Premises Liability

If you’re a property owner (and sometimes a resident of a property), you have a responsibility to maintain a safe environment for others. This is often referred to as premises liability; if someone gets hurt or has an accident on your property, you may be held liable depending on certain conditions.

Premises liability cases can cover a wide spectrum of incidents, ranging from a simple slip and fall on a sidewalk or driveway to an injury suffered on an amusement park ride. It's important to note that liability is treated differently depending on what state the incident occurs in as well as other factors, including the behavior of the person who was recently injured.

Some other examples of common premises liability cases include:

  • Aggressive Dogs
  • Poor Property Maintenance
  • Stairway Accidents
  • Elevator Accidents
  • Collapsed Balconies or Porches

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What does a visitor's "legal status" have to do with premises liability?

There are different statuses or labels that may be applied to visitors of any property. Customers in a store, for example, are considered invitees. The invitation to enter a property assumes a reasonable effort to assure the premises' safety. Licensees are people who enter a property for their own purpose and at the consent of an owner. Social guests are welcome visitors to the property. Finally, trespassers are those who enter without any right to do so. As far as this final group is concerned, no implied promise as to the safety of the property has been made.

What about the condition of the property?

In most cases, a uniform standard requires that property owners or those responsible for the property maintain a reasonable level of care for the safety of any visitor, with the noted exception of trespassers. This standard can sometimes include the repair of a dangerous condition or, in some cases, a reasonable warning to visitors of the potential for danger.

How does premises liability apply to children?

Someone responsible for a property must take special care when addressing children—even trespassers—who may make their way onto the property. If they know that children are likely to be on the premises and a dangerous condition is a likely cause of serious injury or death, they have a special duty to warn them.

What happens if both parties are at fault?

Generally speaking, most states adhere to a "comparative fault" system where legal damages may be reduced to a percentage equivalent to their own fault in the incident. This is because visitors often have a duty to exercise care for their own safety to the best of their ability. If that care isn't taken, the injured person's damages may be limited because of personal negligence.

What should I do if I'm hurt on someone else's property?

The first thing you should do is to seek appropriate medical care for your injury. After that, you need an experienced injury attorney to look at your case and help you determine whether or not you're eligible for damages due to someone else's negligence. I offer free consultations for injury cases and won't collect fees unless we win your case. Call today for a free consultation.

Chicago, Illinois Premises Liability Attorney

Premises liability cases can often be complicated by several factors, including the legal status of the person who has been injured as well as the responsibility standard to which a landowner or resident is held to. If you’ve been injured on another person’s property, reach out to me today for a free consultation. We’ll look at your case and determine what options you may have for recovery.