Liability for Personal Injuries on Private Property

Liability for Personal Injuries on Private Property2021-06-14T11:41:42+00:00

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Liability for Personal Injuries on Private PropertyWhen it comes to injuries that happen on private property, the law can seem a bit confusing to the average person. While a Sherman Oaks personal injury attorney can assist you in getting swift answers to your questions, you should have some fundamental knowledge about these kinds of cases. We’re going to go over the different types of private property that one can own and what to do about the injuries that happen to them.

The Types Of Private Property

You may think of private property as simply your residential property. While this is one type of private property that attorneys for premises liability claims deal with, it’s not the only one. Commercial property is considered a form of private property as well. In general, private property is a property that is owned by anyone or entity other than the government.

When an injury does occur on private property, the property owner may face liability. It doesn’t matter if the property is being used for residential or commercial purposes. However, it’s important to note that different states may have varying rules of liability depending on how the property is used.

This means that the courts may look differently at the same type of injury that happens on a residential property as one that would happen on a commercial property. In addition, personal injury liability laws vary from state to state. Any premises liability attorney in your local state will be able to help you to identify what laws govern your area.

A Look At Common Dangerous Conditions

One of the best ways to learn about liability for personal injuries that occur on private property is to look at some potential injury cases. While there are infinite potential conditions on a property that can create a hazard for visitors, you can’t keep an eye out for every hazard. We’re going to look at three common examples of potential hazards and how injuries regarding them may play out in your state.

Glass Doors
Glass door injuries are more common than one may think. The glass can make it more difficult for a visitor to identify the door, and they may walk into it. In the event that the door is installed in an area that makes common sense for a door to be, then the property owner will not be liable for the injury. However, if the glass door is positioned in an abnormal place where a reasonable human being wouldn’t anticipate a door, then your lawyer for private property disputes can likely get you compensation for your injury.

Staircases are very common in both commercial and residential settings. While most slips and falls are not room for liability concerns, there are some instances where the property owner may be liable for injuries. If injured on someone else’s property due to insufficient stairway lighting, a door that opens directly into the stairwell without a landing in between, or a lack of the handrail to extend to the final step, your attorney can likely win your case.

Swimming Pools
Swimming pools can be a big liability for property owners. While most instances of trespassers that were injured on your property are not a big problem, sometimes they can be due to the Attractive Nuisance laws in your state. Your premises accident lawyer can better explain what these are. However, an example may be if you have a pool without any access hindrance for children. If the child came onto your property and easily got into your pool, you may be liable for their injuries.

Classifying The Injured Party

When it comes to homeowner’s liability claims, the injured party will typically be classified in one of three potential categories. These include trespasser, licensee, or invitee. The laws in each state differ on the end of the property owner’s liability with regard to the classification of the injured party.
An invitee is defined as a person who is welcomed on the property for business purposes. This person receives the highest level of protection in the eyes of the law. Homeowners have a responsibility to make the property reasonably safe for the invitee.

A licensee is one who is injured on someone else’s property for social purposes. Most states don’t require the homeowner to advise the licensee about a potential hazard on the property as long as it’s considered reasonably obvious. However, they must warn the licensee of any non-obvious dangerous conditions. Typically, if the homeowner warns the licensee and the injury happens afterward, the homeowner is exempt from liability claims.

The simplest definition of a trespasser is a person who is not given authorization to enter a property. A homeowner is typically responsible for anticipating trespassers and warning them of non-obvious dangerous conditions on the property. This can be done via a sign, such as a “Beware of Dog” sign.

Commercial Liability Cases

In general, businesses tend to be held to a higher standard of care for their property than homeowners. This is due to multiple reasons. The most obvious being that the business property will likely have more foot traffic from employees and customers than a residential property will.

As a business owner, it’s your job to perform reasonable, regular inspections of the property to identify any unsafe conditions and remedy them. It’s very hard for a business to fight their case by stating that no one at the business knew there was a dangerous defect on the property. If regular inspections are performed as they are meant to be, then someone at the business would know about the problem.

In most cases, business owners will need to pay attention to dangers like slippery areas of the property due to excess snow or rain. It’s part of their duty of care to install anti-slip devices for property visitors. Businesses should also warn property visitors of potential dangers to alleviate themselves from liability claims.