Are there different public and private premises liability rules?

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2023 | Personal Injury |

In the small but diverse state of Delaware, understanding premises liability rules is key for anyone moving through public or private spaces.

Whether strolling through a local park or entering a private business, being aware of your rights and responsibilities is important to ensure a safe environment for everyone.

Public property: The shared ground

On public property, the community shares responsibility for safety. When it comes to premises liability, the focus is on maintaining a secure environment for all citizens. If you slip on a public sidewalk or encounter hazards in a park, the onus is on the government entities to keep these spaces safe.

Private property: A different dynamic

Stepping onto private property introduces a different dynamic regarding premises liability. Property owners hold a significant role in ensuring the safety of visitors. Whether it is a shopping mall or a residential property, the owner needs to take reasonable measures to prevent accidents. Clear signage, well-maintained facilities and addressing known hazards are part of the owner’s obligation.

The common thread: Negligence

While the rules differ between public and private property, the common thread is the concept of negligence. In both spheres, negligence plays an important role in determining liability. Negligence refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care, leading to potential harm.

Comparing damages: A key distinction

When it comes to damages, another distinction arises between public and private property. In public spaces, damages are often limited by governmental immunity, which protects public entities from certain lawsuits. On private property, however, the potential for seeking damages is more open, provided the establishment of negligence.

Unintentional accidents happen. In 2021, these incidents accounted for 25.5 million emergency visits. To seek compensation, navigating the premises liability landscape in Delaware involves understanding the distinctions between public and private property rules.