Negligence in Premises Liability
Copyright (c) 2010 Benjamin GlassMost people believe that premises liability only involves when you slip and fall on someone else's property. That's how this sort of personal injury claim became known as a "slip and fall" claim. In reality, a premises liability claim can involve any sort of accident and injury that takes place on another party's property.Common Types of Premises Liability Resulting in a Personal Injury ClaimWhile the most common type of premises liability accident is a slip and fall injury, there are other types of accidents which can also result in a personal injury claim. Any sort of hazard that a property owner should have reasonably prevented or warned visitors about can be considered negligence in a premises liability case.Construction sites where pedestrians must cross near are responsible for keeping those pedestrians safe from falling debris and other unsafe conditions. Home owners are responsible for keeping animals restrained in their yard to prevent attacks against nearby visitors.As for slip and fall cases, property owners of all types - homeowners, business owners, government entities - are responsible for keeping their grounds hazard-free and either repair or secure potentially dangerous areas.Proving Negligence in a Premises Liability Personal Injury ClaimPremises liability is a bit different from a general negligence personal injury claim such as a car accident. There is an additional defense of trespassing that the responsible party may attempt to use against your claim of negligence. If you were not legally allowed to be on the premises at the time of your accident and injury, your personal injury claim may be denied.To have a valid personal injury claim with premises liability you need to show that you were legally allowed to be on the premises and that you heeded any safety warnings posted about the hazard which caused your injuries. If a hazardous area such as an open manhole or cracked sidewalk was properly marked with barricades or warning signs, your claim may not be considered valid.Proving negligence with premises liability means you have to show the hazard existed to the knowledge of the property owner and they were negligent in addressing the situation that caused your injuries. For example, a supermarket aisle has a spill that you slip and fall in. If you can show evidence that the spill was present for an unreasonable amount of time with out being attended to, you may have a valid personal injury claim.Duty of Care by Property Owners in Personal Injury ClaimsPremises liability establishes that a property owner owes a duty of care to all visitors to their property. For homeowners, this means all guests that visit their home, including pedestrians that walk on sidewalks bordering their property. For business owners, this means any visitor regardless if they make a purchase or not, during regular business hours, and in some cases even during non-business hours.Government-owned areas such as public sidewalks, parks, and other establishments maintained by a government entity are also subject to premises liability. If you suffer injury on a poorly maintained city sidewalk, or are struck by a falling tree limb in a state park, the government may be held liable in your personal injury claim.Establishing who is liable in a premises liability case and determining if the accident was caused by negligence of property upkeep are difficult tasks, especially when you are recovering from an injury. To help you in filing and defending your personal injury claim after a premises liability accident, a personal injury attorney may greatly benefit your case.