Do you know what premises liability is and how it applies to property owners?
You may be unfamiliar with the term, but you likely know what a slip and fall or swimming pool accidents are. Both of these are examples of a premises liability accident.
Any property owner has a responsibility to ensure that their property is safe and has no glaring risk for an accident. Should they fail to do so, then they’re violating their premises liability.
If you’re the victim of a premises liability accident, then you’ll want to seek reparations for the pain and injury you’ve been inflicted. Before you hire an attorney, it’s helpful to fully understand this law and if it will apply to your situation.
Fortunately, we’ll explain premises liability below to help you determine if you’re eligible for damages.
What Is Premises Liability?
First, you’ll need to know what premises liability is. This term refers to the requirement for property owners to ensure that their property is reasonably safe for any visitors.
With this in mind, a property owner needs to be diligent about eliminating any hazards that can lead to an injury. At the very least, a hazard must be identified so it can be easily avoided. Failing to do so can make a property owner responsible for any accident that ensues.
A perfect example to picture this is entering an establishment with a recently mopped floor. If there isn’t a wet floor sign present and you slip and fall, then the business was failing to uphold their premises liability.
What Situations Are Covered?
The scope of premises liability is fairly wide, meaning that an array of accidents can be attributed to it. Here are a few of the most common situations involved:
- Slip and Falls – This is one of the biggest reasons for premises liability cases. Typically, there is something on the ground that causes someone to slip and sustain an injury. This often includes substances like liquid and food. If the spill is not indicated or dealt with, then this creates a premises liability accident.
- Poor Maintenance – Closely related to slip and falls is poor maintenance. This happens when an establishment fails to perform upkeep on their property. As a result, there may be an uneven sidewalk, faulty railings, broken stairs, or something that may fall on someone. A property owner is responsible for ensuring everything is safe and up to par.
- Lack of Security – One you might not be familiar with is a lack of security. This pertains specifically to establishments that need to keep people safe from criminal activity. Two great examples include college campuses and shopping malls. If you’re the victim of an assault or robbery on either property and there is no security around to help, then premises liability will apply.
- Animal Attacks – Another situation involves animal attacks. Someone who owns a pet is responsible for preventing them from harming anyone. This is particularly relevant for dog owners and dog bites. A dog owner that knows their dog is potentially dangerous must take measures to ensure that they don’t harm anyone.
- Swimming Pools – A very specific case involves swimming pools. Property owners that have a swimming pool on the premises need to make the pool difficult for children to access. This means placing a gate around it and/or covering the pool.
What Does This Mean for a Property Owner?
Understanding what premises liability is and what it applies to makes it easier to extrapolate the responsibility of a property owner.
If you own a property, then you must reasonably handle all hazards promptly. The reasonability factor is very important because there are some situations that a property owner can’t possibly prevent.
For example, a property owner can’t repair a broken staircase if it just happened and they don’t yet know about it. Another one includes having round-the-clock security for an establishment that doesn’t experience much crime.
A property owner is only responsible for preventing foreseeable hazards. If something entirely unexpected happens, it’s unfair to place the responsibility on them.
Should you own a property, then you need to keep visitors safe from harm due to something wrong with your property.
You should also understand that property owners are only responsible for two types of visitors; invitees and licensees. Invitees are people that exist to engage in business, like a shopper, repairman, or salesperson. Licensees are those that visit the property for non-business persons like a social visit.
There’s a third category of visitors known as trespassers, but you have no obligation to keep them safe unless they are children and an attractive nuisance is involved. This involves situations like the swimming pool mentioned above, but it can also apply to things like having a trampoline or large machinery sitting around on your property.
How Can You Receive Compensation If You Are Injured?
The last piece of information to understand is what makes you eligible for compensation from a premises liability accident.
As we mentioned above, a property owner is only liable for reasonably foreseeable accidents. Adding on to this, you need to be able to prove that your injury was caused due to the owner’s negligence. This means that they identified a hazard and ignored it or failed to take adequate action to prevent harm to any visitors.
If negligence is provable, another consideration is about any responsibility placed on you as the victim. Behaviors like being distracted or intoxicated can shift some of the blame to you. Furthermore, failing to minimize the impact of an accident can also affect the outcome of your case.
This is important because how much responsibility is attributed to you can determine how much of a financial award you’re entitled to. A majority of states use laws that involved modified compared negligence.
This means that you can only receive compensation if you are less than 50% responsible for the accident. You’re also only entitled to the property owner’s contribution of the responsibility. If they are found 70% responsible, then you can only receive 70% of the claim.
A few states use laws that involve pure contributory or pure comparative fault rules. Pure contributory means that you cannot receive compensation if you are at all found to blame.
On the other hand, pure comparative means that you can file a case if the owner is found at all to blame. Both laws void the 50% rule, meaning that as little as 1% blame can bar or enable you to receive reparations.
If you’re injured on someone else’s property, then you may be a victim of a premises liability accident.
Premises liability refers to a property owner’s reasonable obligation to prevent any hazards from causing injury. This applies to situations like slip and falls, poor maintenance, a lack of security, animal attacks, and swimming pools or other attractive nuisances.
Property owners are responsible for preventing foreseeable harm from affecting their visitors. This means that someone is only eligible for compensation if they can prove that an owner acted negligently and ignored the hazard.
