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Understanding Premises Liability

Huffman & Huffman Brothers-in-Law, P.L.L.C.
Understanding Premises Liability

Property owners have a legal obligation to ensure their premises are in a safe condition for legal tenants and visitors on the property. This includes implementing repairs, installing adequate security measures, and more. When property owners fail in this duty, and tenants or visitors are injured as a result, the property owner may be held liable for damages in a premises liability claim.

Learn more about how to file a valid premises liability claim in order to protect your rights and recover the compensation you deserve.

What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability is an area of law that comes into play in personal injury cases where the plaintiff sustained an injury due to an unsafe condition on the defendant’s property. This area of law helps ensure that property owners maintain safe conditions for those who are legally permitted to be on the property. When property owners fail in this duty, however, the injured victim may sue the property owner for damages through a premises liability claim.

With the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, an injured victim may be able to recover significant compensation from the property owner in order to cover the costs of any sudden, expensive medical treatment and lost wages.

Common Premises Liability Hazards

There are many elements of a property that, when not maintained properly, may become dangerous hazards for those living or working on the premises. Common premises liability cases involve the following hazards:

  • Poor lighting in hallways and stairwells

  • Swimming pools with unlocked gates or broken ladders

  • Insufficient security standards

  • Toxic fumes or chemicals

  • Water leaks or flooding

  • Faulty electrical wiring

  • Broken steps or handrails

It’s clear that premises liability claims can include a wide variety of hazards and subsequent injuries. It’s important for tenants to understand that they have rights if they have been injured by one of the aforementioned hazards, or by some other defect on the premises they inhabit.

In order to recover the maximum possible compensation from the property owner, it’s best for injured victims to contact a qualified personal injury attorney soon after their accident and injury.

Common Injuries Sustained on Hazardous Properties

An unsafe property may leave tenants or visitors with catastrophic or fatal injuries in the event of an accident. Common injuries sustained in premises liability cases include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Slip and fall injuries

  • Traumatic brain injuries

  • Spinal cord injuries

  • Animal and dog bites

  • Swimming pool injuries

  • Inhalation of toxic chemicals

  • Broken bones

  • Burns

Due to the potential for serious injuries that can negatively impact your health and independence, it’s in your best interest to know how to file a valid premises liability claim in order to recover the compensation you need for medical treatment and rehabilitative care.

Examples of Premises Liability Cases

Some of the most common premises liability cases involve slip and fall accidents, swimming pool accidents, and insufficient security standards.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents often happen during the winter due to snowy and icy conditions outside. Property owners have a legal responsibility to ensure stairwells and walkways in and around their premises are not slippery. When they fail in this duty, tenants and visitors may slip and fall, causing a serious injury.

Other common slip and fall hazards include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Defective stairwells

  • Wet or oily floors

  • Hidden extension cords

  • Unsecured rugs or mats

  • Loose or broken floor tiles or handrails

Swimming Pool Accidents

Swimming pool accidents may occur when swimming pool gates are unlocked or unsecured. Sadly, children are often the victims of swimming pool accidents when they get into a pool area unsupervised and fall into the pool.

For this reason, many states have laws requiring that swimming pools have a fence around them with a locking gate. A property owner may be held liable if a child got into an unsecured pool area and drowned as a result.

Insufficient Security

When property owners do not implement adequate security measures on their premises, including locks, gates, security cameras, or security personnel, tenants and visitors may become the victims of assaults or robberies. Property owners have a legal responsibility to implement sufficient security standards to reduce the chances of such attacks. If they fail in this duty, they may be held liable for damages in a premises liability claim.

How to File a Valid Premises Liability Claim

In order to bring forth a valid premises liability claim, you must prove the following:

  • Duty of care: You must prove that, as the property owner, the defendant had a legal responsibility to maintain safe conditions on their premises.

  • Breach of duty: You must prove that the property owner breached their duty of care by failing to maintain safe conditions on their premises.

  • Injury: You must prove that you were injured on the defendant’s property.

  • Causation: You must prove that the property owner’s breach of duty (negligence) directly resulted in your injury.

In the wake of your accident and injury, it may seem overwhelming to take on your landlord or property owner, particularly if that individual owns or controls the place in which you reside.

At Huffman & Huffman, PLLC, our Newport News personal injury attorneys are well-versed in this area of law and we’re prepared to hold negligent property owners accountable for their negligence. Our attorneys have over 100 years of combined professional experience, and we have helped countless individuals and families across the state recover the compensation they deserve to pay for sudden, unexpected medical treatment and lost wages.

Contact us today at (757) 330-3425 to learn how we can assist you.

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