Premises liability law places certain duties on those in possession of land or other property. Foremost among these duties is the duty to keep the premises safe for users, guests and visitors of the property.
Slip and fall type accidents are probably the most common basis for a premises liability claims. However, premises liability claims cover a very broad spectrum of accidents and injuries. These include such things as falling objects, hazardous operation of equipment, dangerous furnishings and fixtures, assault and battery and many other accidents that result from the negligence of the owner of the premises.
In many premises liability claims, the first response of the owner of the property is to deny wrongdoing. They might also offer a pittance in settlement with a signed agreement or make promises to pay your medical bills, all just to get you out of the store and away from other guests or customers as quickly as possible.
In cases of serious personal injury or wrongful death, it is important to seek the guidance of a personal injury attorney experienced in premises liability claims. This is particularly true when you meet with the rather predictable responses above.
Slip and Fall Accidents Most Common Premises Liability Claims
Premises liability against the owner or occupant of property can arise in a number of ways. Premises liability lawsuits are most often associated with slip and fall accidents. Though slip and fall accidents are sometimes trivialized and ridiculed, the injuries and damages from these accidents can often be quite devastating. On rare occasions, these accidents can be fatal leading to a wrongful death lawsuit.
Other Premises Liability Claims
Beyond the common slip and fall accident, owners or occupants of property can be liable for a variety of unsafe conditions on the property that lead to injuries to visitors or guests. This liability could result from unsafe equipment, furniture, displays or other items, inventory or fixtures in or on the premises that cause injuries to a visitor or guest.
In addition to injuries caused by items, inventory or fixtures, an owner or occupant of property can also be held liable for harm to one guest caused by the acts of another guest. The occupant or owner is held liable in many such situations where the harm was foreseeable and no protective measures were taken to protect the other guests. A occupant or owner of property has a duty to protect visitors and guests from harm from any foreseeable source even the criminal acts of another guest.
Liability for Adjacent Property Including Sidewalks and Walkways
Property owners may also and are often held liable for damages and harm suffered on adjacent property as a result of conditions on their own property. This could occur in many different situations but most often is related to walkways, easements, and other rights of way adjacent to the property.
For instance, water leaking from one property to another, or to a public walkway can cause significant safety hazards for the public. If someone is harmed as a result of a negligent failure to prevent such harm, that person has a right to recovery against the property owner or occupant from which the harm derived. This is so even though the actual accident and injuries were suffered on adjacent property.
Premises Liability Claims Typically Come with Resistance to Fair Compensation – Don’t Give Up on Your Right to Fair Compensation
As mentioned, these types of injuries are routinely trivialized despite the very serious consequences that they can have. This is a result of insurance industry efforts to deter these types of claims. Businesses and homeowners will often mimic these positions resisting compensation for cases involving clear responsibility on their part.
Do not be deterred. If you have suffered serious injuries, seek legal guidance right away. Don’t let the insurance company push you around and don’t go it alone. It takes some time and effort but where there are injuries and clear responsibility, the insurance company will almost always come around.