If you’re able to prove negligence, then it will be determined how much you were to blame for the injury. In most states, you need to be less than 50% responsible to receive compensation for the accident. Your percentage of responsibility will affect the amount of money you can be awarded from the case.
Regardless of your circumstances, reach out to an attorney and discuss your situation with them to determine if your accident is a good candidate for a premises liability case!
8 Things Every Adult Should Be Doing Regularly
Adulting means taking on more responsibilities. It means remembering to do things, even if they aren’t things we necessarily want to do. From filing taxes and investing to changing the car’s oil and cleaning gutters, adults have a lot to manage on a regular basis.
What do you need to do every day to keep your life on track? Curious to know how well you’re handling adulting? Here are eight things you should be doing regularly.
1. Go to the Doctor
When you were a little kid, your mom probably took you to the doctor. It wasn’t something that you had to remember to do. Now as an adult, things are a bit different. You have an entire list of doctors you have to visit each year. Just the idea of calling to make an appointment, requesting time off from work, and driving to the doctor’s office can be daunting.
Luckily, at-home services like telehealth and prescription delivery are becoming more and more common in today’s world. If you’re someone who doesn’t like going to the doctor, consider turning to online resources. For example, STI testing is something you can now do at home instead of visiting the doctor. Sexually transmitted infections are extremely common. While you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about going to the doctor, the convenience of at-home testing is nice to have.
2. Check Your Credit Score
There’s a myth that checking your credit score too often will negatively impact your score. This actually isn’t true at all. In fact, checking your credit score regularly is a good way to stay on top of your finances. Checking your score helps you ensure that it’s accurate so you can see where you stand financially.
When you check your credit score, pay close attention. First, you should obviously check the score itself. If it’s increased since you last checked, keep up the good work. If it’s decreased, you may have to tighten your budget to start paying off debt. Also look at your alerts and total account balances, as well as the status of any open accounts. You can also go a step further and check your full credit report to take note of any unusual activity on your accounts.
3. Exercise Regularly
It’s important for every adult to exercise regularly, even if you’re just going for a short walk around the neighborhood. Staying active will not only keep you healthy, but it can improve your overall mental state as well. Try to be active every single day or at least a few times a week.
Find a type of exercise that you actually like doing to keep you motivated. For example, some people may prefer weight lifting and high intensity interval training (HIIT workouts). Others may prefer cardio like running or biking. Or, maybe workout classes are your favorite way to stay in shape. Whatever your preference may be, just make sure it’s part of your regular routine.
4. Drink Enough Water and Eat Right
As an adult, it’s critical that you drink plenty of water every day. According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, women should drink 2.7 liters of water per day. Men should be drinking 3.7 liters. A large percentage of your body is made up of water. Not only do our bodies depend on it to survive, but it also has numerous other benefits like giving you clearer skin.
Eating right is also important. No, you don’t have to be on a strict diet. But you should consume whole foods that are good for your body on a regular basis. Make sure you’re eating enough fruits and vegetables. Fuel your body with vitamins and minerals through the foods that you eat. Healthy foods provide higher energy levels so you can power through your day. Make sure you’re paying attention to what you put into your body.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep
Don’t get so busy that you forget to rest. Getting good rest seems like such an obvious thing to do, yet so many adults don’t sleep enough. You should be getting a restful seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Doing so will help to improve your physical health, mental health, and quality of life.
If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, there are a few things you can do. Consult your doctor if you think something serious may be going on. Otherwise, download an anxiety app to help calm you in the hours leading up to bedtime. You can also try small doses of melatonin when you can’t seem to get some shut eye.
6. Clean and Declutter
If your living space is a mess, you’ll feel like a mess, too. So be sure to clean and declutter your living space(s) regularly. Whether it’s your closet, your car, or a room in your house that needs a makeover, get to cleaning. You’ll be happy that you did.
To make cleaning easier, put yourself on a schedule. Make it your goal to clean, declutter, or reorganize one space per month. Even if it’s something small like your desk, the simple act of decluttering and organizing helps your mood and outlook. It’ll make you feel like you have a fresh start with as few distractions and stressors around you as possible.
7. Check in on the People You Love
By the time you reach your adult years, you’ll come to the realization that life is very short. Years go by quickly, and tomorrow isn’t always promised. As we get older, we also grow to appreciate our relationships more. A lot of people will grow closer to their parents or find their forever friends. Whoever your people are, be sure to hold onto them and never stop loving them.
Call your best friend regularly. Do something nice for your mom to show her how much you care. Whoever that important person is in your life, don’t forget to keep showing up for them. Reaching out benefits them and it will make you much happier, too.
8. Take Time for Yourself
Let’s face it—being an adult is hard. It can be exhausting, stressful, and just all-around tough at times. That’s why it’s so important to take care of yourself. Don’t be afraid to claim some time that is just for you so you can do some self-care. Whether you take a walk, schedule a massage, or order out instead of cooking, it’s a good thing to care for yourself.
Take that mental health day to rest and recharge. Treat yourself to a self-care day. Do the little things that make you happy often so you don’t overload on stress. If you’re already trying to get your life together, that’s the last thing you want. There’s absolutely no shame in taking a step back and re-focusing every so often.
Are you doing most of the things on this list regularly? If not, it may be time to get serious. Whether you’re getting (or keeping) your act together, make sure you’re taking care of the important things on a regular basis.
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