What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a specific type of legal term that has to do with someone being liable for another’s injuries that occur on their owned premises (or property). It is a term that often comes up in personal injury cases, the majority of those being slip and falls. In most cases, personal injury cases are won by proving that another party was negligent in some way and that resulted in harm to you. In a premises liability case, it is specifically about negligence involving the maintenance and regulation of one’s property and not reasonably being aware of the property conditions and being prompt in taking care of them. If you are able to prove negligence of another party and they either had property or homeowners insurance (or enough personal assets to go after to cover you should they be uninsured), you are likely to win the case and receive a settlement.
The Different Types of Premises Liability Cases
Although slip and falls are the most prevalent, there are a wide variety of different situations that can occur on someone’s property that result in personal injuries. There are many issues that may need fixing or conditions that need preparing for to avoid harm to those that visit that property.
Examples of premises liability cases include but are not limited to:
- Slip and falls
- Severe weather accidents involving snow and ice
- Fires and lack of proper, unblocked exit routes
- Swimming pool incidents
- Flooding or wet floor caused by leaks
- Defect escalators and elevators
- Guard dogs attacking or biting visitors
- Improper maintenance of a building
- Defective conditions with flooring, entranceway, stairwell, wall, or other structures
- Amusement park defective rides
- Inadequate warning signage
- Lack of building security like railings, floor grips, etc.
- Toxic fumes or chemical leaks
- Inadequate blockage of dangerous or in repair areas
New Jersey Property Owner Duty of Care
Most states require property owners to exercise caution and properly maintain their premises. They are expected to use reasonable care when dealing with their property so that visitors are not endangered. Reasonable care is defined as “the degree of caution and concern for the safety of the self and others an ordinarily prudent and rational person would use in the same circumstances.” It is important to note, however, that the level of duty of care for a property owner is dependent on the type of visitor.
The three types of visitors and duty of care requirements:
- Invitee – Visitors who have received implied or expressed permission from the property owner. Examples include friends, family, and neighbors. Duty of care is expected for invited individuals.
- Licensee – Visitors who are given permission to be there but not for the property owner’s benefit and more for the visitor’s agenda. Examples include salesmen or electrical companies. There is a lesser duty of care involved here where they only need warn them of risk of harm as long as they are aware of the issue and the visitor is not likely to have discovered it without the warning.
- Trespasser – Those not given permission to be on the property are usually not given rights to be given a duty of care by the property owner unless the trespasser is under the age of 18. In New Jersey, there is not much protection that is legally required. They only need to warn the landowner of any artificially created conditions that could cause death or severe bodily harm. There are exceptions to this if the trespasser is also attempting to harm the property owner or has intent to do so.
Contact an Atlantic City Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Premises Liability Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to someone not maintaining their premises in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Brown Law represent clients with premises liability cases in Galloway Township, Ventnor City, Hamilton, Pleasantville, and throughout New Jersey. Call (609) 344-8270 or email us to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3123 Atlantic Ave # 201, Atlantic City, NJ 08401.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.