The law on premises liability was designed to ensure that owner of property and their employees carry the duty of keeping their property in safe condition and are responsible for any accidents on it.
It is mandatory for an owner to keep his premises free of hazards that are probable to cause accidents. If a liquid or anything else spills on a grocery store floor for example, it is mandatory that the owner sees to it that it’s cleaned up as soon as he becomes aware of the impediment or slippery hazard. They should have a sign as well that warns people that the floor is wet until the floor is dry and completely safe to walk around on. This sign(s) should be ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice.
The same applies in gas stations and restaurants where it is the responsibility of the person in charge to mop up all spills and anything else which could lead to a fall. This could mean shoveling ice and snow off the sidewalk or in the parking lot of the restaurant or gas station.
If the property owner is negligent in fulfilling these safety requirements he might have failed in his duty and obligation to provide a safe environment to his customers. If a customer experiences an accident because of the hazardous nature of the premises he or she might be entitled to claim compensation if injured.
If you or a loved one sustains injury because of an accident caused by hazardous conditions at a location you should consult a premises liability attorney to know whether you can claim compensation for damages. A premises liability attorney is a lawyer who has specialized in cases of negligence by property owners.
Every Situation is Different
There is no set formula in premises liability lawsuits because each case depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident. The attorney will try to determine the facts of the case, how the property owner fulfilled his obligation, and whether the injured person contributed to the accident.
If the property owner is to be held responsible it has to be proved that they:
- Allowed the premises to remain in a dangerous condition.
- He was aware of this dangerous condition but neglected to warn customers about the hazards.
- He should have been aware of the condition and had enough time to repair or remove the hazard as any responsible person would.
Ignorance is not a Reasonable Claim
In premises liability case the length of time that the premises were left in a hazardous condition is particularly significant. It determines if the owner was aware, or should have been aware, of the danger before the customer was injured.
Particular examples of dangerous conditions at a premise are a greasy floor in a restaurant kitchen, slippery floor because of spilled ice at a fast food restaurant, an injury prone area in a supermarket because of a wet floor, or a dangerous section because of oil spills at a gas station for instance.