Anyone who owns property has some degree of premises liability. A person who owns their own home could face legal action when a pizza delivery person gets hurt on their sidewalk, and businesses can face premises liability claims brought by anyone visiting their facilities.
Premises liability matters can involve unsafe spaces and poor maintenance, as well as claims of regulatory non-compliance. While the circumstances leading to premises liability claims are often unique, they likely fall into one of the three main categories of claims that arise related to premises liability.
When there is a leak in the roof, a bad refrigeration unit in the store or a lack of proper carpeting near an entranceway, people can slip in accumulated fluids and fall, getting seriously hurt in the process. Slip-and-fall scenarios send roughly a million people to emergency rooms seeking medical care every year, and a significant portion of these incidents take place at businesses.
Inadequate security leading to crime
Bars frequented by college students may have to worry about parking lot fights and even patrons drugging each other to commit assault and other crimes. Venues with bathrooms in dark, sequestered sections of the business may have to worry about people getting attacked on the way to use the facilities. Unlit alleys and parking areas are another common source of risk.
Businesses can face premises liability claims for inadequate security when they fail to take reasonable steps to protect patrons and visitors from easily foreseeable criminal activity. Lights, security guards and cameras are among the measures businesses can take to reduce crime on their premises.
Homeowners and even renters are usually responsible if their pet turns aggressive and hurts a visitor. Businesses that have a dog or a cat on the premises will also have liability for any injuries that the animal inflicts on others. With the exception of cases where the person attacked by the animal clearly broke the law or trespassed prior to the attack, the person attacked may have grounds for an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the animal’s owner or the business owner.
Premises liability claims may lead to insurance compensation or may sometimes require litigation. Recognizing when you may have grounds for a premises liability claim can help you hold someone accountable for maintaining unsafe facilities.