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Understanding Premises Liability Claims In Personal Injury Law


Premises liability accidents occur when the negligence of a property owner causes injury or loss to a visitor on their premises. Premises liability claims are generally based on negligence although the doctrine of negligence is applied differently than it is in other personal injury claims. Premises liability law is primarily based upon state case precedents known as common law along with state statutes, municipal ordinances, and local building codes. The most common type of accident resulting in the realm of premises liability are slip and falls. Wet floors, snow and ice, unmarked obstacles, faulty stairs, and other such factors can cause a person to trip or slip and fall thereby injuring themselves. Premises liability suits also originate from injuries caused by vicious animals, open swimming pools, broken elevators, or violent customers or guests.

People injured on someone else’s property are entitled to file suit against property owners, tenants, maintenance companies, or any other entity that controls or possesses the property where the accident occurred in order to get fair compensation for their losses.  Issues of premises liability are determined by characterizing injured parties based on the reason that they enter the property. People entering without permission are given the status of trespassers. People entering for their own purposes are referred to as licensees (guests), and people entering to further the purposes of the property owner such as business customers are considered invitees. Each group is afforded a specific level of protection from any potential harm. If we employ such an approach, property owners have no legal obligation to ensure the safety of trespassers.

However, if the owner is aware of the presence of trespassers and knowingly fails to warn them of a dangerous condition on his or her property, then an exception can be made. Licensees or guests should also be warned of any potential dangers that may be lurking on the property. Property owners are obligated to warn about dangers that people coming onto the property are unlikely to discover by themselves. Invitees or customers are afforded the highest level of protection. Property owners should inspect their premises to ensure that it is safe for invitees.  States following this approach to premises liability do so as a way of establishing a set of rules for property owners and other potential defendants so that they can anticipate their legal obligations in such a scenario.

The common types of personal injury lawsuits that fall into the realm of premises liability are:

Slip and Falls

Slip and falls occur when someone slips or trips and falls on someone else’s property. The common causes attributed to slip and falls are wet floors, exposed wiring, uneven or broken floors, and defective staircases.

Negligent Security

If a person suffers injuries on another person’s property because the property owner failed to provide adequate security measures then it usually leads to a negligent security lawsuit.

Dog Bites Or Animal Attacks

If a person is attacked by a dog or any other domesticated animal on someone else’s property, the owner of that animal may be held liable for the injuries suffered by the victim.

Swimming Pool Accidents

It is the responsibility of the property owner to take adequate precautions in ensuring the safety of their swimming pool for users. Swimming pool accidents are typically caused due improper fencing, lack of warning signs, poor maintenance and negligent supervision.

Exposure To Toxic Chemicals

Sometimes people may be exposed to toxic chemicals due to the nature of their occupation or usage of toxic pharmaceutical drugs. Such accidents are common in the construction industry.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a premises liability scenario it is imperative that you seek the counsel of an experienced Seattle personal injury lawyer so that you can get fair compensation for all your damages.

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