Premises liability claims by definition involve property ownership and/or control. Potential negligent actors can include government agencies as well as individual owners and can extend to businesses leasing a property for operational purposes. Determining who is exactly at fault for an injury can be complicated, many times being determined by lease agreements. Personal injuries that occur on privately controlled property can be difficult as well because the plaintiff might bear some responsibility. Trespasser cases can be successfully contested, and often plaintiffs are denied a claim for unlawful or unauthorized occupation of any property.
Premises liability claims filed against an owner are usually based on their responsibilities of upkeep. On strictly private property, owners are responsible for reasonably maintaining the property with respect to both obvious and hidden hazards for both licensees and invitees. Additionally, they cannot set traps for trespassers who may be tempted to unlawfully occupy the property. Owners who lease property to businesses are typically only liable for structure and parking lot maintenance.
Property controllers and managers
Many injuries happen on property occupied by businesses that lease the space. Business managers are also typically responsible for walkways and product displays within the building and around the store front, but not always. Property rental leases can stipulate exact maintenance responsibilities, and many liability cases result in both owners and operators being claimed as negligent actors.
Just as in any other personal injury filing, details matter significantly when a case is being adjudicated. This can be especially true in premises liability matters because the injured plaintiff could have a degree of personal fault in the incident as well. Lawfully occupying the property is usually vital, but owners or operators still have duty of care responsibilities even toward trespassers in some instances.