Premises liability is not a subject that comes up in casual conversation. Every year, hundreds of people are injured on someone else’s property, either at a private home or a business. Compounding this issue is that some state laws favor the victim, while others favor the property owner. The real issue is, are property owners responsible for injuries on their property? The answer is yes…and no. To win a premises liability lawsuit, the key issue is determining liability.
Property owners are not always held liable if an injury occurs on their property. The assumption that many people make is that the homeowner or business owner is always liable. However, if the owner has made reasonable attempts to make the property safe, a liability lawsuit may not result in the owner making amends. Also, any persons visiting someone’s property must ensure their own safety as well.
The homeowner or business owner must take steps to ensure that their property is safe. Many of us have visited stores and have seen ‘Wet Floor’ signs placed where someone has mopped or cleaned up a spill. Store owners must erect these signs in an attempt to prevent slips and falls, which can result in injuries.
Outdoor lighting must be sufficient to prevent injury, whether at a home or business. Snow must remain cleared in a reasonable time frame to prevent falls. The property itself must remain in good repair. If the property owner acted in a reasonable fashion, making repairs when needed, for example, they may not have any liability if someone gets hurt. Another common liability issue is dog bites. Property owners should restrain aggressive animals, and property visitors should be wary of approaching unfamiliar animals.
Proving liability is not always a cut and dried case. In some cases, liability rules indicate that both parties were at fault for an accident resulting in an injury. When considering a liability lawsuit, professionals recommend that you consult an attorney.
Hiring an Attorney and Investigating
For serious injury cases, it is best to hire an attorney that specializes in premises liability cases. They will perform an investigation which can include finding witnesses, accessing weather records, locating a police report, and procuring copies of medical records. Many liability lawsuits settle out of court, and you can avoid a lengthy trial. For more information about premises liability visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premises_liability and https://bizfluent.com/info-8181850-definition-premises-liability-insurance.html.