Premises liability is related to the responsibilities of real estate property owners to provide and maintain safe conditions on those properties. Not only are landowners have responsibility for customers and guests; they also have a responsibility for the safety of trespassers. The presence of hazardous conditions must be communicated adequately. The failure to maintain safe property conditions can result in serious injuries for which the owner can be liable.
It is not uncommon for these injuries to be very serious and can include head, brain, and spinal cord injuries. These catastrophic injuries have several features. They are challenging to diagnose and treat. They also have the tendency to get worse over time. These injuries can also affect the ability to work and earn.
Hotel guests never expect to be injured; their only expectation is to enjoy the time spent on the hotel property. Accidents can occur anywhere, and hotels are no exception.
Some common hotel injuries include:
• Slipper or wet floors resulting in a fall
• Dangerous conditions on the hotel property
• Faulty or broken furniture
• Food poisoning
• Drowning (pool)
• Poor lighting
• Assaults that occur on hotel property
• Poorly maintained steps/stairs
• Pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents
A few conditions must be met for a hotel to be liable for injuries that occurs on hotel property:
1. Either the hotel caused the unsafe condition or permitted the condition to occur, often through neglect or poor maintenance.
2. The hotel was either aware or should have been aware of the conditions.
3. The hotel failed to take the appropriate steps to make the situation safe within a reasonable period of time.
The hotel is also liable for the behavior of its employees. Premises liability lawyers specialize in these types of cases. The key is to establish negligence on the part of the hotel or its employees.
Parents have the right to expect that their children will be safe and cared for at a daycare center. Though many daycare centers do provide safe conditions, there are many that do not. Children are seriously injured every year while in the care of a daycare establishment. Roughly 31,000 children each year are injured seriously enough at a daycare to warrant a trip to the emergency room. Some of these children even die.
A recent study performed by the federal government found the follow common causes for serious injuries:
• Lack of child safety gates. This is especially important around stairs.
• Poor condition of playground equipment.
• Bedding that is too soft presents a suffocation hazard.
• Unsafe cribs can lead to suffocation or strangulation.
• Window blind cord loops can lead to strangulations.
• Inadequate playground surfacing.
Injuries that occur in daycare setting can result in monetary awards to the victim and/or the victim’s family. Daycare providers are required to provide safe conditions and to maintain those conditions. Allow a seasoned daycare injury attorney to assist with the preparation of your civil case.
There are over million dog bites each year in the US. Approximately 65% of these occur on or near the victim’s home; most victims are familiar with the dog. $1.3 billion are paid out by insurance companies each year to settle dog bite injury claims. Roughly half of all dog bite injuries are suffered by children under the age of 10.
While pit bulls and rottweilers are responsible for the majority of dog bite related fatalities, even smaller, traditionally non-aggressive breeds have killed smaller children.
Dog owners are responsible for training and restraining their dogs. Leash laws are intended to prevent dogs from roaming. Unrestrained dogs account for a large number of the dog bite related injuries in the US. If a dog bite occurs and the owner failed to do everything possible to prevent the bite, the owner is responsible. The victim is entitled to seek financial compensation.
Drowning is among the top six leading causes of unintentional death in the United States. It’s the second leading cause for those under the age of 15. Nearly 1 in 5 drownings happen in public pools under the watch of certified lifeguards.
Drownings aren’t limited to public pools. They can occur in private pools, hotels, water parks, health club whirlpools, rivers, and any other location with open water. In most instances, the owner (or lessor) of the property is required to maintaining the property and keeping safe and secure. This can even include trespassers.
Liability is partially determined by the status of the person that was injured.
• Invitees are those invited onto the property as a member of the general public. Invitees can also include those invited onto the property for business purposes.
• Licensees are those invited onto the property, but the property is not open to the general public.
• Trespassers are those on the property without permission.
Depending on whether you live in town or out in the country, the owner may have the responsibility to secure swimming pools from children. This commonly means a fence of a specific type and height.
Elevators might seem to be an extremely safe way to move between the floors of a building. However, elevator accidents are more common than you might think. There are more than 12,000 elevator accidents each year in the US; roughly 27 of those result in death.
The causes of death can include:
• Limb entrapment
• Defective design and/or manufacture
• Faulty brakes
• Broken cables
• Criminal activity
• Negligence involving maintenance
The owner of any building has the responsibility to maintain the elevators and ensure the safety of those using them. If a competent company is hired to maintain the elevators, the liability can be shifted. Unsafe elevators must be taken out of service and appropriate warnings must be posted. Inspections must be completed in a timely fashion.
Even manufacturers can be held liable for elevator accidents if faulty parts or design were the cause of the injury.
Liability can be challenging to determine in these cases. Working with an experienced elevator accident attorney can be a wise decision.
Over 90 billion escalator rides takes place each year in the US and approximately 2,700 people over the age of 65 are injured each year while using an escalator. Fractures are the most common serious injuries and are primarily the result of slips and falls. Women are injured at twice the rate of men.
You are twenty times more likely to be injured on an escalator than on an elevator.
Slips, falls, and entrapped feet and shoes account for most accidents. Slips may be due to escalator steps being wet or slippery. Accidents can also occur when the escalator is operating at too high a rate of speed. Accidents can also occur due to mechanical defect or poorly maintained equipment. A collapsed escalator can even pull a rider into the machinery, resulting in death or serious injury.
