Premise Liability: Discovering Approaches
Defining Premise Liability
Premise liability law holds landowners and tenants responsible if an individual is injured due to dangerous conditions on the property. Premise liability claims are usually based on negligence. Common causes of injuries include wet floors, snow and ice, faulty stairs, and unmarked obstacles, but broken elevators, vicious animals, swimming pools, and violent customers can also be included in these cases.
Were You a Guest or a Trespasser?
The ways courts evaluate these cases have changed, but the categories of victims remain the same.
Courts use three characterizations for injured plaintiffs depending on how they entered the property. If an individual entered without permission, then that person is labeled as a trespasser. Guests who entered the property for their own purposes are considered licensees, and individuals who entered as a potential beneficiary to the owner, are called invitees. The law provides each group with a certain level of protection if they’re injured on a property.
If a landowner knew trespassers were on the property yet failed to inform them about any known potential dangers, then the landowner is still responsible for compensating the injured victims. If they do notify the trespassers, then landowners are typically not liable for trespassers’ injuries. This policy also applies to licensees. Property owners must tell all guests of potential harm. Out of the three categories, invitees are granted the most protection if injured on a property.
If the owner did not properly inspect the area and an invitee gets injured, then they’re required by law to pay for medical expenses. While this was the law of the for several years, most states have abandoned this traditional approach and now evaluates each case differently.
A modern approach assumes the concept of single negligence. For example, if a customer is attacked in a parking lot late at night by another person, the traditional method would indicate the customer as an invitee and judges would analyze the case depending on that factor. Judges using the modern approach would instead evaluate the owner’s negligence by determining whether the owner was aware of previous attacks and why the owner hadn’t installed brighter lights, fences, and other property protection or hired security.
Accidents could happen anywhere at any time, and all injured persons deserve an experienced attorney to assist them with their premise liability claims. Although owners are supposed to pay for medical expenses if someone was injured on their property, not all owners comply with this law.
At Los Angeles Injury Group, we have experienced attorneys who have successfully assisted clients with their premise liability claims. We understand how critical injuries can be, which is why we commit to our clients’ cases until they receive the compensation they deserve for economical and non-economical damages. If you, or someone you love, received injuries at a residential or commercial property, call (310) 954-7248.