Premises liability is the legal term for the responsibilities that property owners have to visitors and occupants. Individual homeowners, landlords and businesses all have some liability if a person gets hurt while on their property.
Business insurance or homeowner’s insurance can potentially reimburse a person for injuries they suffered while visiting someone’s property. In certain situations, premises liability issues may even lead to personal injury lawsuits against the property owner.
A successful claim typically requires that you show negligence regarding how they maintained their property. When will you likely have a successful claim?
When they don’t maintain their property properly
Keeping real estate in safe condition requires constant investment. Property owners need to routinely inspect both the interior and the exterior of their properties and address any issues that could we do safety hazards.
Replacing damaged flooring on the stairs or putting down rugs to absorb rainwater tracked in by visitors are both examples of necessary maintenance at some property owners don’t perform.
When they don’t make security a priority
Negligence isn’t just about ignoring a damaged roof or a malfunctioning piece of machinery. It can also involve failing to take action to prevent reasonably foreseeable dangers. Crime is a constant risk, but property owners can increase the likelihood of crime occurring on their premises through inadequate security.
Failing to install cameras, hire security professionals or invest in motion-activated lights in outdoor spaces could give the victim of a crime grounds to hold that property’s owner responsible for the losses they suffered.
When they don’t prevent unauthorized access
The property owners don’t just need to spot and address known defects with the property. They also need to think about ways that people could access and misuse their property.
For example, a homeowner with a pool in their backyard who does not install and secure fencing around the pool could face liability claims if a trespassing child suffers brain damage because of a drowning incident in their pool. Securing the facilities themselves and excluding access to particularly dangerous places is an important way for property owners to prevent accidents from occurring. If they don’t secure the facilities, they may have some liability for any injury that results.
Learning the basics of premises liability claims can help you hold negligent property owners responsible for their bad practices.