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Property owners have a duty to maintain safe conditions

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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When you slip, fall and are injured on another person’s property, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages through a personal injury lawsuit on the basis of premises liability.

At first glance, premises liability may seem relatively straightforward, but in fact it is a very complicated subject. Whether an individual property owner can be held liable for a particular person’s injury depends on the circumstances of the accident and the applicable laws.

A property owner has a duty to maintain reasonably safe conditions. This doesn’t mean they must prevent all accidents. It just means they have a duty to repair or at least warn of safety hazards. A court determines what a reasonably careful property owner would have done under the same or similar circumstances to avoid a foreseeable accident, and decides whether the property owner in this case lived up to that standard. It also asks whether the injured person acted reasonably.

For example, take a case where a customer slips on a spill at a convenience store, falls and suffers a broken arm. In this case, the court would probably determine that a spill and an accident of this kind were reasonably foreseeable, and so a reasonably careful property owner would have cleaned it up the spill promptly, and warned customers of the safety hazard.

Next the court will decide whether the convenience store owner lived up to this standard. If the injured party can show evidence that the spill was on the floor for a long time, this helps show the owner did not act promptly to address a safety hazard.

If you have been injured in a fall on someone else’s property, you may face huge medical bills, lost income and other damages. Talk to a personal injury attorney about your options for recovering compensation.