Property owners have a responsibility to keep their premises safe so that people who come on to their property do not become injured. If they have failed to do so, the property owner or nonowner resident may be held liable for the injuries caused through the doctrine of premises liability.
While many believe premises liability applies only to retail establishments, it also covers residential properties. Injuries can range from slip and fall accidents on sidewalks to injuries sustained in amusement parks. Liability depends on:
The legal status of the visitor
If an individual is invited onto the property, then it is implied that the property owner has taken reasonable care to ensure the property is safe. A trespasser is someone who has no right to be on the property, and there is no implied duty owed to them.
Property condition and contributing actions of parties involved
In addition to looking at the reasons why someone may have come onto the property, it is also important to look at how the property is being used and how foreseeable it is that someone become injured there. In case there is a dangerous condition on the property, courts also look at the steps owners took to either fix the problem or warn others of the condition.
Children on the premises
Even if children are not supposed to be on the property, landowners have a duty to warn them if there is a dangerous condition there that could cause serious bodily injury. This is a special duty owed to kids.
There are a number of factors courts consider when determining whether it is possible to hold property owners or nonowner residents accountable for neglecting to maintain a safe environment. To understand how to get the compensation one deserves, it might be beneficial to consult an experienced attorney.