You might be a skilled handyman doing odd-jobs and repairs for family and friends. You receive serious injuries while working on a friend’s house. Who is responsible for the medical bills that are piling up? The owner of a property is responsible for any injuries that occur on their property due to unsafe or hazardous conditions. Premises liability is the name of this legal concept. The following information will help you understand premises liability:
Legal Status of the Visitor
States have different laws and statutes about premises liability. There are three types of visitors that may come onto a person’s property:
- An invitee is a person who comes onto a property to conduct business.
The property owner has a legal obligation to make sure that invitees are safe while on the property.
Two common examples of invitees are store customers and vendors or suppliers.
- A licensee is someone who enters a property for social or personal reasons.
The licensee has the permission of the property owner to enter the property.
The property owner must take reasonable measures to make sure a licensee is safe while in the home.
- A trespasser is a person who enters a property without permission.
The property owner has no obligation to ensure the safety of a trespasser.
In most jurisdictions, the property owner must post warnings of unsafe conditions.
Types of Premises Liability
An injured person must prove that the property owner did not use reasonable care in maintaining the property. They must also show that the property owner was aware that the property was unsafe (negligence). Here are common causes for premises liability cases based on negligence:
- Lack of proper maintenance of property
- Faulty stairs, walkways, or other structures located on the property
- Wet floors
- Loose rugs or carpets
- Broken floor tiles
- Cracked or chipped sidewalks
- Toxic fumes
The Insurance Information Institute states that in the years 2011-2015, the average homeowner’s loss for medical payments was $2,875. To ensure that anyone injured on their property can receive proper medical care, property owners should consider purchasing homeowner’s insurance. Otherwise, they risk having to pay the injured person out-of-pocket.
- The policy should include accidental injuries of other people on the property.
- The policy should also cover damages to the home.
- Even if no mortgage exists, the owner of the house may have a homeowner’s policy.
Working with a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are unable to reach a fair settlement with the insurance company, you need to hire a personal injury lawyer Fort Collins CO relies on. The attorney will know the laws in your state for personal injury cases. You will need to provide copies of your medical records and accident-related receipts to the lawyer. He or she will need this information to determine the value of your claim.
Homeowners are responsible for accidents and injuries due to unsafe or hazardous conditions. If you receive injuries at a friend’s house, you may be able to receive payment for your medical bills from their homeowner’s insurance company. If the insurance company makes an unfair offer, or denies your claim, consider contacting a personal injury lawyer for help.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cannon Hadfield Stienben, LLC for their insight into personal injury practice.