As an individual legally entering the property of another, he or she has
a reasonable expectation of not getting injured within premises. Therefore,
the owner of the property has a responsibility to maintain a safe environment
for its occupants and visitors. This is known as
premises liability. As an example, a hotel visitor can sue the management if he or she slips
and falls and is then injured, because the area is poorly-maintained when
it should have been. However, if it was found that the visitor acted with
unreasonable care (such as being intoxicated or running through a closed
area), then the claim may not be valid.
Here are some of the frequently-asked questions when it comes to the topic of
Can an establishment be held responsible if a crime occurs near or at the
Establishments cannot be typically held liable for crimes committed near
or at the establishment, unless the crime could have been anticipated,
and preventive measures could have been applied around it, either through
appropriate warnings and improved security systems. Given this, it is
the establishment’s responsibility to warn its visitors and employees
about dangerous conditions, especially it is located in a crime-prone
area. Moreover, it is the establishment’s job to ensure that the
area is secured – windows and doors have functioning locks and that
areas are well-lit to ensure that criminals won’t be able to easily
penetrate and escape.
If an individual slips and falls on a broken piece of the sidewalk, can
the government be sued?
There are states that give immunity to local governments when it comes to
personal injurycases. However, in states that do not give this immunity, victims can file
a case against the local government. It is the duty of municipalities
to ensure that sidewalks and roads are in the right condition so as not
to cause accidents. If it can be proven that there was a failure on the
part of the local government to ensure that the sidewalk is in good condition,
then a case can be built against them. It is also recommended to take
note of the deadlines and requirements to raise such claims.
If an individual is attacked after transacting at an automated teller machine
(ATM), can the bank be held responsible?
In the past, banks have had no legal duty to provide security to prevent
such crimes. However, this is now being recognized as a valid need, depending
on the circumstances surrounding the area the attack occurred. If it is
found that the area is known to be prone to such attacks and yet the bank
did not do anything to protect its customers, then the bank could be held
If an individual attends a party on a neighbor’s and is injured,
can the neighbor be held liable?
There have been instances when guests are able to recover damages from
their hosts, but it all depends on the cause and the nature of the injury.
Responsible homeowners should inform their guests about dangerous conditions
in the house that guests might not be able to notice. As an example, if
a guest slips on a wet patch caused by a leak in the ceiling, and did
not warn the guests about it, he or she could be held liable for the failure
to warn and for not repairing the leak when he or she knew that guests
would be coming.
If you have other questions related to premises liability, contact The
Kyle Law Firm so we can talk about your concerns.