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Premises Liability

general injury

Whether you slipped and fell in a grocery store or were hurt due to poor maintenance in a rental property, the impact on your life can be significant. If someone else was responsible for your accident, you may have what’s known as a premises liability claim in which you can seek monetary damages.

Different Types of Premises Liability Cases

The following are some of the most common types of premises liability cases:

Slip and Fall Cases 

Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability cases. They occur when someone slips, trips, or falls due to a hazardous condition on a property, such as wet floors, uneven walkways, or poorly maintained stairs.

Inadequate Building Security leading to Injury or Assault 

This is another type of premise liability case. Visitors may become victims of violence, theft, or assault if a property owner fails to offer effective security. This can include insufficient lighting, broken locks, or a lack of security personnel. Here, the property owner can be liable for damages suffered by the victim.


Property fires can be a devastating event, causing significant injuries and damages. They can result from electrical issues, negligence in maintenance, or even arson. 

Snow and Ice Accidents 

Winter weather conditions can create slippery surfaces, posing a risk for individuals visiting a property. To ensure a safe environment, property owners must clear snow and ice from pathways, staircases, and parking lots. If they don’t take the needed safety measures, slip and fall accidents can happen, causing injuries such as broken bones and head trauma.

Elevator and Escalator Accidents 

Elevators and escalators are frequently seen in commercial buildings such as malls and hotels. When poorly maintained or faulty, these machines can cause accidents involving falls or entrapment. Property owners must ensure that elevators and escalators are regularly inspected and maintained for the safety of all users.

Dog Bites 

Dog owners are responsible for ensuring their animals do not pose a danger to others. If a dog attacks, bites, or causes injury, the owner may be held liable. Some states hold a pet owner strictly liable, meaning they are responsible for their dog attacking someone even if the dog has never shown any signs of aggression and has never bitten anyone before. 

In other states, the one bite rule governs, which essentially means that the first time a dog bites someone, the owner can defend themselves by saying they didn’t know their dog would be aggressive because it has never shown any of those tendencies before. Next time, though, the owner will be liable for damages.

Amusement Park Accidents 

Amusement park accidents are another common type of premises liability case. These parks’ operators and owners are responsible for maintaining their rides and attractions, ensuring they are free of defects and providing a safe atmosphere for visitors.

Responsibility to Maintain a Safe Environment 

Property owners and occupiers must ensure that their premises are safe. This entails regular maintenance, inspections, and prompt repair of any hazardous conditions that may arise. The duty of care property owners owe to visitors depends on the visitor’s legal status:

  • Invitees are people invited to the property for business purposes, like customers at a supermarket. Property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care, which includes taking reasonable steps to ensure a safe environment and warning of hidden dangers.
  • Licensees are visitors with permission to be on the property, like social guests. Property owners have a duty to warn licensees of any known dangerous conditions not immediately obvious.
  • Trespassers are individuals on a property without permission. Property owners typically owe a limited duty and must only avoid deliberately causing harm.

Proving a Premises Liability Claim

To establish a successful premises liability claim, a victim must prove four key elements:

  1. Duty of Care: The property owner had a legal obligation to maintain a safe environment for the visitors. For example, a store owner has a duty of care to maintain a safe environment for its customers. They must ensure that hazards are promptly addressed, such as cleaning up spills.
  2. Breach of Duty: If evidence exists showing store employees were aware of the wet floor but did not take action to warn customers or mop up the water, the store may be deemed to have breached its duty of care.
  3. Causation: Causation is the link between the breach of duty and the injuries the victim sustained. Typically, medical records and witness testimonies help establish causation.
  4. Damages: Finally, damages must be shown as a result of the accident. There are two main types: economic and non-economic. Economic damages refer to lost wages, medical bills, and other quantifiable financial losses. 

Non-economic damages are meant to compensate for things that don’t have an objective monetary value to them, like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of companionship. 

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help in a Premises Liability Case

When accidents occur because of a property owner’s negligence, having an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side is crucial. Here’s how they can help:

Investigating the Accident

A personal injury lawyer will start by conducting a comprehensive investigation of the accident. This may include visiting the accident site, taking photographs, reviewing surveillance footage, and collecting any relevant documents, such as maintenance records. This evidence is crucial in establishing the property owner’s negligence and building a strong case for the victim.

Identifying Potential Defendants

In a premises liability case, there may be multiple parties who hold some responsibility for the accident. A lawyer will help identify all potential defendants, such as the property owner, property manager, maintenance company, or a contractor who carried out unsafe work on the property. By holding all negligent parties accountable, the victim has a better chance of receiving adequate compensation.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Most premises liability claims involve dealing with insurance companies. These companies often attempt to settle claims quickly and for as little compensation as possible. A personal injury lawyer has experience negotiating with insurers and will ensure that the victim receives a fair settlement that fully accounts for their injuries and other losses.

Representing the Victim in Court

If a fair settlement cannot be reached with the insurance company, a personal injury lawyer will take the case to trial. In court, they will present the evidence, call upon expert witnesses, and make compelling arguments on the victim’s behalf. Their in-depth knowledge of premises liability law and experience in the courtroom give the victim a better chance of obtaining justice.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer For Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in a premises liability accident, it is crucial to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. Their expertise in navigating the legal process and their dedication to fighting for your rights will give you the best chance at securing compensation.