Accidents occurring in a dangerous property are classified as ‘premises liability’ accidents. These types of accidents often take place in commercial districts, private residences and even on public property such as parks and public vehicles.
The circumstances are deemed dangerous for a lot of reasons such as a defective design, poorly constructed structures and inadequate maintenance.
Should an accident occur on a dangerous property, which individual is held entirely responsible for the victim’s condition?
Liability Guidelines for Premises Accident
There are only two basic rules to figure out who is entirely held liable for a premises accident.
Rule One: The Owner Has a Responsibility to Maintain Safety on the Property
The proprietor is legally bound to supervise whoever enters the place. The visitor could be a tenant, a shopper or someone who is on a business visit. These visitors should be protected from whatever circumstance they are exposed to. The basic principle to bear in mind is that the owner has the power to promote safety and he/she has the responsibility for the visitor’s safety.
If the apartment building manager or owner does not replace a broken tile in the entry hall, the responsibility lies on her or him if someone stumbles on that tile and is hurt.
Rule Two: The Visitor Should Use Facilities Normally
According to the second guideline of premises liability, this applies more to the conduct of the victim. If the victim sustains an injury through a careless manner, this can absolve the proprietor for any form of liability.
Do These Rules Apply to Injured Employees?
The rules can be applicable to workers who have experienced injuries in the property of their employer. The workers have to make a worker’s compensation claim, not a personal injury claim.
But employees who suffered harm on the premises might be eligible to make a claim against the owner of the property.
Who is Held Liable: The Owner or the Tenant?
The proprietor is different from the occupier. For instance, the occupant of the building may not necessarily be the owner of the building and it can be owned by a corporation.
If the proprietor and tenant of a property are different elements, then who is held liable for the victim’s injury? The rules can highly depend on which property is involved.
The bottom line for this issue is to file a notice of claim for both owner and occupier. The victim’s injury serves as the responsibility for their respective insurance companies. The company will then decide how the compensation will be given.
Injuries Occurring at Commercial Property
If you experienced injury at the store, office or any establishments, this is pre-determined by where the injury occurred and what the extent of injury is. The nature of the lease contract also explains who is liable for the injury. The establishment should be immediately notified of the nature of accident. The insurance company can shoulder the claim or transfer the responsibility to the proprietor’s insurance company.
Private Residential Property
The rules of liabilities for accidents that happen on private residential homes are quite simple, and differ on the type of residential property.
Rental Property. If you are a tenant who got injured in an accident on rented property, whoever is in-charge in the upkeep of the area where you had the accident is liable. In most cases, this is how that liability is delegated:
The property-owner is accountable for the exterior of the apartment (entrances, stairs, hallways) and also the things installed inside (fixtures, walls, floors, appliances in the apartment).
The tenant is liable for all the movable things.
However, if the tenant is aware of an unsafe condition to an immovable thing inside the property (such as a broken tile) but ignores it, both the landlord and the tenant may be held liable for an injury arising from an unsafe condition.
Private residence. If the cause of your accident injury was a defective or dangerous condition at a private residence, the homeowner is responsible. In case the whole house is rented out, the occupant may also be liable.
How About Accidents Occurring on Adjoining Properties?
Some properties can be co-owned by two people. For instance, the injury occurred at the fence on the property line of another individual, this can be difficult to determine which property caused the accident. An initial notice of claim can be filed against the owners of the involved areas where the injury occurred. Both parties will negotiate on who will be held liable for the claim.