Premises Liability: More Than Just Slip and Fall Accidents
The most common type of premises liability case is when someone slips or trips and falls on someone else’s property. However, you may be able to pursue a claim for compensation if you were injured in a variety of ways while on someone else’s property beyond slipping on a wet floor or tripping on broken flooring. Property owners have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of all guests and visitors against all known hazards and those hazards they should have known about. This obligation is sometimes limited to warning visitors of a specific hazard and sometimes involves taking definitive action to address it. If you have been injured on someone else’s property, an experienced personal injury attorney can review what happened and determine whether you should pursue legal action.
One of the most common types of premises liability claims outside of slip and fall cases involves negligent security. As noted above, property owners have a legal duty to provide for the safety of their guests when they are aware of a significant risk of physical violence. For example:
- A nightclub owner should employ bouncers to remove intoxicated patrons from the establishment when they become belligerent
- An amusement park operator should have security patrols in their large parking lots late at night after learning that patrons have been assaulted when returning to their cars
- A sports venue operator should have security personnel to deal with unruly fans who are attempting to start fights
The property owner or operator must ensure that they have sufficient numbers of security guards and that they have the appropriate training. However, their duty likely extends beyond hiring security personnel – there may be other measures that they need to take such as the following:
- Ensuring that there is adequate lighting in places such as parking lots or parking garages
- Observing occupancy restrictions
- Screening for weapons and illegal substances
- Secured entries
- Installation of security cameras
If you have been assaulted on someone else’s property, you should contact a personal injury attorney to discuss whether you can pursue a claim for your injuries, lost wages, and other losses.
Owners and operators of facilities with swimming pools, hot tubs, and other recreational water features must take a variety of steps to keep their guests safe. These may include the following:
- Employing a sufficient number of lifeguards who have the proper certifications and training
- Posting the appropriate signage concerning water depth, potential hazards, and safety rules
- Providing the appropriate safety equipment is on hand and in good working order
While a private property owner does not have the same obligations as a commercial property owner, those with swimming pools and other water features do have some obligation to protect against accidents. For example:
- Posting “no trespassing” signs
- Installing the appropriate fencing around swimming pools
Property owners also need to be aware of the hazards posed by natural bodies of water. And while they have no duty towards trespassers, they may have a duty to make a reasonable effort to prevent access by children.
Other Causes of Premises Liability Claims
There are a variety of hazardous conditions that can lead to potential legal liability. A premises liability claim can arise from the following incidents:
- Injuries resulting from overcrowding or inadequate crowd control
- Burns or injuries from smoke inhalation
- Illness caused by chemical exposure or other toxic conditions such as mold
- Injuries caused by building code violations
- Animal attacks
The challenge in these cases is determining whether you have a claim – some accidents are truly unavoidable, despite the property owner’s best efforts to provide a safe environment for their guests. An experienced personal injury lawyer can assess your case and determine whether the property owner should be held accountable.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
The facts will be critical in your case. A personal injury attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to build your case, which may include the following:
- Accident or incident reports
- Video camera footage
- Witness statements
- Medical reports describing your injuries, prognosis, and limitations
- Medical bills
- Proof of lost wages
That said, your case will also require knowledge of the law. Not all property owners have the same legal obligations in all situations. Your lawyer will be able to determine whether the property owner breached their duty to you and can therefore be held liable for your injuries.
Contact Personal Injury Attorney Thomas E. Pyles
Premises liability cases can be extremely difficult to navigate, especially when you are suffering from a serious injury. To get the compensation you deserve, contact us today by calling 301-705-5006 to schedule a free consultation.