What is Premises Liability? Understanding Duty of Care & Slip and Falls

Premises liability cases are based on a person being injured while on the property that is owned by another party.

These injuries typically occur because a property owner has failed to maintain the property or warn visitors about any known hazards. Slip and fall cases make up a large portion of premises liability cases.

The Role of Duty of Care

The duty of care that the owner of a property depends on the relationship between the party and the injured victim. The victim is usually categorized as an “invitee, “licensee” or “trespasser.”

A person is considered an invitee if he or she is on the property for a mutual beneficial manner. For example, an invitee may be a store customer because the customer benefits by being able to shop while the business owner benefits by making a profit.

A property owner owes the highest duty of care to an invitee. He or she must protect these individuals from any conditions on the property that he or she knows or should know exist. A property owner has to regularly inspect the property and repair any hazards on it.

A licensee is someone whom the property owner allows to be on his or her property. For example, a guest for a dinner party may be a licensee. A property owner owes the duty of care to individuals by protecting them from any dangers that he or she knows about. However, he or she is not required to inspect or fix dangerous conditions immediately.

Trespassers do not have a legal right to be on the property owner’s property. Property owners owe the lowest duty of care to this category of individuals. However, property owners cannot intentionally create hazardous on the property to intentionally hurt trespassers. They are not required to warn trespassers of known dangerous conditions.

Defenses to Premises Liability

Defendants may try to sidestep liability for these types of cases by asserting an affirmative defense. One defense is assumed risk, meaning that the injured person was aware of the risk but decided to partake in the activity anyway.

Have You Been Seriously Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident? Call Our Injury Law Team Today!

A Tampa slip and fall lawyer can explain premises liability statistics and the legal implications of your case. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-753-5203 for a free initial consultation.