If you have suffered an injury while on someone else’s property, you might be wondering whether you have a case against the property owner. Dog bites, slip and fall incidents, elevator accidents and swimming pool accidents – all fall under premises liability cases.
Premises liability is a legal term that places liability on the property owner, property manager or landowner for any injuries sustained while on their property that are attributable to their negligence. In other words, both private and public property owners have a legal duty to ensure that their properties are safe for visitors. If they fail to keep up with this responsibility, then they would be considered negligent.
However, to prove negligence, the plaintiff must establish the following.
The defendant occupied, owned or was leasing the property when the injury happened
Proving liability will become a tall order if the ownership of the property cannot be established. This is because there will be no one to assume a duty of care. To hold the property owner liable, the injury victim (plaintiff) must have lawfully visited the premises, and thus the property owner owed them a duty of care.
The defendant failed to uphold their duty of care amounting to negligence
The defendant is deemed to have breached their duty of care if they know or were expected to know about a potential hazard on their property but failed to address or warn visitors about it. For instance, if the property owner has an aggressive dog but fails to restrain it resulting in the dog attacking the visitor, then they may be held liable for the resulting damages. The same applies to a property owner who fails to fix a torn carpet that results in a trip, slip and fall to the visitor.
Sustaining an injury while on someone else’s property can be devastating. Knowing your rights can help you pursue a premises liability lawsuit and get the compensation you deserve for your damages.