How To Protect Yourself From The Risk Of A Premises Liability Claim
It is sad but true that we now live in a claim and counter claim society. The same laws that are put in place to protect us also can also in some circumstances hinder us. A good example of this is when it comes to property. The majority of property owners keep their properties in good shape but when it comes to protecting yourself from a premises liability claim a lot of property owners probably don’t realise that they might be at risk. A premises liability attorney explains the law below.
In many instances premises liability claims can be generally straight forward. For example if an individual is walking along a side walk and has tripped over a crack in a pavement and has suffered an injury because of it then a claim should be filed against the state department who owns the side walk. However what if that same person was walking along the very same side walk and it happened to be outside of a store. The individual then slipped on something that had been spilt and had again suffered an injury. Would the state department be responsible? In reality the answer is no. Instead the responsible party would be the store, even though they don’t physically own the sidewalk . All premises owners are responsible for keeping pathways directly outside of their premises free from any debris that may in any way cause harm to people walking by or invited guests.
In essence a property owner has a duty of care to all individuals entering their property whether they are visitors, invitees or strangely enough, trespassers. This duty of care can be breeched if:
- The property owner is fully aware that dangerous conditions that are located on their property have caused or are likely to cause injury to another party.
- It is believed that the invitee had no awareness or or could not have been aware of any dangers that may have resulted in an injury
- The property owner hasn’t notified or reasonably rectified the hazardous area so that any danger may be avoided.
So how do you protect yourself if you are a property owner?
Firstly one of the most important aspects of premises liability is to make sure that your property, whether it is commercial or private is well maintained. If you cannot fix the problem, then call someone in who can. In the meantime make sure that you either cordon off the affected area, or put up warning signs, giving people a clear indication of the problem. Finally, one more thing that you can do as a property or business owner is to conduct regular inspections of your building and its surroundings. By keeping on top of all maintenance issues you will make sure that you protect yourself from premises liability.
A Los Angeles premised liability attorney explains that when it comes to trespassers, even they have rights. Common sense might predict that property owners have absolutely no legal responsibilities to any trespasser who gets injured whilst on your property, but unfortunately this isn’t always the case. An example of this is that if the property owner was aware of the trespasser, but failed to warn them of any hazard, then they could be held accountable if injuries were sustained.
Unfortunately premises law can be complex and this is really only the tip of the iceberg. If you have any issues or concerns about how to protect yourself from being sued for premises liability, then a Los Angeles attorney who is well versed in this part of the law is on hand to answer any questions that you may have. If on the other hand, you or a family member has been injured as a direct result of the wilful neglect of a property owner then it is imperative that you contact an attorney as soon as you are able.