Premises Liability accidents refer to ones that are caused by defective or dangerous property that happen either inside or outside a building. These accidents occur anywhere from commercial buildings and residences like private homes to public property like parks and streets. These properties can be dangerous for many reasons, including faulty design, bad construction, or having dangerous clutter sitting around. This can lead to slipping, falling, tripping, or having something hit or fall on you.
What are the Basic Liability Rules for Premises Accidents? First of all, the owner has a duty to keep the premises safe. This means that anybody who enters the property is not to be subjected to a dangerous situation. Furthermore, the visitor does not have control over the safety of the property, whereas the owner of the property does. Secondly, the visitor must have been using the property normally. Take for example a situation where a guest swings down the stairs on a handrail and ends up injured as a result – in a situation like this, the owner will not be held responsible for injuries sustained.
So, Who Will be Held Responsible – the Owner or the Occupier? If you are injured at a store, office, or business, the legal responsibility will typically fall on what the lease or business contract mentions about liability. You should always notify the business about your accident and injuries. The insurance company will usually handle the claim itself.
As far as private residences are concerned, it all depends on the private residence itself: a rented apartment or a private-home. If you are a guest or tenant and you are injured on a rental property, the person responsible will be whoever is responsible for maintaining the area or condition that caused the accident. If you are injured at a private home, the owner of the home is responsible for the injuries.
What Must be Considered with Defects on a Sidewalk or Roadway? Many accidents occur on sidewalks or roadways, such as ones that take place when traffic lights or signs malfunction or if someone is injured because of a change in the road’s surface or traffic flow. Some may further become injured when they trip and fall due to a defect in a public sidewalk. Governmental entities traditionally had something known as “sovereign immunity”, which establishes complete immunity of the government from being sued and found liable in a lawsuit. However, over the years, some of these immunities have been limited in certain situations. The laws will vary from state to state depending on circumstances.
Premises liability actions against people and government entities can involve very specific liability laws and complex requirements. It could be very beneficial to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. It makes sense to have an attorney on your side during this overwhelming process, so call WTW today to schedule a consultation. They will review your potential case.