent attorney will look into the specifics of your case and help you determine if you have a valid case.