Posted on behalf of Henness & Haight on Mar 26, 2015 in Slip & Fall News
A premises liability claim results when a person is injured and the owner of the property is responsible. While there are some variances from state to state, every state holds property owners to a duty of reasonable care in maintaining the safety of guests, customers or visitors to their location. Premises liability attaches when owners violate this care.
The situations in which property owners can be held responsible for damage and injury are broad and varied. A few examples of liability circumstances include: · Injuries related to bites or scratches from pets · Accidents from slipping and falling · Situations where security is inadequate · Damage from property that is dangerous, such as falling debris · Injuries in swimming pools
Apartments and leased property is a tricky situation. Generally speaking, the landlord of a property cannot be held liable for injuries to a tenant's guest. This is because the tenant assumes responsibility for their dwelling or leased premises. Exceptions to this can include situations where the landlord makes repairs and is negligent about the process. Also, dangerous conditions that already exist on the property and have been concealed from the tenant when they move in are a liability for the owner. These are called latent defects.
The three types of people that can be considered in this kind of case are invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Invitees create the highest level of burden in terms of liability to the owner. These are people who are invited onto the property for the benefit of the owner or tenant. Patrons in stores and guests in homes are invitees. Licensees are allowed to be on the premises but are not expressly considered to be invited. There is a bit of a gray area between the invitee and licensee, but the line is usually drawn between whether the owner or tenant wants the person to be there, or allows them to be there. The judge and jury in a case often determine the difference.
A trespasser, on the other hand, is someone who is not permitted to be on the property, and in this case, the owner or tenant owes no duty of care to protect the person and has very little responsibility or liability. Situations in which liability attaches to trespassers are: · If the owner deliberately harms the trespasser for any reason other than self-defense. · If there is something about the property that can be considered to entice children to come onto the property to play and the child is injured, liability can be applied. Complications There are many situations where the liability concerns can change and become complicated. For example, if a person is holding a garage sale, and someone sneaks into their home, that person goes from an invitee to a trespasser. These complications make it vital to hire a qualified premises law attorney any time you think you may need to address this type of injury. If you have suffered an accident and need information or representation, give us a call today for a free consultation.