The laws of premise liability state that a property owner or tenant is held responsible for any accidents and injuries suffered by third parties while on the premises. The third party, or entree, may be considered a visitor, licensee or trespasser. If someone is injured on the property, the case will depend largely on the status of the entree, as well as other circumstances depending on the case and the state in which it occured.
Premises Liability Cases
A property owner or tenant is responsible for providing a safe environment to all entrees of the property. The property owner’s duty of care requires proper maintenance and reasonable care of the property. If an injury is sustained on the property, then the owner may be held liable on the grounds of negligence, or the inattentiveness of property care that resulted in an accident.
Among the most common personal injury cases that can be considered premise liability are slip and fall accidents. If a property guest trips over a cord and sustains injuries, the owner may be help liable on the grounds that the he or she did not secure the cord to prevent injury. This is true for property tenants, as well, because they hold current responsibility of the property and property conditions.
Typically, a property owner or tenant is not held liable for the injury of a trespasser, however, there is an exception to this. Under the laws of attractive nuisance, a property owner or tenant may be held liable for the injuries sustained by a trespasser on the premises. An example of such case would be if a child trespassed onto a property to swim in a pool, and sustained injuries from the pool that attracted them onto the property.
The Doctrine of Attractive Nuisance
Under the Doctrine of Attractive Nuisance, the property owner may be held liable for a child’s injury that occurred as a result of something on the property that is likely to be attractive to children. The doctrine in based upon the theory that for a young child, an attractive object, which may act as a lure, is equivalent to an invite. In such case, the property owner is responsible for maintaining and caring for an object on the property that children may be attracted to. These object may include anything from a pool or trampoline, to abandoned cars and appliances.
This doctrine is designed to protect younger children with the inability to identify something as hazardous. In court, the child’s maturity, or ability to identify a hazardous object, will be determined on a case-by-case rather than by a set age limit. If they are deemed as mature enough to recognize the risk of the object that caused the injury, then the attractive nuisance theory may not apply.
The Importance of a Personal Injury Attorney
If you find yourself involved in a premise liability case involving the doctrine of attractive nuisance, it is advised that you seek the legal guidance of an experienced personal injury lawyer such as a personal injury lawyer residents trust. Such cases can be very complex and provide opportunity for error detrimental to the case. A skilled attorney can help you protect your legal rights and interests, as well as navigate you through your case step by step.