Premises liability is one of many types of personal injury claims. It is a legal term referring to property owners’ duty of care or responsibility to maintain a reasonably safe environment for employees, tenants, and visitors. Suppose a property owner fails to uphold this responsibility, and someone is injured or becomes ill because of dangerous or defective conditions. In that case, the property owner or manager may be liable for the victim’s losses.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 30 million emergency room visits result from unintentional injuries every year. Many of these occur due to environmental hazards, including dangers at work, businesses, or residential properties. Per the Graziadio Business Review, even large retailers receive a fair share of premises liability claims. Walmart, for instance, has about 1,000 slip and fall injuries per day, according to one study.
Types of Premises Liability Claims
Numerous issues can be grounds for a premises liability lawsuit. Likewise, incidents can occur at various locations, including businesses, construction sites, and private homes. The most common reasons people file premises liability lawsuits are:
- Slip and fall
- Snow and ice
- Insufficient maintenance
- Inadequate security
- Elevator and escalator incidents
- Defective conditions
- Water leaks or flooding
- Porch or stair collapse
- A dog bite or attack
- Toxic fumes or chemicals
- Unsafe swimming pool or spa
- Amusement park accidents
Most of these types of premises liability claims fall under one of four main categories. These include insufficient maintenance, inadequate security, slip and fall hazards, and unrestrained dogs.
Lack of Maintenance
Buildings require routine maintenance to avoid going into disrepair. If a property manager or owner fails to maintain the property, elements such as light fixtures, appliances, and elevators may become hazardous. Insufficient elevator maintenance is a common source of premises liability claims, as malfunctioning elevators can drop suddenly, causing a victim to hit their head. A plaintiff may also file a premises liability claim based on lack of maintenance if a vital safety system, such as fire suppression, fails to function because of inadequate upkeep.
Companies are also responsible for providing sufficient security for tenants or employees and customers. This includes functional cameras, locks, and alarm systems. When an employee, customer, or tenant is injured in a robbery, break-in, or vandalism act, a lawyer may scrutinize the company’s security measures. If these were lax, the company might be held liable for damages.
Slip and Fall Hazards
Slip and fall accidents are the most common kind of premises liability claim. Such incidents can occur when a property manager or owner does not properly maintain sidewalks, walkways, doorways, staircases, or parking lots.
For example, a victim may trip on misplaced cords or fall on an icy or wet floor. Businesses and landlords should mark such hazards with appropriate signage or barriers or mitigate the danger. If they fail to do so, they might be held responsible for a person’s injuries.
Dog owners must keep their animals under control, particularly if they know the dog has aggressive tendencies. If a dog bites or attacks someone due to a lack of training, restraints, cage, or fence, the owner may be liable for the victim’s injuries.
How a Lawyer Can Help
If you have been injured on someone else’s property due to a property owner’s negligence, or failure to uphold their duty of care, you may have the right to pursue compensation by filing one of the above types of premises liability claims.
Injuries and illnesses caused by environmental and structural hazards can be severe, requiring extensive medical treatment, which can amount to thousands of dollars. Also, victims may not be able to work while they recover from their injuries, resulting in lost wages. If the injury or illness is grievous, it may be permanently debilitating or even life-threatening.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you seek justice in the form of monetary awards to help you get back on your feet. These monetary awards are known as damages and may include current and anticipated medical bills, long-term care costs, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, and emotional pain and suffering.
Contact the office to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm legal team. These legal professionals work on a contingency basis, meaning you will not pay a dime unless you receive a settlement for your losses. Call (800) 223-5115 to get started.