What is premises liability?
Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility a property owner has for the injuries another person suffered on the premises. This can take many forms. Some examples are: a homeowner invites company over for a barbeque and a guest is injured falling on a rusty piece of equipment in the backyard; or a shopper slips and falls on a spill that was not cleaned up at a grocery store. In order to demonstrate liability, the injured party must usually demonstrate that (1) the property owner had a duty of care to the injured party and (2) the property owner had reasonable notice that there was something dangerous on the property – usually referred to as the “dangerous condition” – that posed a risk to people on their property. The key question in assessing the “duty of care” is whether the injured party was invited on to the premises – whether it is a potential customer entering a business or an acquaintance invited into a residence. The second factor – whether there was reasonable notice of danger – depends on the facts and should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If you have any questions about how these factors apply to your situation, you should consult with an attorney right away to make sure you understand your options in pursuing a claim.