Premises Liability FAQ

What is premises liability? It is a legal concept that refers to personal injury cases where the injury was caused by some type of unsafe or defective condition on someone’s property. These cases are usually based on negligence occurring.

What are some common types of premises liability cases? These can include slip and fall cases, snow and ice accidents, inadequate maintenance of the premises, defective conditions on the premises, elevator accidents, dog bites, swimming pool accidents, amusement park accidents, fires, water leaks or flooding, and even toxic fumes and chemicals.

What type of building security should a premises have? Owners of apartment buildings and offices typically must act reasonably in securing access to the buildings. This could include reminders to keep doors locked and even guards. If someone breaks in and assaults or kills someone on the property, premises liability may come into place.

What categories are visitors on properties divided into? Invitees are those who the landowner has given permission to, to enter the property. A licensee is someone who has the landowner’s permission to enter the property, but is coming onto the property for his or her own purposes. Lastly, a trespasser is somebody who is not at all authorized to be on the property.

If somebody were to fall on a broken piece of a city sidewalk, can they sue the city? In many states, recovery in many kinds of cases against cities or towns is prohibited. Sometimes, however, there is no ordinance in place against this, meaning they would be able to then sue the city. Municipalities, after all, have a duty to keep streets and sidewalks in repair for the safety of their citizens.

In case of fires, do building owners have to have safety precautions like sprinklers and posted escape routes in place? Building owners are held responsible to exercise reasonable care to prevent injuries in the case of a fire occurring. They need to be prepared to help people on their properties escape. Typically, this would include having sprinklers and posted escape routes.

What if somebody is injured at a construction site? In some circumstances, the person will be able to recover damages from a construction company. Construction companies are supposed to take reasonable steps to keep public sidewalks and sites free from bricks and other debris that may cause injury. If the company fails to remove obstructions and there is a trip and fall accident, the company may be held liable.

If someone gets injured while at the home of a neighbor who invited them there for a party, what happens? Social guests can sometimes recover compensation from their hosts. This depends on how exactly the injuries occurred. Homeowners are solely responsible for telling their guests about dangerous conditions that guests are unlikely to recognize themselves.

Always remember: The cost of not receiving an injury attorney is often much higher than having one on your side. Lawyers can be expensive, yes, but they are good to have on your side. A potential legal claim may be worth pursuing if you or a loved one has been injured on someone else’s property. Speak to an attorney at MDL today! You can schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.