Escalators are difficult to maintain and inspect leading to many incidents. Building owners and managers are charged with the responsibility of maintaining escalators in a safe condition. Manufacturers are responsible for the quality of manufacturing and using non-defective parts. Establishing liability is important in escalator personal injury cases.
Nearly 28,000 people are injured in slip and fall accidents every day, and 60 of those result in fatality. Slip and fall accidents are the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States; motor vehicle accidents are number one. There are over 600,000 slip and fall accidents each year that require medical intervention.
The most common slip and fall injuries include:
• Head, neck, and spinal injuries
• Broken bones
• Cuts and lacerations
• Traumatic brain injury
The costs associated with these types of injuries can be quite high. Hospital bills, rehabilitation, occupational therapy, speech therapy, lost wage and income, and future employment, just to name a few.
Property owners are obligated to ensure their properties are safe and secure. Failure to do so permits slip and fall victims to seek financial relief. If you are the victim of a slip and fall accident, be sure to contact an experienced slip and fall attorney.
Porches, decks, and stairs can all collapse if incorrectly constructed or improperly maintained. All three of these structures can be required to have handrails, depending on state ordinances and the height/dimensions of the structure. Construction errors are all too common, possibly resulting in an unsafe structure.
In venues with public access, there are laws requiring the property owner to maintain these structures in a safe condition. There is a similar requirement for homeowners. If you are injured on a porch, deck, or stairs, investigate your rights under the law. You may be entitled to financial damages to cover your injuries, lost wages, and rehabilitation.
Fires can be extremely dangerous, particularly in locations with limited egress, such as movie theaters. There are laws dictating the details of fire exits, doors, smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, and fire extinguishers.
Many unintentional fires are started by poor management of flammable materials, including trash, chemicals, smoking materials (such as cigarettes), and flammable liquids.
Serious burns are not only extremely painful, they can also be permanently debilitating. Scarring can result in a higher level of psychological trauma than most injuries. Multiple plastic surgeries can also be required.
If you are a victim of a fire that you believe was caused by negligence, an experienced fire injury attorney can be especially helpful for ensuring you receive the maximum financial reward possible.
Fireworks accidents tend to cluster around the 4th of July but can actually occur at any time of year. The most common injuries are burns, loss of fingers, and eye injuries. Fireworks can be challenging to manufacture accurately. Improper construction can result in fireworks that detonate either too soon or too late.
Many injuries are caused by fireworks used by others, whether a neighbor, municipality, or expert. If your neighbor is responsible for your fireworks injury, their homeowner liability insurance will likely be used to pay for financial damages.
Professional fireworks displays, either by private company or a local government, are held to high safety standards. This can include fire suppression and crowd control. Regardless of the source of your fireworks injuries, contact a fireworks accident lawyer to review your case.
Exposure to drunken patrons in a public establishment is a common cause of injury. Those under the influence are often more likely to be violent. There is also the possibility of someone in an impaired state stepping on or stumbling into another person resulting in an injury.
Venues that permit or serve alcoholic beverages are required to limit the consumption of alcohol and ensure that patrons are able to act in a responsible manner. If the owners or staff are aware of someone too inebriated to act in a safe manner, there is a responsibility to mitigate the threat to others, even if only to call the police.
Those that provided the alcohol as well as the property owner can be held liable for any injuries resulting from their negligence. If someone under the influence causes you to suffer an injury, a personal injury attorney should be contacted.
Criminal acts by third parties can lead to personal injury. During the course of committing a crime, it is not unusual for innocent bystanders to be injured or even killed. Depending on the details of the case it is possible that the property owner could be found liable. This is most often due to inadequate security or lighting.
Inadequate security is a common cause of third party injuries. Properties with inadequate security can include apartments, malls, motels, schools, hospitals, parking lots, ATMs, and hotels, to name a few. While businesses do not have to guarantee safety, it does have to provide a reasonable level of safety consistent with the environment. Reasonable precautions can include the use of warnings, cameras, guards, and proper lighting. A jewelry store in a crime-ridden part of town would be expected to have more security features than a flower shop in a safer part of town. If insufficient security was a contributing factor to a sustained injury, it’s likely that the property’s liability insurance can be used to cover your claim.
Dark area injuries are related to inadequate security. Insufficient lighting can encourage criminals to commit crimes in these areas of high opportunity. Property owners are under an obligation to provide the necessary lighting to provide a reasonable level of safety and crime deterrence. Dark areas are also conducive to tripping injuries.
Broken locks on gates and entry doors into hotels, motels, schools, apartment complexes and other similar structures can encourage crimes and reduce the level of safety. Such locks are intended to restrict access to a limited population. The failure to maintain these security features can ultimately result in injury. Those responsible for the maintenance of locks can be found liable for any injuries that occur as a result of this negligence.
Slippery floors are a safety hazard that can lead to falls and subsequent injuries. Property owners and managers are required to prevent and eliminate slipping hazards. A reasonable effort must be made to provide warning and to limit access to known slipping hazards. Known hazards must be also eliminated within a reasonable timeframe. Conditions should be maintained that prevent the development of future slipping hazards.
Bulging carpeting is yet another source of premises injuries. Those responsible for a property are required to minimize tripping hazards. If you’re injured due to a bulging carpet or another property injury contact a personal injury lawyer, today.