What Is Premises Liability, and Do I Have a Case?

Someone was negligent, and you were injured. You’re in pain. You’re up to your neck in medical bills. You’re filling out form after form, and now, in the middle of all of it, you’re struggling to make a claim to get just a little bit of compensation for it.

It can be difficult to even know where to begin with a premises liability claim. After all, “premises liability” isn’t a term you typically use in everyday conversation. It’s a good idea to learn more about what premises liability is, regardless of whether or not you choose to hire an attorney.

What Does It Mean?

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The technical definition is for premises liability is, “The body of law which makes the person who is in possession of land or premises responsible for certain injuries suffered by persons who are present on the premises.”

The responsibility to maintain a safe environment will typically fall on a landowner or tenant, and therefore they are the ones who will usually be liable for an injury that occurs on the property. These cases must be based on negligence.

An example would be a leak that was never cleaned up or the failure to fix an uneven sidewalk. If one of these issues leads to a personal injury, this could be the beginning of a premises liability case.

Types of Premises Liability Cases

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The most common cases associated with premises liability are slip and fall accidents. However, this is not the only type of case.

Other cases of premises liability include animal bites, accidental drowning, or injury from a violent customer or guest. As long as it can be proven that negligence was a cause of your personal injury, you could have a potential lawsuit.

Who Is Responsible?

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A huge issue in a premises liability case is knowing who is liable. Sometimes it is hard to know who is responsible because of the many people involved with the premises.

You may be able to hold a variety of people responsible for your injuries, possibly including but not limited to owners, landlords, tenants, maintenance companies, or any other entity that may have been responsible for the property at the time of the accident.

Approaching the Case

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The matter in which the case is approached is important. The court will likely characterize you and your case one of three ways, all based on why you entered the land in the first place:

  • Trespasser: One who enters without permission
  • Licensees: One who enters as a social guest for his own purposes
  • Invitees: One who enters the property in order to further the purpose of the landowner (i.e., a customer)

However you are labeled for the case will determine the level of protection from harm that you should have been able to expect when your injuries occurred.

For example, in many cases, landowners will not be held responsible for a trespasser’s safety, with the exception of a case where the owner knew the trespasser was present and yet still failed to warn of any hidden dangers.

In the case of a licensee, the duties are similar. It is the landowner’s responsibility to warn about any dangers that guests are unlikely to find on their own.

In terms of the invitees, it is the landowner’s responsibility to inspect the property before these people enter, and therefore, they could be more likely to be held responsible for an injury.

If you are a victim of negligence you mat be entitled to compensation. Call Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation or contact us online.