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How Premises Liability Works

How Premises Liability Works

Do you know how premises liability works? When you sustain an injury caused by a property owner’s negligence, you have rights. With a personal injury claim, you and your legal representation have a chance to pursue damages that help you recover. 

What Is Premises Liability? 

Premises liability is a legal concept. Typically, it covers personal injury claims in which someone sustains an injury because there is a defective or unsafe condition on another person’s property. 

Oftentimes, these cases have their root in negligence. This remains true in these claims as well. In order to win your claim, you have to prove that the property owner was negligent in some way. 

Generally speaking, this covers a lack of maintenance or a lack of concern for the safety of others. For legal purposes, a property owner must fail to use “reasonable care” in how they maintain their property. One example is a lack of care with how they clean their floors, whether it’s a cleaning service or a paid staff member responsible.  

However, it’s important to understand that simply sustaining an injury on someone’s property does not make them negligent. Instead, it is the duty of your attorney to prove that the owner knew or should have known that there was some unsafe aspect of the property. Moreover, they have to prove that the owner failed to take steps to correct the situation. 

Below, we examine how premises liability works. 

Common Examples of Premises Liability Claims

There are many forms of personal injury that fall under the umbrella of “premises liability.” Here are a few common examples. 

  • Inadequate security that leads to assault or injury
  • A lack of proper maintenance on the premises
  • Dog bites
  • Slip and fall accidents 
  • Ice or snow accidents
  • Accidents on escalators or in elevators
  • Amusement park accidents caused by poor maintenance or service
  • Swimming pool incidents
  • Fires 
  • Defective conditions on the property
  • Toxic chemicals or fumes 
  • Flooding or leaks

As you can tell, these claims cover a broad range of scenarios. To learn more about your accident and legal options, it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney

Duty of Care on the Part of Property Owners

Here’s how premises liability works in a typical legal case. In most states, property owners must exercise a duty of care. However, other states apply an older rule that limits the duties of the landowner according to the “status” of the visitor.

In Texas, the state divides visitors into three distinct categories. 

Invitees

An invitee is a person that has either implied or expressed permission to enter the property. Generally, this falls upon neighbors, friends, and family. Traditionally, a property owner owes these people a duty of reasonable care, ensuring that the property is safe for them. 

Licensees

A licensee also has permission to enter a property. However, they have their own purpose for visiting the property. For example, they might be a salesperson visiting the owner. 

In these cases, the property owner owes these visitors a lesser duty. They only have to warn them about a dangerous condition that creates an unreasonable risk if…

  • The owner is aware of the condition. 
  • The licensee is unlikely to discover it. 

Trespassers

This applies to someone who has no permission to be on the property. Typically, a property owner does not owe a duty of care to trespassers. However, if the trespasser is a child, there may be some level of duty owed. 

In this instance, the owner has a duty to exercise care to avoid a “reasonably foreseeable” risk of harm to a child caused by artificial conditions, such as a swimming pool. Since these rules are complex, it’s important to work with an attorney to fully understand your case. 

Work With Nguyen & Chen

When you sustain an injury on another person’s property, it’s important to understand your situation fully. To understand how premises liability works, it takes the assistance of an advocate. At Nguyen & Chen, our personal injury lawyers work with victims to help them understand their rights and options. 

If someone’s negligence caused you harm, contact our legal team to schedule a free consultation.