If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property due to unsafe conditions, understanding premises liability law is crucial to protect your rights and seek compensation for your injuries. Whether you were a visitor, guest, or customer when the accident occurred, it is important to understand the key aspects of premises liability and what you should do after sustaining an injury. Contact Robert Schwarz at (843) 252-0751.
Understanding Premises Liability
Premises liability is a legal concept that holds property owners, occupiers, and managers responsible for injuries or accidents that occur on their property because of dangerous conditions. Your ability to seek compensation often hinges on your visitor status, which generally falls into three categories:
- Invitee: If you were invited onto the property for a specific purpose, such as shopping in a store or attending a private event, you are typically considered an invitee. Property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care, which includes regularly inspecting and addressing potential hazards.
- Licensee: Licensees have permission to be on the property but do so for their own benefit. This category includes social guests or salespeople visiting your home. Property owners must warn licensees of known hazards.
- Trespasser: Trespassers enter the property without permission. While property owners owe minimal duty of care to trespassers, they must not intentionally harm them and should avoid creating dangerous traps.
Common Types of Premises Liability Claims
- Slip and Fall Accidents: Slip, trip, and fall incidents are among the most common premises liability claims. These accidents happen due to hazardous conditions like wet floors, uneven surfaces, or poorly maintained walkways.
- Inadequate Security: Property owners may be held liable if inadequate security measures lead to harm, such as assaults or robberies on their premises.
- Dangerous Conditions: Property owners are obligated to keep their property reasonably safe. Negligence in maintaining safe conditions can result in injuries from hazards like broken handrails, unstable structures, or hazardous materials.
- Dog Bites: If you were bitten by a property owner’s dog, they may be held responsible for your injuries, even if the dog has no prior history of aggression.
- Swimming Pool Accidents: Property owners with swimming pools must ensure they are properly secured to prevent accidental drownings, especially when children are involved.
Your Legal Rights and Potential Defenses
- Negligence: To pursue a premises liability claim, you generally need to demonstrate that the property owner was negligent in maintaining the property or addressing known hazards.
- Comparative Negligence: Sometimes, you may share partial responsibility for your injuries. In many states, the principle of comparative negligence reduces damages based on your degree of fault.
- Assumption of Risk: If you knowingly engaged in an activity with inherent risks (e.g., participating in a contact sport), the property owner may argue that you assumed the risks and cannot seek compensation.
After suffering an injury on someone else’s property, understanding your rights and responsibilities under premises liability law is vital. You may have the right to seek compensation if the property owner’s negligence contributed to your injuries. To protect your interests, consult with a qualified attorney who specializes in premises liability cases. By doing so, you can navigate the complexities of this area of law and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Contact Schwarz Law at (843) 252-0751 to schedule a free consultation.
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