Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Two Major Factors of establishing Premise Liability

Every property owner or possessor has a responsibility to make sure that the property is safe from dangerous conditions.

If a person gets hurt while inside the premises or property, the property owner may be held liable for injuries sustained as a result of the accident.

There are two main factors in establishing premise liability:
1. Negligence of the owner or possessor of the property; or
2. Dangerous conditions present in the property with or without knowledge of the property owner.

In negligence, an owner or possessor is responsible for the upkeep or maintenance of his or her property. He or she is liable for injuries caused to other people as a result of failure to clean or make necessary repairs in the property.

If an individual slips and fall due to a wet surface on the floor the owner is liable. Also, if a visitor trips and falls on a broken tile floor the owner is liable for damages. Even failures of machines could be factors for making the owner negligent like malfunctioning elevators or escalators.

On the other hand, dangerous conditions on the property means there are certain conditions present on the property that could reasonably lead to accidents for people who happen to walk or be in the vicinity of the property. This factor resulting in premise liability may not also be known by the owner but the latter is still held liable nonetheless.

If a person trips and falls on the stairs due to the uneven rise of the steps or the absence of the railings, the owner is liable for the personal injuries caused by the defect in the construction of the stairs although the owner has no technical knowledge in building stairs. In effect, owners are made liable for premise liabilities as a result of code violations in the construction of any part of their house or property.

If the asphalt on the property leading to the house is slippery, the owner is held liable although he does not know anything about the application and composition of driveway asphalts.