Why Premises Liability Fascinates Me

I have become fascinated with premises liability, recently. It may seem like a boring topic, but hear me out. Have you ever been to a bar that had a stool with an exposed nail? Okay, maybe not. But surely you have been to a store or a business that had some environmental danger present.

Well, I became interested in premises liability when I realized that this legal concept is descriptive of situations in which a person is injured by dangers like that bar stool’s exposed nail. How interesting it is that a company is not only liable for the dangers posed by its services or products, but the company is also responsible for making sure that its location is safe for clients.

Law firms like ChasenBoscolo work on premises liability cases to ensure that people who are injured by negligent property management receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries and potentially even for their pain and suffering. Apparently, receiving deserved compensation sometimes requires fighting tooth and nail against powerful companies or large insurers because they almost never claim liability for accidents on their premises.

One of the more common premises liability scenarios includes slip-and-fall accidents. In these accidents, property owners open up their premises to clients and customers but fail to make sure that their building or location is safe — specifically, from falls. If a water leak is present in a building and leads to a puddle or a slippery surface, a business must put up a sign on or near the puddle/leak.

If the business fails to properly warn of the dangerous puddle, and a person slips on the water and injures themselves, then that business can be held liable under premises liability laws. In the lawsuit, a customer would have to prove there were inadequate warning or prevention efforts. This could be proven by showing that the company does not own warning signs or did not display it as necessary.

And of course, the customer has to prove that they were actually injured. There is some amount of fraud for premises liability claims, so lawyers will make sure to verify medical records and do what they can to make sure that a person is not just faking injuries. But if they can prove it was the premises’ fault and that they are truly injured, then they could qualify for money to cover their expenses and even potentially wages lost because of the injuries from the accident.

A few exceptions exist in premises liability litigation; if a person is not legally allowed on the premises of a property then liability for injuries is limited. One example: if a person sneaks through a fence onto a property after-hours but is injured by a faulty floorboard, it is unlikely the owner of the premises will be found responsible for paying the criminal trespasser’s medical bills.

This makes sense on a few fronts. No one ought to be rewarded for committing a crime. But even more, was this loophole to exist, it might mean that people would purposely seek out poorly-maintained properties and profit from injuring themselves after sneaking onto the premises.