Premises liability is a legal concept wherein property owners have an on-going responsibility to ensure that their property is free from hazardous conditions. Under the legal theory of premises liability, an injured person can file a personal injury lawsuit against a property owner for negligence. The property owner may be held liable for an injury which occurs on their premises because they did not adequately maintain the property.
However, many people may be under the wrong impression that premises liability only covers slip-and-fall accidents at a place of business where a customer slips and falls because the premises was not adequately maintained by the owner. Though it is true that a slip-and-fall accident is an example of a premises liability accident, there are many more accidents that fall under the umbrella of premises liability.
Examples of premises liability include, but are not limited to, an individual visiting the property or working on the property being attacked or assaulted by another visitor or person, some kind of machinery in use on the property causing injuries because the property owner did not maintain it, unsecured merchandise causing injuries or even a hazardous chemical leaching onto a neighboring property and causing harm. In essence, if a property owner could have implemented steps to prevent the injury or damage from happening, the property owner may be held liable.
Property owners have an on-going duty to inspect their property to identify and fix any hazardous conditions in areas where employees work and where customers go. Additionally, if a hazard is identified but cannot be immediately fixed, the property owner must take steps to warn both customers and employees alike of the unsafe conditions. If an injury occurs despite such positive steps, it is important to investigate the unique and specific circumstance surrounding said injury to determine if a premises liability lawsuit is warranted. If you have questions regarding an injury you have received, you may wish to contact a Philadelphia Premises Liability Lawyer.
Source: Forbes, “What Every Business Owner Needs To Know About Premises Liability,” Anthony C. Johnson, April 13, 2015