The theory of premises liability is a staple of personal injury law. According to premises liability, the owner or occupiers of a property are liable for accidents and injuries that occur on their property. This type of lawsuit is commonly referred to as a “slip and fall” suit. Slips and falls are just one of many different types of premises liability cases, however. Other types include:
- Stairway Accidents
- Elevator Accidents
- Porch & Balcony Defects
- Building Collapse
- Falling Merchandise
- Unmarked Hazards
- Fire & Smoke Injuries
- Negligent Security
- Swimming Pool Accidents
- Toxic Chemicals
- Code Violations
Legal Status of Plaintiff in Premises Liability Cases
In most states, the status of the plaintiff when the injury occurred is an important part of a premises liability case. The plaintiff is labeled as one of the following:
- Invitee – Invited onto the property for the benefit of the owner/occupier (i.e. A customer at a store)
- Licensee – Allowed onto the property with the consent of the owner/occupier (i.e. A social guest)
- Trespasser – Enters the property without the owner/occupier’s consent
Owner/occupiers have the greatest responsibility for protecting invitees from harm. Licensees are also protected, but they are typically expected to exercise a reasonable amount of care for their own safety. In most cases, premises owners/occupiers are not responsible for the safety of trespassers.
Responsible Parties in Premises Liability Cases
The responsibly of an owner to maintain a safe property cannot be delegated to another entity. For example, if a company outsources elevator maintenance to an outside company and there is an elevator accident, the owner is still liable for resulting injuries. If an owner leases the property to someone else, special rules may apply. In general, whoever is in control of the property is liable for any injuries that occur on it. There are certain exceptions to this rule.
If you have been injured on someone else’s property, consult with a personal injury attorney to determine if you have a premises liability case. The attorneys at Ankin Law Office are highly experienced handling premises liability cases of all types. Our firm is dedicated to protecting the legal rights of our clients and securing maximum compensation for injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.