Understanding premises liabilityUnder premises liability law, homeowners and property owners can be held financially responsible for accidents that occur on their properties due to their negligence in maintaining the area.

Property owners have a responsibility to provide a safe, hazard-free environment for customers, visitors, and invited guests. If they fail to do so and someone is injured, they can be held liable for damages that result.

How Premises Liability Laws Work

Holding a property owner liable for injuries isn't quite as simple as it sounds. To prove a premises liability claim, you have to show that all of the following are true:

  • You were “licensed” to be on the property—which means you were a customer, visitor, invited guest, delivery person, tenant, or otherwise there for a legitimate reason.
  • Your accident was caused by a hazard on the property, and you were injured and suffered losses as a result of it.
  • The property owner or manager knew or should have known about the hazard but failed to take action to correct it.

It's not easy to meet the burden of proof for premises liability claims, but an experienced attorney can gather evidence and make your case.

Premise Liability Doesn't Just Cover Slip and Falls

People tend to think of the classic slip-and-fall-in-a-grocery-store accident when they think of premises liability, but the law covers other types of incidents as well, including:

  • Falls on stairs due to uneven steps, crumbling concrete, or broken handrails
  • Accidents in areas that are poorly lit, such as parking lots and alleys
  • Assaults due to inadequate security
  • Dog bites
  • Swimming pool accidents, particularly involving children, when pools aren't fenced in and secured
  • Elevator and escalator accidents
  • Injuries caused by fire safety or building code violations

If you or your child is injured on someone else’s property, call Mahaney & Pappas to find out whether you could potentially have a premises liability claim. Even though homeowners and business owners are supposed to have insurance to cover these kinds of accidents, they may not be willing to accept your claim that their negligence caused your injuries. Our premises liability team can help. Contact us today to learn more.