It is the careful individual who has never accidently stepped off of a curb, tripped over a rug, or slipped on an icy New York sidewalk. Many Richmond Hill residents have taken minor tumbles from their own actions, whether they were hurrying or just not paying attention to what they were doing. However, not every fall that a person suffers is due to their own actions. Many dangerous and sometimes life-threatening trips and slips are due to the negligence of others.

Premises liability is an area of personal injury law that deals with negligence in the context of property. “Property” is a vast term and can refer to internal and external surfaces of structures, such as hallways, room floors, decks, and patios, and it can refer to undeveloped land. Property can also refer to areas of transitional space, such as parking lots, sidewalks, and other places used by the public.

Generally, property is owned and the owner of a parcel or structure is responsible for maintaining that item of property. When property is dangerous and poses a threat to others, the owner may become liable for the harm victims suffer on their property if they do not take steps to prevent the injuries from occurring. Specific questions about premises liability law should be directed to personal injury attorneys, and readers are encouraged to only use this post as an informational introduction into the topic.

#1 Relation to property

A victim’s relation to the property can influence their ability to recover losses. Not all individuals who are harmed on the property of others can pursue premises liability claims. The big exception to this type of litigation relates to trespassers. A trespasser is someone who does not have the right or permission to enter onto the property of another person. While individuals who are permitted or invited to enter onto land or into buildings may have rights to premises liability protections, trespassers generally do not.

#2 Foreseeability

Foreseeability is an important element of a premises liability claim. Sometimes individuals may feel as though they can see an accident coming a mile away. They may witness a distracted driver rear-end another car, or a person walk into a door while they are trying to read something on their phone. It is often foreseeable that negligent acts will result in injuries when individuals fail to correct their behaviors.

The same holds true for premises liability claims. A property owner who knows that there is a hidden crack in their sidewalk that will likely cause individuals to trip can foresee the harm that it will cause. A premises liability defect that will foreseeably cause harm and that is not remedied may stand as the basis for a legal claim; however, if a property defect is unknown or does not apparently suggest that someone may be hurt by it, it may not stand as a strong factor in such a case.

#3 Special rules

Special rules apply when accidents happen between landlords and tenants, the public and the government, and other special relationships. Many premises liability claims happen between private parties, such as a person who is hurt on the property owned by a non-government entity. When, however, a person is hurt while leasing space from another party, or when the government owns the property on which the accident occurred, different laws and standards may apply. Individuals should speak with their personal injury attorneys about these and other special cases.

Premises liability accidents can leave victims with serious injuries and losses. Legal assistance can help those suffering to get the compensation that they need. Victims need not wait to seek help and can begin investigating their rights soon after their accidents to avoid the tolling of the statute of limitations on personal injury claims.