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!
Samuel Leeds Buys Shares In Property Tribes; Says He Wants To Make It Better
People in UK property circles may be familiar with the very public dispute between former MTV presenter, property investor, and community manager of the company Property Tribes, Vanessa Warwick, & property investment trainer and owner of the company ‘Property Investors’, Samuel Leeds; as Leeds has accused Warwick of assisting with racism and discrimination against ethnic minority tenants. In recent news, Samuel Leeds was reported to have bought a 35% share of the company Property Tribes, making him officially now a person of significant control at Property Tribes.
Warwick established Property Tribes to accumulate wisdom from various property owners and landlords to create a place of guidance for people in the industry to do business better. According to the company,
“We wanted to create a free use, safe, and agenda-free place for landlords to get information from a “hive mind”, not a singularity, so that they could learn and grow their property business.”
However, in one of his recent videos, Samuel Leeds pointed out blatant support of racism in some of the advice coming from Warwick herself. As one of the landlords asks on the forum – if they would be implicated by the race discrimination laws in the UK for refusing tenancy to Bangladeshi families as the landlord is not fond of the smell of their staple food, curry; Vanessa Warwick herself is seen advising against mentioning the reason for said refusal, thus averting the legal repercussions altogether.
In the video, Leeds points out several more situations where Warwick has behaved in a racist manner. In fact, she has become a new advisor on the panel of the UK’s Property Redress Scheme and has been under criticism in their forum as well for supporting discrimination against ethnic minorities.
Warwick also expressed strong disapproval of Leeds as a property trainer citing the reason that his students came from the “vulnerable” demographic. Leeds called out the racist mindset in this reasoning, as in reality, his students predominantly come from ethnic minorities and don’t fall in the “vulnerable” category. He began drawing attention to the issue over his YouTube channel and his website, and ended up facing severe disparagement from Warwick and her followers. Leeds finally sued Warwick for defamation and she brought a counter lawsuit for six-figure damages.
In an attempt to put an end to the battle once and for all, Samuel Leeds reports to have bought a share, 35% to be exact, of the company, Property Tribes. Even though he is only a minority shareholder and will have limited control, Leeds believes he can make a difference in “cleaning up the company” and reduce racism in the forum.
He jokingly adds,
“Because they trolled me, I wanted to at least get paid… Like Michael Jackson did to Eminem.”
Leeds pledges that any money he makes off this transaction will be donated to charitable organisations that tackle racism and online bullying. In addition, Leeds will donate an extra £50,000 to organisations that fight hatred in the UK. With this move, he is determined to take a strong stand against all discriminations in the property sector or any other industry.
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