Must Property Owners Keep Visitors Safe?

  • By Arcadier, Biggie & Wood, PLLC
  • 196

Personal Injury

There are a number of significant responsibilities associated with being a property owner. In addition to paying taxes and maintaining the property so that its value doesn’t plummet, property owners are held to specific legal standards concerning how safe their premises need to be. These standards exist for the benefit of public health and for the safety of all who set foot on the property.

With that said, property owners are not held to an absolute standard when it comes to the safety of their premises. Meaning, if someone is hurt while visiting a property owners’ land or structure, the property owner will not be held strictly liable for this harm under most circumstances. Most of the time, an injury victim will need to prove that the property owner was – at least in some significant way – negligent or reckless with regard to their legal duty to safeguard visitors, guests, and even trespassers from specific harm.

What Must Be Proven to Hold Property Owners Liable?

As an experienced premises liability lawyer – including those who practice at Council & Associates, LLC – can confirm, each state has implemented slightly different language into its legal code concerning the obligations of property owners to keep visitors, guests, and trespassers from harm. As a result, it is a good idea to speak with a local personal injury attorney in the state where you suffered harm in the event that you have been injured on another’s property. Making this effort will help to ensure that you benefit from personalized legal guidance tailored uniquely to the circumstances you’re facing.

With that said, the states do all follow the same broad legal premise that property owners may generally be held liable for another’s injuries sustained on their property if the following criteria are met: The property owner either knew or should have known about a hazardous condition on their property and the property owner failed to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of harm despite that reality.

This standard helps to ensure that property owners aren’t held accountable unreasonably for circumstances that were largely – or totally – out of their control. Yet, it also helps to ensure that those who have suffered harm on another’s property are empowered to seek compensation in the event that they are harmed due to circumstances that were reasonably preventable.

Common Reasons Why Premises Liability Lawsuits Are Filed

When someone is hurt on another’s property and they need to hold a property owner or manager accountable for their losses, they may be able to file property insurance claims and/or a premises liability lawsuit. Some of the most common reasons why such legal action is filed involve injuries caused by slip and fall incidents, negligent security, falling objects, swimming pool or other water hazards, and fires.

Generally speaking, any harm that occurs due to a hazardous condition on another’s property may be grounds for a premises liability case. As a result, if you’ve suffered harm in this way, you may benefit from speaking with a personal injury lawyer who practices premises liability law about your situation.

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