Understanding The Basics Of Premises Liability


“Premises liability” is a legal concept that is often misunderstood. It appears when an individual is injured on the property of someone else. The legal concept comes into play when looking at the personal injury cases that see an injury being caused by defective or unsafe conditions on another individual’s property. 

Personal injury cases are often based on some sort of negligence. We see the same thing with liability cases. As a result, in order to win the case, you need the help of experienced Michigan premises liability lawyers. This is because cases can be very difficult and the injured party needs to prove that the property owner or owners were negligent. This means property owners did not use what is known as reasonable care and is hard to properly prove in numerous cases. 

What should be understood is that the simple fact that you were injured when present on the property of someone else does not actually mean that negligence is in play. Also, although the property might be in a completely unsafe condition, it still might not mean that property owners were negligent. It is up to you to prove that the owner knew and/or should have reasonably been aware of the unsafe conditions present. Then, you also have to prove that proper steps were not taken to remedy the identified situation. 

Premises Liability Cases

There are countless different personal injury cases that fall under the category of premises liability cases. Some really common ones are:

  • Snow and ice incidents
  • Slip and fall incidents
  • Defective conditions
  • Inadequate maintenance
  • Dog bites
  • Fires
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Toxic fumes
  • Flooding
  • Water leaks

Duty Of Care

In most states, property owners have to exercise reasonable care. This relates to property maintenance and ownership and is linked to all people who enter or who might enter. In other states, landowner duties are limited based on visitor status. When such limitations appear, there are 3 categories of visitors discussed:

  • Invitees – Someone that was permitted to enter the property by the owner. 
  • Licensee – Someone with implied or express permission and that visits to perform actions for the owner. 
  • Trespassers – Someone not authorized entrance. 

It should be noted that with trespassers, there can be exemptions for when children are trespassing. In this case, the landowner might still be at fault for not exercising reasonable care, like with swimming pool accidents. 

Final Thoughts

With premises liability cases, a police investigation is usually carried out to determine the exact conditions leading to injuries. This can be extremely complicated and can take a lot of time. In the meantime, it is very important to seek medical help. Even if you are entitled to financial compensation due to the negligence of the property owner, proving it can be complicated. 

Always hire an experienced personal injury attorney to help you if you are injured and need to make a claim based on premises liability. The lawyer will be qualified to guide you through the entire process and will guarantee a positive outcome. If you decide to start the process alone, you will most likely miss out on several really important elements that could have led to higher financial compensation.