What are the landlord’s liabilities for injuries in a premises suit? If a tenant, visitor, or trespasser injures themselves on someone else’s property, the property owner might be held liable for the injuries. However, it requires that the plaintiff can prove that the proprietor was negligent in their duties. You can prove this one of two ways.
First, by showing that a property owner was aware of a dangerous situation on the premises but failed to address the problem.
Second, by proving that the property owner should have known about a safety hazard but failed to acknowledge or remedy the problem.
However, simply having an accident on the premises of a property, be it a rental house, apartment building, or place of business is not enough to prove landlord liability.
What Are the Landlords Liabilities for Injuries in a Premises Suit?
For a property owner or tenant to be found negligent in a premises suit, they will have to prove the following:
- The property owner or tenant knew of the problem on the premises.
- The property owner or tenant is responsible for fixing the hazardous conditions.
- It was reasonable for the owner or tenant to fix the problem, yet they failed to do so.
- The injury was a direct result of not correcting problems on the premises and that correcting the problem would have stopped the injury from occurring.
- The tenant, visitors, or trespasser suffered legitimate injuries because of an accident on the premises.
When Is an Occupier Liable for Injury on the Premises?
In some cases, the occupier has the liability for injury on the premises. This occurs whenever it is the occupier’s responsibility to correct problems on the premises. Most often, occupier liability occurs at a place of business.
If the occupier fails to inform the property owner about a problem, then the proprietor cannot be at fault. Likewise, if an occupier fails to warn an invitee or licensee that a problem exists, they may be liable for any injuries on the premises.
Although trespassers are not invited to visit the premises, trespassers still have rights. If the occupier is aware that a trespasser is on the property, then they must be treated with a duty of care and cannot be negligent. Additionally, occupiers cannot create hazardous conditions that would injure trespassers.
What Damages Can Someone Recover from a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
By proving that a property owner or tenant is responsible for their injuries, this individual can legally recover:
- Any medical expenses that are a direct result of the accident.
- Costs for pain and suffering experienced from the accident.
- Time missed from work while suffering from the injury.
- Loss of the loved one that died because of the injury.
- Emotional distress or a loss of enjoyment caused by the accident.
Thus, it is important for a property owner or occupier to protect themselves from liability by taking appropriate action. Failure to do so can result in millions of dollars in damages, especially due to loss of life or a permanent disability.
Can You Minimize Your Liability as a Property Owner?
There are several ways that a property owner or occupier can minimize their premises liability. Here are some examples of ways that you can keep your property in excellent condition:
- Establish a procedure for repairing and maintaining your property. Outline these details clearly in a rental agreement or lease.
- Complete a walkthrough of the property before a tenant moves in and resolve any safety issues.
- Visit the property periodically using a checklist of items that commonly need addressing.
- Request that your tenants inspect the property and notify you of any unsafe conditions.
- Resolve any safety issues that your tenant notifies you about and keep these details in a written log. You should note the date that your tenant told you of the property and the dates and times you fixed the problems.
- Stay up to date on maintenance requests by completing urgent safety repairs within 24 hours of being aware of the issue. Inform the occupiers of the property of the steps you have taken to remedy the hazards.
- Keep your property insurance policy active. Also, ensure that the coverage amount exceeds potential damages that can occur on the premises.
Who Should I Contact If I Have Questions About Landlords Liabilities for Injuries on the Premises?
If you believe that a property owner or occupier is responsible for your injury, call Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath at (561) 655-1990. Our experienced attorneys will take the time to learn about the incident and inform you of your legal rights.