Whether you stopped to visit a client at their home or ran into a shop to make a purchase, you expected to visit publicly accessible faces safely. Unfortunately, you ended up falling and getting hurt. Maybe you tripped over an unsecured electrical cord or fell down a flight of unlit stairs.
You got hurt and may have also suffered property damage. In some cases, your injuries may have kept you away from work for several days or even weeks. When is the owner of the property liable for your fall and the financial impact it has on your life?
When the owner was negligent about their property
Anyone who has visitors at their home or who runs a business accessible to the public will be at risk of a premises liability claim. Most companies and homeowners, as well as many landlords, carry insurance specifically protecting against premises liability. Without proper coverage, they could face civil lawsuits when people get hurt on their property and can prove that negligence was to blame.
Negligence is different in every situation, which makes it impossible for the law to define all behaviors that would constitute negligence. Instead, the courts apply the reasonable person standard. If a reasonable person would agree that a situation was hazardous and required specific attention to make the facilities safe, then the person who got hurt may have grounds for a negligence-based claim.
Most people would agree that leaving a puddle in the middle of a grocery store could lead to someone getting hurt, as would damaged rugs or other tripped hazards. When property owners don’t take reasonable steps to keep their facilities safe and clean, visitors could get hurt as a result.
How premises liability claims work
Often, a premises liability claim largely involves negotiation with an insurance company. Premises liability policies often have significant coverage available, making it possible for someone to recover both medical expenses and lost wages.
When insurance is unavailable or inadequate, injured people might pursue lawsuits against property owners or businesses. Provided that they can show the owner or business manager contributed to their injuries through negligent property maintenance, they may be able to secure financial compensation for their injuries. Evaluating whether your recent slip-and-fall meets the criteria for a premises liability claim can help you determine what step to take next.