Premises liability is an area of law that determines who is responsible for injuries on public or private property. Just as car accident laws regulate driver behaviors and responsibilities, premises liability laws outline a property owner’s responsibilities for preventing injuries to visitors and guests. If a property owner is found negligent, he can be held liable for the costs of a victim’s medical bills, lost income, and other damages.
Cause of Action in a Premises Liability Case
Accidents such as slip and falls or even assault can all give rise to premises liability claims. However, the law requires the victim to prove a number of factors in order to hold landowners responsible for injuries on their properties. For example, a victim may have a cause of action (right to file a lawsuit) against the owner if the victim:
- Had a right to be on the property. Customers generally have a right to be on a business’s property, while visitors and tenants are protected when on residential property (although some trespassers may be able to sue after a slip and fall).
- Was hurt by a defect the landowner knew about. Both homeowners and businesses have a duty to make their properties safe for invited guests (such as clearing away snow and ice from steps and sidewalks). The victim may have grounds to sue if the owner knew about a hazard on the property but failed to correct it and failed to warn visitors about the dangers.
- Was injured because of the landowner’s negligence. Negligence can exist in many forms—from an owner’s inability to recognize a hazard (such as failing to install lights in stairwells and alleys) to allowing a defect to exist that is in violation of the local building code.
- Suffered significant losses as a result of the accident. A victim may be owed compensation for the costs of medical treatment, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, out-of-pocket expenses, and permanent disability related to the incident.
If you were injured on someone else’s property, our attorneys can explain your legal options at no cost to you. Contact Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum via our online form to schedule your initial consultation with a premises liability lawyer.