What is the Difference Between Premises Liability and Negligence?
The legal theory of premises liability is used when someone becomes injured due to unsafe or defective conditions on someone else’s property. Sometimes people confuse the legal concept of premises liability with negligence. Premises liability is one type of negligence. In premises liability lawsuits, property owners are accused of acting negligently by failing to keep their properties reasonably safe.
Succeeding in a Premises Liability Lawsuit
In a personal injury lawsuit, the person bringing the lawsuit against the property owner is called the plaintiff, and the property owner is the defendant. To win in a premises liability lawsuit, the injured person needs to prove that dangerous conditions on the property caused their injuries. The plaintiff will also need to prove that the dangerous conditions were present because the property owner was negligent regarding the maintenance and ownership of their property. In other words, the plaintiff needs to prove that the property owner acted negligently by failing to use reasonable care under the circumstances in connection with their property.
Just because a person becomes injured on someone else’s property does not always mean that the property owner is liable to pay for those injuries. Plaintiffs can only recover compensation in a premises liability lawsuit when the property owner was negligent or at fault. Property owners are not automatically liable for injuries on their property, even when the injury happened because of an unsafe condition on their property. Instead, the plaintiff needs to show that the property owner knew or should have known that the premises were in a dangerous condition and that they failed to take the proper steps to fix this dangerous condition.
The Duty of Care in Premises Liability Lawsuits
Suppose you are involved in a premises liability lawsuit. In that case, you may hear the phrase “duty of care.” In Oregon, property owners have a duty of care to make sure that their property is in a safe condition for those who enter their property. There are different types of duty of care to two different types of people who come onto the property. For example, a property owner does not owe as stringent of a duty of care to a trespasser as to someone they invite on their property. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to people they welcome onto their property.
Invitees are people who the property owner has invited onto their property. If the property is a commercial business, invitees include customers and employees welcome onto the property. In a person’s home, invite to you would be family or friends that the owner has invited into the home. Landowners have the highest duty of care to invitees.
Licensees are people who have the landowner’s permission to enter the property but are going about their own purposes. An example of a licensee could be a mail delivery person, a salesperson, or a lawn care provider. Licensees are not disallowed from entering the property, but they have not been invited into the property like a friend or customer. The last category of people are trespassers who do not have permission to be on the landowner’s property. Property owners owe trespassers the least amount of reasonable care. However, in some cases, landowners can still be held liable for injuries a trespasser suffers due to hazardous conditions on the landowner’s property.
Common Types of Premises Liability Cases
Many different types of injuries can occur on another person’s property. As a result, there are many kinds of premises liability lawsuits. All of these lawsuits involved a landowner allegedly acting negligently, resulting in a person’s injuries. Some of the most common types of negligence-based premises liability lawsuits include the following:
- Insufficient building security
- Poor maintenance of the premises
- Defective conditions on the premises
- Snow, ice, and other bad weather incidents
- Slip and fall cases
- Dog bites
- Water leaks or flooring damage
- Toxic fumes and chemicals
- Negligently stored electrical wires
- Escalator and elevator accidents
- Retail store accidents
- Amusement park accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Accidents that occur at daycares and child care centers
The examples listed above are only a few of the many different types of premises liability cases. If you have been injured in a premises liability case, you may be entitled to compensation. We recommend discussing your case with an attorney as soon as possible so you can protect your legal right to compensation.
What is a Premises Liability Attorney?
A premises liability attorney is an attorney who will represent clients who have been injured on another person’s property. Premises liability attorneys will be able to guide you through the entire process of fighting to obtain compensation and get the justice you deserve. If you or your loved one has suffered from a premises liability injury, we recommend speaking to an attorney as soon as you can.
Premises liability cases often involve a long and thorough investigation. The property owner may try to claim that the dangerous condition never existed, that the dangerous conditions did not cause your injuries, or that they were not negligent in maintaining their property.
You will need an attorney who will begin investigating your case immediately. At DuBois Law Group, our Portland premises liability attorneys are here to help. We have the resources and experience necessary to investigate your case thoroughly. We will interview witnesses, gather any video footage available, and fight for your right to compensation.
Contact DuBois Law Group
If you and your loved one have been seriously injured on another person’s property, you may be entitled to compensation through a premises liability lawsuit. At DuBois Law Group, our Portland, Oregon, personal injury attorneys are ready to discuss your case with you and offer you skilled legal advice about your options. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.