People who go onto the property of another have the right to expect that the property will be kept in a safe condition. When a person is injured on another’s property, the landowner may be liable for their medical expenses and other costs occurred. How much the landowner is required to do is dependent on why the person is on the property and varies by state law.
Generally, when someone is invited to a property, such as a business open to the public, the landowner has the highest degree of responsibility. They must actively work to prevent unsafe conditions such as icy walkways leading to the door or slippery floors inside. The landowner is liable for any accidents if three conditions are met.
- There was an unreasonable risk of harm
- The landowner knew about it or reasonably should have known about it
- The landowner failed to take ordinary care to either correct the problem or warn people to avoid it
The tests for reasonableness often depend on the type of property involved — a large store open to the public will be expected to exercise a greater level of care than a homeowner.
In the case of trespassers, the landowner’s primary responsibility is to not intentionally harm them. This includes by setting traps or by failing to correct trap-like conditions such as an open ditch in a dark area where trespassers might walk through. Landowners are also responsible for erecting barricades around things like pools to keep children from being tempted to come onto their property.
For more information about filing a premises liability lawsuit in Houston, Texas, or throughout the state, contact Black Law today.