Premises Liability Cases: An Introductory Guide (2024)

Sarah Edwards


Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.


Read in 4 mins

Premises Liability Cases: A Guide

Premises liability cases are legal claims that arise when an individual is injured on someone else’s property due to unsafe or hazardous conditions. These claims hold property owners or occupiers responsible for maintaining a safe environment and preventing foreseeable harm to visitors.

Every year, tens of thousands of Americans suffer accidental deaths, some of which can be attributed to unsafe facilities or properties. Thousands more people are injured as a result of a property owner or manager’s negligence.

If you or a loved one find yourself in this situation, it’s important to understand your rights when it comes to premises liability cases. Here’s what you need to know.

How Does the Claims Process Work in Premises Liability Cases?

If you’ve suffered a personal injury on someone else’s property, you should notify the property owner or occupier right away. Next, promptly seek medical attention to assess the severity of your injuries and obtain documentation about what happened.

As soon as you’ve addressed your immediate medical needs, connect with an experienced legal professional. The sooner you hire an attorney, the easier it will be for them to gather pertinent details about the case and speak with witnesses. The longer you wait, the greater the odds that crucial evidence, like security footage, will be lost.

Your attorney will help you understand your rights and, if necessary, file a claim on your behalf. They will then negotiate a lawsuit settlement so that you can receive compensation for your injuries, emotional trauma, missed time from work, and any other losses.

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5 Premises Liability Case Examples

Premise liability cases take all sorts of forms. However, every one of these cases must have three essential elements:

  • Duty of Care: The property owner must have a duty of care to people who enter the premises
  • Breach of Duty: The person responsible for maintaining a safe environment must have breached their duty, causing harm to another
  • Causation: There must be a clear link between the breach of duty and the injuries suffered

Some of the most common types of incidents that meet these criteria include:

1. Slip and Fall Accidents

A slip and fall accident occurs when a person falls on someone else’s property due to hazardous conditions such as wet floors, uneven surfaces, or debris. Property owners may be held liable for slip and fall accidents if they fail to address known hazards or provide adequate warning to visitors.

Placing wet floor signs around areas that have just been mopped is one way that property managers seek to reduce their liability. However, simply placing signs around a building does not completely eliminate a building owner’s liability. They must also take due care to maintain safe conditions for workers and customers.

2. Negligent Security

Negligent security claims arise when individuals are injured due to inadequate security measures on a property. This can lead to criminal acts such as assaults, robberies, or vandalism.

Property owners may be held liable for negligent security if they fail to prevent foreseeable criminal activity by implementing reasonable security measures such as:

  • Lighting
  • Surveillance cameras
  • Security personnel

Businesses that are open into the evening hours may be at increased risk of incurring liability for negligent security. Some examples include department stores and gas stations. Holiday shopping hotspots represent another common example.

3. Dog Bites

Dog bites and animal attacks can result in serious injuries, including lacerations, puncture wounds, and infections. In premises liability cases involving dog bites or animal attacks, property owners may be held liable for failing to restrain or control their pets.

If you own dogs or other animals, it’s important that you keep them properly restrained so they cannot harm others. If one of your pets bites someone, that person could file a claim against you and your homeowner’s insurance.

4. Dangerous Conditions

There are many scenarios where someone’s negligence may create dangerous conditions on a property. Failing to repair broken stairs or defective handrails can pose a huge risk to visitors or employees. Property owners have a duty to inspect their premises regularly, identify potential hazards, and take prompt action to address them.

5. Swimming Pool Accidents

Swimming pool accidents are a common cause of premises liability cases, particularly during the summer months. Property managers must take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of visitors, including installing barriers, gates, and safety equipment. They must also take steps to keep young children out of pool areas.

Depending on the nature of the establishment, the property owner may also need to hire a lifeguard. Alternatively, they may need to have guests sign release forms so they can insulate themselves from liability.

Suffering injuries on another person’s property can be a life-changing event. You may also incur significant medical expenses as lasting repercussions. That’s why it’s important to obtain experienced legal counsel right away.

If you need representation for a premises liability case, connect with ConsumerShield. We can put you in touch with an experienced legal team near you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • A premises liability case involves filing a suit against the owner or manager of a property for failing to ensure that the facility is safe and reasonably free from hazards. During these cases, you can attempt to recover damages and medical expenses associated with any harm you suffered.

  • There are many different kinds of premises liability cases. Some common examples include slips and falls, dog bites, swimming pool accidents, and dangerous conditions.

  • There aren’t any standardized penalties for a premises liability case. The amount you can recover will vary based on the severity of your injuries, the level of negligence the property owner exhibited, and the skill of your legal team.

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