Every year, people get hurt while on someone else’s property. They may have slipped and fell on the floor at a restaurant or supermarket. They may have been hurt when an elevator or escalator malfunctioned. Someone may have tripped over a pothole in a parking lot.
These types of accidents are often preventable, and the people who are hurt can seek financial compensation. That is because property owners have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to keep people safe, a concept known as premises liability.
Some of these steps are just common sense. For example, cleaning up spills promptly and putting up a sign warming others that the floor is slippery. Other examples include providing adequate lighting, properly maintaining elevators and escalators, and putting handrails on stairways.
In general, property owners can be held responsible for damages if they knew about a condition on the property that could cause harm – or should have known about the condition (for example, by inspecting the property regularly) – and failed to take action or warn people.
Recovering compensation from negligent property owners is not a simple process. An owner may deny doing anything wrong. Insurance companies can challenge your claim to try to avoid paying you for medical expenses and other damages.
If you are injured in a premises liability accident, talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. An attorney can take quick action to gather evidence and talk to witnesses who saw what happened. This helps build a strong case to help you recover financial compensation for your injuries.