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What Is Premises Liability?

What Is Premises Liability?

What is premises liability law, and how can home and business owners be held responsible for incidents or accidents that occur on their properties? And in the age of the COVID-19 crisis, does premises liability law include the virus? The Anastopoulo law firm explains these below.

What Does Premises Liability Mean?

Premises liability means that someone was injured or killed on another person's property due to an unsafe condition that was not corrected by the property owner or tenant. In a premises liability lawsuit, the injured party has to prove the property owner was negligent. The lawsuit has to prove that the property owner knew the dangerous or defective condition existed, but did not address or fix the issue. 

What is premises liability

There are several types of defective conditions that fall under premises liability. They include:

  • Slipping and falling
  • Snow and icy conditions that are left unchecked
  • Lack of property maintenance
  • Lack of security in a building that causes injury or assault
  • Defective or malfunctioning escalators and elevators
  • Amusement park ride accidents
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Toxic fumes and chemicals

Premises liability laws outlines three property visitor status levels for lawsuits:

  • Invitees - someone such as a relative or close friend who is invited onto the property
  • Licensees - people who visit the property for business reasons, such as an air conditioning repair professional or salesperson
  • Trespassers - someone who is neither an invitee or licensee; however, children who wander onto a property uninvited who want to use an owner’s swimming pool are generally given more care than a hunter who deliberately uses private property clearly marked with “No Hunting” signs

However, these definitions vary from state to state. The Anastopoulo Law firm can analyze your case circumstances and assist you with legal representation.

COVID-19 And Premises Liability

The COVID-19 virus crisis has raised questions from property owners who lease their facilities to tenants that include:

  • Am I responsible if my tenants become ill from the coronavirus?
  • Am I responsible for ensuring the tenants take precautions to avoid spreading the coronavirus?

If you are in this situation, we recommend you contact us at 800-313-2546 so we may learn more and advise you on the best steps.

Business owners who have reopened to the public may be able to beat back a premises liability case filed against them if they have complied with state and federal guidelines to protect employees and customers, and actively enforce those guidelines. The plaintiff has to prove she or he contracted the virus from the business, and that the business was not complying with all health guidelines. Because the pandemic is still present in the United States, not all legal questions can be answered at this time regarding premises liability for COVID-19.

However, if you are a business owner and are being threatened with, or have a premises liability lawsuit filed against your company specifically because of COVID-19, please contact us at 800-313-2546 so we may evaluate your case and advise you on the appropriate course of action.

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