It happens to all of us – you’re walking and all of a sudden you slip on something and fall or step in a hole and twist your ankle.
Under the Premises Liability doctrine a property owner and possessor owes you a duty to:
- Keep the property in good condition,
- Warn you of hazardous conditions,
- Repair dangerous conditions and
- In some cases, inspect the property for defects.
The property owner’s duty depends on your status when you are injured. These categories are:
- Trespasser: A trespasser is a person who enters or remains upon land in the possession of another without a right to enter or remain on the property. A right may be created by the possessor’s consent or otherwise. An owner/occupier of the property owes a duty to a trespasser to refrain from acts which willfully injure the trespasser.
- Social Guest: A social guest is someone invited to the host’s premises. The host is not required to inspect the premises to discover defects which might cause an injury to a guest. However, if the host knows or has reason to know of some artificial or natural condition on the premises which could pose an unreasonable risk of harm to a guest and that guest could not reasonably be expected to discover it, the host owes the social guest a duty to exercise reasonable care to make the condition safe or to give warning to the guest(s) of its presence and risk involved.
- Invitee: An invitee is a person who is permitted to enter or remain on land (or premises) for a purpose of the owner/occupier. The owner/occupier of the land (or premises) who by invitation, express or implied, induced persons to come upon the premises, is under a duty to exercise ordinary care to render the premises reasonably safe for the purposes embraced in the invitation. The owner/occupier must take steps as are reasonable and prudent to correct or give warning of hazardous conditions or defects actually known to the owner/occupier (or his/her employees), and of hazardous conditions or defects which the owner/occupier (or his/her employees) by the exercise of reasonable care, could discover.
Hazardous conditions such as exposed electrical equipment, crumbling sidewalks and insufficient lighting may cause you to suffer unforeseen injuries. Premises Liability and who to hold responsible for your injuries differs if the incident occurred on the sidewalk within a condominium develop or on the steps of a commercial building.
We can help you to find out which standard applies in your circumstance.
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