When you think of personal injury cases, especially when someone gets hurt by slipping on a wet floor or tripping down a flight of stairs, you’re seeing examples of premises liability claims. If the owner of a property is responsible for loss or injury to another person, either through neglect or willful action, then premises liability comes into play. Unfortunately it seems property owners are neglecting the same duties, time and again, as certain types of premises liability claims seem to repeat themselves over and over.
Common Types of Premises Liability
These laws apply to both residential and commercial property, though the specific duties can differ between those two. That said, the following hazards are ones we personal injury lawyers see the most often with these types of premises liability cases:
1. Insufficient security
If you work for or even visit a company’s premises, you have a reasonable expectation of safety there. Should an incident such as a robbery or vandalism occur, the business’s security precautions can be questioned. If these are found to have been insufficient, the company may be liable.
A notorious place for this is parking garages, where security is often lacking and the property owners sometimes do an inadequate job of notifying people of recent incidents.
2. Obstructions on property
It is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure that nobody can be injured by walking into an obstruction, whether from overhead or on the floor. Dangers of this type should be clearly posted.
3. Poor maintenance & upkeep
If any building system places people at risk due to poor upkeep, the owner is liable. This may apply to fire extinguishers, escalators or any other appliance. One of the most common would be stairs – these are often designed poorly from the start, and after years can be subject to wear and tear.
4. Slip-and-fall risks
Slip and fall is one of the most common premises liability claims. A simple fall can lead to severe injuries, especially among the elderly. The owner is required to promptly address issues such as tripping hazards, floor damage, unmarked potholes, or ice.
5. Burn injuries
This one is a bit more extreme, but building owners need to follow very specific codes in regards to fire safety (both state and local). Should you get burned on the premises, and it’s determined the owner failed to follow these codes, you could file a claim against said business owner.
Personal injury lawyer in Vancouver WA
Though these are the most common types of premises liability, in principle any injury resulting from the negligence of a property owner can be grounds for a civil suit. If you have been hurt in such circumstances, you should seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney at Philbrook Law Office.
Founding Attorney Matthew Philbrook attended Clark College, Washington State University, and Gonzaga University School of Law. He is a member of the Washington State and Oregon State Bar Associations and started Philbrook Law Office in 2005. He specializes in Personal Injury, DUI and Criminal Defense cases. Learn more about Mr. Philbrook.