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What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability is one of the founding principles that allow for the existence of slip and fall injury claims and the lawsuits that sometimes result from them. People who are injured due to conditions at a location that cause them to slip, trip, or otherwise injure themselves, may be able to recover compensation from the owner or possessor of the property on which the injury occurred. Some instances when premises liability comes into play include the well-known situation where a private business mops the floor and fails to advise that the conditions are dangerous; when an individual visiting the business then slips and injures him or herself, the business is generally considered liable for the injury. Other situations that come into play in premises liability include inadequate maintenance, inadequate security, and defective conditions.

Inadequate maintenance means that the owner fails to take reasonable precautions to ensure that the structures and other aspects of a property are in good order—for example, if a falling tree branch injures a passerby, the land owner may be held liable, as keeping the tree trimmed and properly in order is generally considered a reasonable precaution. Defective conditions mean a failure to repair or warn of dangerous conditions on the premises, such as a broken staircase, or similar problems. Inadequate security conditions include examples such as a parking structure company failing to install adequate lighting or to warn patrons about dangerous criminal activity taking place.

Generally, the owner or possessor of a property or premises is required to observe what is called duty of care; this means that they are supposed to do anything that is reasonable to ensure that their premises is safe for visitors. Different states have different legal restrictions in place to determine whether or not—and to what extent—a property owner or possessor has a duty of care to an individual, based on circumstances. For example, in California, the law is structured such that an owner or possessor has a duty of care to anyone who is on his or her property—even trespassers! In instances like that a slip and fall injury attorney is still needed, in order to ensure proper progress on the claim. In most states, however, the duty of care is diminished or negated by the presence of individuals trespassing on the premises. Duty of care also varies between age groups; generally the state assigns a higher duty of care between owners and children than to adults.

There are multiple distinctions made in the realm of premises liability; for this reason if you have experienced a slip and fall injury on another party’s premises, it is best to contact a lawyer to find out what your legal rights may be, and whether or not you would be eligible for compensation. In addition to issues of highly specific liability, slip and fall injury cases can involve the concept of contributory negligence on the part of the person injured—in essence, the amount of negligence the injured party demonstrated in becoming injured. The best way to find the information that applies to your own situation is to contact a Boca Raton personal injury attorney for a consultation.

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