What is Premises Liability in a Slip & Fall Case?

Premises liability is a legal notion that comes into play in slip and fall accidents. As per this concept, the person who owns, manages, or cares for a property or premises must ensure that the place is safe for visitors. When the responsible person fails to ensure safe premises or doesn’t adequately warn visitors of on-property hazards, this gives rise to premises liability. A Boise slip and fall lawyer can help you file a claim if you are injured in a case involving premises liability.

Slip-and-fall accidents are one of the various types of on-premises accidents that can give rise to a premises liability claim. Other types of premises liability incidents include on-premises dog bites, fires, elevator accidents, poor building security, and more.

The notion of premises liability is central to slip and fall accidents. This is why it is important to understand how premises liability is established.

How is Premises Liability Established?

It is not enough for a person to be injured on the premises of a property to bring a premises liability claim. Instead, the incident or condition that led to the injury must meet certain requirements.

Here is a look at these.

Owner’s Duty of Care

If you suffer an on-premises incident, such as a slip-and-fall accident, you must first show that the incident is covered by the owner’s duty of care. This duty constitutes maintaining the property, preventing hazardous conditions such as wet floors, displaying warning signs where a hazard may exist, and taking other precautions to ensure visitor safety. It does not cover reckless or unexpected behavior on the part of the visitors.

For instance, the owner must have a sufficiently secure boundary wall on a property to ensure no intruders can come in. However, if a visitor attempts to climb this wall but falls down and suffers injuries, the owner can’t be held responsible.

Hazardous Condition

As noted above, an owner can be held liable only when a premises condition breaches the owner’s duty of care. Missing guardrails, pooled water, poorly designed stairs, poor lighting, and aggressive dogs are all such conditions that can result in on-premises injuries. For a premises liability claim to be justified, the injury incident must have been caused by such an on-premises hazardous condition.

Owner’s Knowledge of Hazard

Another key factor that is involved in premises liability claims is the owner’s knowledge of the hazard that caused the injury. Whether or not the owner knew or should have known about the hazard is important. If the owner didn’t know about the hazard but should have known, the owner can be held liable.

If the owner didn’t know and couldn’t have known about the hazard, the owner can deflect responsibility. For instance, if a flash of rain caused water to pool on a surface which led to a slip and fall, the timing of the incident will be considered. If the incident occurred right after the rain and before the owner could take preventive measures, the owner may not be liable. But if the water had remained pooled for several hours before the accident occurred, you may be able to hold the owner liable.

Categorization of Visitors

The owner of a property owes a different duty of care to different types of visitors. For the sake of premises liability claims, visitors are divided into three broad categories: invitee, licensee, trespasser. An invitee is someone who has clear permission to be on a piece of property. A licensee, on the other hand, is also a person who has permission to be on a piece of property but comes for his or her own purpose. Finally, a trespasser is someone who is not permitted to be on the property.

Towards a trespasser, the owner has a lower duty of care. On the other end, the owner owes a great deal of duty of care towards someone who has been invited to a property. If you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident, your visitors’ status will play a role in the success or failure of your claim.

Why Hire a Boise Slip and Fall Lawyer?

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in Boise, Boise Personal Injury Lawyers Group can help you. We understand that premises liability claims can become complicated. This is why we work with you to identify who the liable party is, and determine whether you have a valid claim for damages. We also help you gather the relevant evidence to ensure that your claim is well-supported. Reach out to us today to discuss your slip and fall claim with our injury attorneys lawyers.