Premises Liability can play a part in many personal injury cases. These cases mostly involve slip-and-fall accidents but can also be incorporated in other cases. This type of liability concerns what a property owner must do to ensure the safety of those on their property. Simply put, a business owner or property owner must take care of customers or those who are on their property, with certain exceptions.

A Short Explanation of Premises Liability

Historically, a person on another’s property could be categorized in one of three ways for the purposes of premises liability. A person could be a trespasser, meaning that the property owner did not invite that person onto the property. A property owner only owes a trespasser a duty of care if they knew that the trespasser was on their land. A person who was invited onto the property by the owner for social purposes is known as a licensee. A property owner must inform a licensee about anything they know to be dangerous that might be hidden from plain view. A third categorization is that of invitee, a person who is on the property for business purposes, such as going to a grocery store. A property owner or business must inspect the property and ensure it is safe for invitees.

However, these characterizations have changed slightly in more recent times. Recently, states have begun to move away from categorizing visitors in a certain way and have considered all the circumstances involved in the incident. Some states have now emphasized a single approach to negligence claims concerning premises liability claims. This makes it easier on courts, as they do not have to determine which standard of the three listed above to use.

This is important for some modern courts, because using a totality of the circumstances approach to determine who is liable for any injury on the premises can allow courts deal with these issues on a case-by-case basis. Instead of attempting to make a certain scenario fit into one of the three categories of visitor to a premises, courts can look at each individual case.

Why is Premises Liability Important?

Premises liability is important for several reasons. One of the largest reasons is that in a case involving a slip and fall, or an injury outside of a building, it is important to determine who owns that particular bit of property, the safety measures they took to protect people on that property, and if there was anything else they could have done to prevent injury on that property. It is very important for a court to determine who owns the property and what could be done or could have been done to prevent injury on that property. In a slip and fall case, if someone slipped on ice, what could have been done better to prevent that slip and fall from occurring? A court may look at who owns the property and what duty of care they had to exercise.

Have You Been Injured on Someone Else’s Property or the Property of a Store or Corporation?

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