It’s the law that property owners must take every reasonable precaution to make sure there are no serious hazards that would harm or kill anyone coming on the property.
Premises liability applies to personal and commercial property and any owner or manager looking after property is legally bound to make sure the premises are safe for the public. If the property is poorly maintained and an injury, illness or death happens as a result of being on another person’s property, the plaintiff may be awarded compensation by the courts against the negligent property owner.
It doesn’t matter what kind of property is being discussed, although some properties are inherently more hazardous than others, e.g. industrial sites with power tools, toxic chemicals and heavy machinery. Commercial locations such as stores have high pedestrian traffic and anything may happen in a crowded store; for instance, items falling from shelves or items on display in the patio furniture department falling apart when someone sits on it.
While your home may very well be your castle it is also a place that must be safe for visitors. Other locations that people have a reasonable expectation that they will be safe are airports. Witness a recent case where a passenger was walking through O’Hare airport and slipped and fell as the result of an oily substance on the floor. The passenger sustained a broken kneecap and was unable to work for a long period of time. The settlement in that particular case was $800,000 for her injuries and damages. It was alleged in that case that the management of the airport should have known about the oily substance on the floor, as there was a high likelihood of spills of that nature happening in an airport.
Every case and accident is unique which means that in every case the circumstances of that particular case play a huge role in what the eventual outcome may be. A good example of this may be an injured construction worker who took a fall at the mall, slipping on spilled coffee, will have different needs to resolve his case than an office worker in the same situation.
While a slip and fall injury may be just around the corner in a lot of people’s lives, there are certain fairly common instances where premises liability comes into play. They include a porch collapse, stair collapse, elevator and escalator injuries, fires, swimming pool injuries, lead paint poisoning and mercury poisoning, and what is considered to be a “typical” garden variety slip and fall such as a wet spot on the floor in the vegetable section of a store.
Generally speaking, if there is existing case law for an accident a person has, this will assist the premises liability attorney in recovering any damages due to the victim for medical care, suffering, pain and other incidental damages.