Owning real property comes with numerous personal responsibilities and potential expenses. Property owners have to pay tax based on the assessed value of their holdings, and they typically also need to carry liability insurance.
Anyone visiting a property could get hurt there and might try to hold the property owner responsible for any financial consequences that they suffer. Premises liability coverage is an important part of homeowner’s insurance and many business insurance policies as well.
Having insurance coverage doesn’t prevent people from getting hurt, but it does mitigate the liability a property owner would have for an incident. Premises liability claims occur for all kinds of reasons, but the three scenarios below are some of the most common.
1. A slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall
Someone could get hurt in the lobby of a hotel because of a leak near the entrance, or they might trip over a power cord exposed in the middle of an aisle at a retail store. When someone trips or slips and gets hurt, a claim may follow if the business could have prevented the incident.
2. Crime related to inadequate security
In any place where people congregate or do business, the potential for criminal activity is also present. Property owners, particularly businesses, should consider and address the possibility of a crime occurring on their premises.
From hiring security professionals to installing motion-activated lights in parking lots, there are many ways that property owners can deter criminal activity. If someone hurt in a criminal incident can show that security measures or lighting may have prevented the crime, they may have grounds for a premises liability claim.
3. Animal bites
When an animal attacks unexpectedly, innocent people can get hurt. The animal’s owner is liable in most cases, but they likely have insurance that will apply. Homeowner’s insurance and renter’s insurance will typically cover the medical costs that result from an animal attacking someone.
Provided that the property owner carries appropriate insurance and notified their insurance provider about the pets they own, they can typically rely on their policy to protect them if their animal bites and injures someone. If there is an animal at a business, either the business’s policy or the homeowner’s policy for the animal’s owner may cover the costs generated when the animal attacks a person.
While there are countless ways in which people can get hurt on someone else’s property, any scenario involving illegal activity or negligence might lead to and insurance claim or possibly a civil lawsuit. Learning more about what constitutes premises liability may help you pursue a claim after you get hurt.