Home, business, and other property owners maintain a duty to keep people entering the premises safe. Slip and fall and other accidents may happen when someone neglects to address known hazards. Litigation may follow when someone suffers harm. So what should property owners know about premises liability?
Taking care of a property
People may visit someone’s home for a variety of reasons. The homeowner could invite the individual, or someone might show up unexpectedly but with a purpose. Visits from salespersons or delivery services might occur without invitations, but those visitors deserve a reasonably safe experience. A property owner who knows about slip and fall hazards needs to fix them or face potential liability claims.
Keeping an eye on things is essential, too. The property owner might not know trash fell over, creating a hazard. However, it needs to take steps to clean up the garbage once the problem becomes known. By not checking on the property for several hours, the property owner’s omissions might be considered negligence.
Property owners might not understand the law
Property owners might believe they owe trespassers no duty of care. It is true that in some instances, a trespasser may not be able to sue for an injury. That might not always be the case. A property owner cannot set up a dangerous trap and willfully injure an intruder. And what if the owner knows trespassers continually cross onto the property? Perhaps knowledge of frequent “visits” supports the existence of a duty of care.
Slip and fall accidents may lead to a lawsuit or insurance claim. A victim could discuss the options with a personal injury attorney.