Is a property owner liable for slip and fall injuries, or for similar harm to victims of other on-premises accidents? The answer to that question can be found by reviewing the theory of premises liability.
In what locations might that theory be applied?
• It would apply to a workplace environment. The workers would have reason to expect the maintenance of a safe environment.
• It could be applied to a street where people walk their pet dogs. That is why municipalities place certain restrictions on dog owners.
• It could apply to a building where the landlord has advertised protections for the renters. Each renter would expect to be protected from criminals.
• It could be applied to a building that was under construction, or to one that had been built recently. The engineer that designed either of those buildings should have adhered to the local building codes.
The theory’s applicability would even extend to a backyard, if that same yard happened to contain a swimming pool. A barrier should surround the pool, in order to limit the chances that a non-swimmer might fall into the pool’s water.
Proofs required of claimant that intends to charge a property owner with violation of premises liability laws
Accident Lawyer in Cambridge knows that you need to give proof that the owner or operator controlled the property. The owner leased space, or the operator controlled the actions taken by those using that leased space.
Proof that the owner or operator had been negligent with respect to performance of the owner or operator’s duties. As a general rule, those duties entail arranging for the discovery of, repairing of, or creation of a warning around any area that contains an unsafe condition. The legal system removes the requirement for that particular proof, if a trespasser gets injured on someone else’s property.
In addition, some states define the owner’s duties according to the guest’s purpose. In those states, a property owner must offer a reasonable level of care to invited guests. Yet someone that has been licensed to come onto the owner’s property (such as a salesperson) deserves no more than a warning about the presence of a recognized danger.
Proof that the negligence shown by the owner/operator caused the claimant to become injured. This proof should show that the owner/operator could foresee, or should have been able to foresee the possible consequences of the negligent act, or the negligent failure to carry out a required action.
The legal system, not the claimant/plaintiff, determines whether or not it was reasonable to expect an owner/operator to have foreseen the consequences of a given action. In a lawsuit, the court could accept or reject the plaintiff’s proof. If it were to reject that proof, then it could dismiss the plaintiff’s case.