Property Owners Liability - Common Case Types

Premises liability is an area of law that falls under the umbrella of personal injury. If you have been injured while on the property of another person, due to negligence of the property owner or property manager, you may have a premises liability case.

Premises injuries can happen at many different places such as an office building, shopping mall, hospital, construction sites, schools and apartment buildings.
 “Slip and Fall” accidents are one of the most common forms of premises liability injuries. However, there are other, more sophisticated ways of looking at such injuries and we go into further detail below.

Dangerous Instrumentality

Dangerous Instrumentality in regards to premises liability is when something/someone dangerous is on their property and the property owner knew or should have known that it was unsafe and likely to cause harm. In which cases the property owner can be held liable for the harm caused.

Dangerous Instrumentality should not be confused with “hazardous conditions” as they are different. A hazardous condition would be something such as a broken step. While an example of dangerous instrumentality would be – an abandoned refrigerator on the premises that may trap and suffocate a small child.

KEY STRATEGY – The core issue at hand is once the property owner is made aware of the situation, or if they should have known, they need to take care of the situation. In either scenario, if the property owner knew or should have known but failed to take action, that person or company can be held liable.

The heart of the matter is – what would a reasonable person (not the most prepared person, but reasonable person) have known?

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)

A combination of ailments associated with a person’s place of work; typically an office building, is known as Sick Building Syndrome. A report released by World Health Organization in 1984 suggests 30% of new and remodeled buildings may be linked to symptoms of SBS. Sick building Syndrome causes are often linked to flaws in the air conditioning, heating and ventilation.

Dog Bites

Many people may not realize that dog bite injuries are often times premises liability issues. Pet owners are responsible for ensuring their pets do not inflict harm on others while on their premises. If a pet is allowed to bite, scratch or otherwise injury a person, the pet owner can be held liable for any medical bills, pain and suffering and other expenses that the person incurs due to the dog bite.

Government Property

In a case that involves government property, such as a public park, the federal or state government may bear legal responsibility for personal injuries incurred while on the premises. Slip and fall / premises liability cases against the government are covered by either the Federal Tort Claims Act or similar state tort claims acts.

Premises liability cases are situational and can be hard to prove. If you or a loved one has suffered injury while on someone else’s property due to no fault of your own, it is essential to seek the help of a qualified personal injury attorney who has experience and knowledge in dealing with premises liability cases that can protect your legal rights while helping you get the compensation you deserve.

When deciding to make a premises liability claim, the person must first decide if they need to hire an attorney to represent them or if they will be able to resolve the claim on their own. Often times an attorney is not necessary to resolve a claim and it is our hope that these pages on InjuryBoard will help inform you about your rights regarding your potential premises liability case.

Read the next article:  Property Owners Liability – Inadequate Security 

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