In simple terms, premises liability is the idea that a property owner is liable – that is, responsible – for the safety of people who live in, work at, or visit his or her property. Whether the property is a private home or office building, the law holds that its owner has a duty to keep it free of safety or health hazards.
Many premises liability cases are collectively known as slip-and-fall cases. As their name implies, such cases deal with injuries suffered by people who has slipped or tripped due to dangerous conditions that a property owner ought to have repaired, removed, or warned about. Such hazards include anything from a loose step to an exposed carpet seam to a wet tile floor.
However, though slip-and-fall cases are common, they are far from representative of all premises liability case. At its core, a premises liability lawsuit rests on three principles:
In other words, premises liability is the belief that a property owner who fails to maintain a safe environment is negligent and thus accountable for any injuries that result. In addition to slip and fall cases, premises liability can cover such things as lead paint or asbestos exposure, structural collapse, property fires, and more.