PREMISES LIABILITY CLAIMS
Property owners, including home owners, businesses and landlords, have a duty to people who, as invitees, come onto their property to protect them from dangerous conditions or defects which may cause a slip and fall injury. They owe a duty to use reasonable care to see that those portions of the property which the visitor is likely to use are safe.
The two main elements for determining fault in a premises liability claim are…
- Whether or not the property owner acted reasonably to prevent a dangerous condition, and
- Whether or not the injured party was exceedingly careless.
The initial investigation should determine if the cause of the accident was due to a pre-existing dangerous condition, and if it could have been prevented by owner action.
Whether or not the injured person could have anticipated the hazards of the area from prior conditions is also important – this is the “avoidance of obvious danger” element.
For the injured person to have a strong case, the owner of the property must have known about the hazardous condition and been negligent in remedying it. The hazard must have been present long enough for the owner to have had ample time to remedy the problem before the accident occurred.
Most slip and fall accident and premises liability cases depend on whether the property owner knew there was a hazard before someone got injured, and was not sufficiently diligent in remedying it. Rarely, the injured party can cite that an owner was in violation of a relevant statute or code relating to the case (such as an improper distance between steps in a stairway).
Examples of some defects which may exist and result in a personal injury claims for premises liability include:
- Snow or ice which is not properly removed or treated
- Liquid from a leak or spill
- A rug, cord or other object which creates a hazard in a walkway or entrance
- Water from cleaning the floors for which there are inadequate warnings
- Defective pavement, concrete or steps which cause a fall
While there is no duty to warn of open and obvious defects which exist, if the visitor’s conduct was not unreasonable under the circumstances, the property owner may be liable for a defect on the property which causes an injury.
Cameron C. Secrist and his professional team can investigate the circumstances surrounding your fall and determine if you may be entitled to compensation.