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Premises liability: When can a property owner be held accountable?

After an injury on someone else's property, the first things on a person's mind are likely the pain and resulting medical costs of the injury itself. Questions of whether the property owner was at fault may come later. With that in mind, let's consider the circumstances in which a property owner or business has failed to protect visitors or tenants from injury.

In general, if you walk into a store or restaurant, then you are considered an invited visitor, and that means the property owner or the company leasing the property owes you a duty of care to protect you from unreasonable risk of injury. For example, if a store manager or employee does nothing about a slipping hazard caused by a broken jar of liquid, then anyone who slips on the liquid and suffers injuries may have grounds for a premises liability claim.

Likewise, if an employer fails to train workers to identify and correct hazardous situations, then the employer may be held liable for negligent supervision in the event that someone is injured because of the dangerous condition. Even if employees have been trained to keep aisles clear and clean up potentially dangerous substances, failure to act on that training could still result in injuries to visitors.

In some cases, an owner's failure to maintain a property may give rise to conditions that effectively promote criminal activity on the premises. For example, failure to properly light a store's parking lot could be a factor in why a visitor was robbed and harmed. A person who suffers losses because of negligent security may be able to obtain compensation for damages by holding the property owner accountable.

At Hyland Law Firm, LLC, we handle premises liability claims for clients in Kansas and Missouri. If you would like to learn more about our law practice, then our premises liability overview is a good place to start.

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