You might assume that because you aren't a business owner, or running a dangerous program, you don't have a risk of being sued for injuries that occur on your property. Under the theory of premises liability, however, you may be charged with negligence in certain common situations. Victims are entitled to damages that they sustained, but you don't want to be unfairly blamed. To understand how premises liability works and the common ways that people are sued, read on. You can help protect yourself from being held accountable under premises liability.
Injuries occurred when hosting a party. Throwing a house party? Even just a birthday party? Rethink how you run your gatherings. Guests who are injured in the course of attending your event might be able to recover the costs and damages associated with their injuries. Even if there is no alcohol involved (which increases the chances of being held liable if you don't cut off an intoxicated guest), you could be held liable if there are structural flaws in your house or residence, or you fail to maintain a safe environment. Guests who can prove that they were legally occupying the premises at the time of injury (invited and not just breaking in), sustained an injury that they could not have foreseen and prevented, and that you should have known about the risk involved and did not warn guests may be able to sue. If you feel like there are potential liabilities (broken railings, potholes outside) make sure to either block off the areas or make them as risk-free as possible.
Injuries to delivery people. Delivery is so convenient today. Almost everything can be delivered-especially with the introduction of Favor in Austin, which allows for personal shoppers to get groceries, meals, and even alcohol. However, if a delivery person gets injured while on your property, will that constitute a premises liability? The answer is possibly yes. The delivery person qualifies as a legal entrant to the property, since you implicitly allowed them into your property. The same rules as the party above apply here-if they were injured by something you could have reasonably prevented you may find yourself on the other end of a lawsuit.
Trespassers. We have discussed how most premises liability charges succeed because the entrant to the property had permission. You typically do not have liability if someone you did not invite gets injured while on your property. However, if the trespasser is a minor or child and is unable to make reasonable decisions (a child might not know that he or she cannot go into the neighbors' yard) you may find yourself still liable.
If you have additional questions about premises liability, or are on the other end of a premises liability lawsuit and believe you were not at fault, call the Kyle Law Firm today so a premises liability attorney can fight your case.