Premises Liability: More Than Slip and Falls

Many people are familiar with claims arising from injuries due to slip and fall accidents.  However, “slip and falls” are only one of many categories of “premises liability” cases.  “Premises liability” refers to the legal concept that governs cases involving injuries that occur on the premises of another due to an unsafe or defective condition on the property of another.

As in most personal injury cases, premises liability cases are based in negligence.  In order to prevail on a premises claim, the injured person must show that the property owner or manager failed to use reasonable care in connection with the property.

Premises cases include a wide range of factual circumstances.  They include:

  • snow and ice accidents
  • inadequate maintenance of the premises
  • defective conditions on the premises
  • inadequate building security
  • elevator and escalator accidents
  • dog bites
  • swimming pool accidents
  • amusement park accidents
  • work place accidents
  • fires
  • water leaks or flooding, and
  • toxic fumes or chemicals.

As indicated above, premises cases can arise in essentially any setting, from commercial properties such as malls to public properties such as government buildings to private residences to construction sites. For example, cases involving inadequate building security often arise in apartment buildings or offices. Owners of those buildings have a duty to act reasonably in securing access to the buildings. That is why large apartment buildings and offices usually have doormen or security guards on the first floor and small apartment buildings generally require the tenants to keep the front and back doors locked. If someone breaks in (or simply walks in through an unlocked door) and assaults or kills someone inside the building, that person may have a premises liability case against the building owner if it can be shown that the building owner did not take reasonable steps to secure the building.

Additionally, swimming pool accidents can be very serious and usually involve children and an unsupervised and unsecured pool. For this reason, most states and municipalities have laws and ordinances requiring that swimming pools have a fence around them, often with a locking gate. If someone leaves open access to a pool, that person may be on the legal hook in a premises liability case.

Our attorneys at Jinks, Crow & Dickson, PC have years of experience handling premises liability cases involving injury or death.  If you or someone you love has suffered injury on the property of another, we encourage you to contact our office for a free consultation.


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