Owning real property is considered a path toward increased independence and more overall personal wealth. However, it comes with a variety of challenges and expenses, not the least of which is liability if someone else gets hurt on one’s property.
The term premises liability refers to the financial and legal accountability imposed on property owners and sometimes also on tenants, including businesses. If another person gets hurt on someone else’s property, the injured person can sometimes pursue an insurance claim and/or a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner or the business tenant at that space. These are some of the most common circumstances in which people initiate premises liability litigation due to harm suffered on another’s property.
When someone slips and falls in a building
Perhaps a landlord who operates a multi-family residential rental facility does not properly maintain the facilities. A lack of appropriate lighting or damaged flooring in a stairway, for example, might lead to someone falling and getting hurt while visiting. Maybe a business intentionally schedules too few staff members, meaning that workers don’t have the time required to the facilities clean and safe for visitors. Someone might slip in a puddle that accumulates by the front door after a rainstorm or in a spill created by a customer. Slip-and-falls can lead to severe injuries and premises liability lawsuits.
When a property owner doesn’t maintain a building’s exterior
Municipal rules largely dictate responsibility for removing snow and ice in New York. However, it is typical for property owners and businesses to have responsibility for their own parking facilities and adjacent sidewalks. That is how Albany handles snow and ice removal. During the blustery winter months, a failure to properly clear ice and snow could lead to an expensive premises liability claim should someone end up getting hurt because they slip on ice or snow while entering or exiting a building or simply passing it on the sidewalk.
When building elements fail due to maintenance issues
Maybe someone has put off replacing components in a drop ceiling in their apartment building, only to have one of the tiles fall and strike someone on the head. Perhaps there is a structural issue with the building that leads to someone falling or getting struck by an object. Buildings in bad repair pose all kinds of hazards, and someone who gets hurt because an owner did not perform necessary repairs could potentially have grounds to pursue a premises liability lawsuit against the owner or tenant who did not keep the facilities in appropriate condition.
Dog bites and other animal attack incidents are another common inspiration for premises liability claims. Understanding when a property owner or tenant may be liable can help people seek justice after an injury caused by unsafe property conditions.