The Importance of "Duty of Care" in a Premises Liability Claim

The Importance of "Duty of Care" in a Premises Liability Claim

Premises liability law is considered a branch of the personal injury tree. However, while personal injury cases often entail an injured plaintiff suing a defendant, premises liability involves the plaintiff suing a property owner.

Whether in public or private places, property owners have a legal duty to those who enter their property and a responsibility to maintain a safe environment for them or warn them of present dangers. If a property owner fails their duty, they can be held financially liable for their injury.

What’s the Duty of Care Owed by Property Owners

Property owners owe a high degree of care to invitees (visitors, guests, and tenants) and licensees (customers and those involved in business). To those types of individuals, property owners are required to keep their premises safe to prevent and avoid injury. However, this duty is often diminished to trespassers (uninvited or unwanted guests), except if they are children.

For a property owner to be held liable for a premises liability claim, the danger must have been foreseeable and that the owner’s negligence caused an injury. As far as dangerous conditions on a premises are concerned, a person injured on someone else’s property must prove that the cause of the accident was a dangerous condition that the owner knew about and failed to address or repair. A hazardous condition must present an unreasonable risk to an individual on the premises, and it must have been a condition the injured party should not have known.

To successfully win a premises liability case, a plaintiff must demonstrate:

  • The property owner created the condition;
  • The property owner knew the condition existed and negligently failed to fix or repair it; or
  • The condition existed for a period of time that the owner should have found and repaired it before the incident in question.

If you have suffered a serious injury on someone else’s property in Mississippi, contact Harris Law and schedule a free consultation with our Greenville injury attorneys. 35 years of legal experience!