Accidents are unexpected, and they happen to the best of us. You can slip on a foreign substance on the floor and fall. You can trip on a foreign object on the floor and fall. When you fall, you get back up. But some falls are worse than others. You might hit your head, and the impact can cause serious traumatic brain injury. Falling off a broken staircase may also lead to spine and nerve damage or broken bones.
If you suffered injuries from a fall on another person’s property, they may be liable for the damages. A property owner is responsible for the accidents on their property if they knew about the hazard that caused the accident and failed to fix it or warn you about it. However, the property owner is not always to blame. A premises liability lawsuit can vary depending on the nature of the visit and the accident. The kind of property also affects a person’s liability. A person’s property can fall into two primary categories:
Commercial property is a lot or structure an individual or entity occupies or rents for commercial or industrial purposes, such as restaurants and shopping centers. The restaurant owner is liable if you slip on a spilled drink or trip on an obstruction inside. But the property owner might be responsible if you tripped on the broken pavement outside.
A residential property can be residential real estate owned by a person. Therefore, that person is legally liable for the accidents that happen to invitees on their premises. Invitees are those a property owner invites to their property to fulfill a public service or for business purposes. The property owners owe invitees the highest standard of care, and guests only have an immediate level of care.
Residential properties may also be apartments, condominiums or houses rented to other parties. A landlord may be liable if they have a duty to maintain the property or unit. But again, it could also be the residential tenant.
Premises liability claims are challenging to pursue
Although premises liability seems straightforward in that whoever owns the premises is liable, multiple parties are involved, and each might owe some varying degree of care to others. The relationship between the victim and the property owner matters, as do landlords’ legal duties to commercial or residential tenants.
If you sustain injuries on another’s property, first seek medical attention and know that you might be able to recover compensation from one or multiple parties.