Premise Liability Basics: What Is Premise Liability?

Property owners have the responsibility of ensuring that their establishments are safe. It must be free from any hazards that may cause harm to others. Otherwise, they might be liable to the people who sustained injuries while they are on their property. By legal definition, premise liability is a kind of personal injury liability where a person suffers injuries due to the hazardous condition of a property. If a person was injured while they are in an establishment, they can file a claim against the negligent establishment owner.

Premise Liability Conditions

Before you can file a premise liability claim against the negligent property owner, you must be able to meet certain conditions. Each condition should be present before filing a complaint; otherwise, you claim wouldn’t be convincing due to lack of evidence.

  • The property owner has a duty of care. The owner has the responsibility of ensuring the property or establishment is safe. He or she knows his or her obligation to keep the establishment free from hazards that may cause harm or injury to others.
  • You have a reason to be in the establishment of the property owner. You have a purpose why you are in the property owner’s establishment. If it is a convenience store, you must be there to purchase something from the store. If it is a restaurant, you went there so you could have a meal. If you are on the property to rob the owner or you are trespassing, you do not have the right to file a premises liability claim.
  • There is negligence on the part of the property owner. The owner did not perform his or her duties in keeping the establishment free from any hazardous elements. He or she did not fix broken wirings or did not attend to the wet floor as reported by the employees or the customers.
  • You sustained injuries or damages because of the property owner’s negligence. Due to the negligence of the owner, you suffered injuries. Because he or she didn’t put up warning signs on the wet floor, you slipped and fell. As a result, you fractured your hand. Since there was an uneven floor, you tripped and bumped your head resulting in a concussion.

Without these elements, you will find it difficult to file your complaint against the property owner. These factors must be present so you can have a substantial case against the negligent owner.

Premise Liability Examples

To further illustrate premise liability, here are some sample scenarios:

  • Slip and fall due to the negligent owner. You are strolling around a mall and tripped and sustained fractures on your arm due to an uneven floor. Because the mall’s building managers failed to place barricades to prevent people from walking on the said floor, they were unable to do their job in keeping the mall premises safe.
  • An accident while on a homeowner’s property. You went inside a house because you noticed that nobody is home. You intend to rob the place before the owners get back. As you are climbing above the gate, you tripped and fell on the ground. You bumped your head and suffered a concussion.

In the first scenario, you can file a claim against the negligent mall owners because they did not exercise safety measures to warn mall goers from keeping away from the broken or uneven floor. However, in the second scenario, you do not have the right to file a premise liability claim against the homeowner because you have no reason to be on their property. Since you intend to rob the homeowner, they have the right to file a robbery case against you.

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