Premises Liability vs. Negligence: What is the Difference
When you experience an accident in another person’s property, premises liability is the law area that covers your injuries. Common places prone to premises liability cases are grocery stores because of liquid spills on the floor. However, other business places such as convenience stores, shopping malls, and big-box stores are also susceptible to these types of cases.
Other places covered in premises liability are office buildings, schools, recreational parks, convention centers, hotels, and their parking areas and sidewalks. An individual’s private property can also be involved in these kinds of claims.
Generally, if you sustain injuries in a property that is not yours, and the accident was a result of someone else’s carelessness, that is a potential case of premises liability. Various conditions can be causes of injuries, including:
- Slick or wet floors, especially in grocery stores
- Exposure to poisonous substances
- Animal bites from animals such as dogs
- Faulty equipment such as escalators and elevators
- Holes in the ground or floor
- Improperly-built stairs
- Dangerous electrical equipment, exposed wiring, and other electrical dangers
- Uneven or cracked floors
- Poor security
- Lack of warning signs to notify people about unsafe areas
In a premises liability case, there are three aspects you’re required to prove:
- Duty of care – You need to prove that the owner, manager, and employees are responsible for keeping the property safe for visitors. They must maintain the property and keep it safe by using “reasonable care.”
- The duty of care was breached – You need to prove that the owner and manager knew or should have known about the property’s unsafe conditions, and they did not take the appropriate action to solve the problem.
- Your injury was caused by this breach – Simply showing there were unsafe conditions in the property isn’t enough. To maximize the chances of getting compensation, you must prove the injuries you sustained are directly connected to the neglected care of duty in the property.
One thing you can do to collect evidence is taking photos at the accident scene or have someone else take them for you. These photos can be a great asset to you and your personal injury lawyer when it comes to proving who was liable for the accident.
Negligence is different from premises liability in that it’s a more comprehensive term that includes all types of careless actions that lead to injury. That means premises liability is also part of negligence, among other personal injury cases. Negligence is one of the most pursued claims in various states, and to seek compensation, you must prove the three aspects we discussed earlier.
What is “gross negligence?” It’s vital to note the difference between ordinary negligence and gross negligence. While the former involves simple acts of carelessness or failure to observe the duty of care, the latter involves conscious or intentional recklessness with complete disregard of other people’s safety. In some situations, victims of gross negligence qualify to recover punitive damages. One example of gross negligence is a nursing home’s failure to provide essential items like food or water to an individual for several days, leading to deteriorated health. Another is someone deliberately driving into a crowd.
A defendant may start blaming you for the accident. Various states are different when it comes to contributory and comparative negligence. However, what you need to know is that even if you were partially liable for the accident, you can still be partially compensated for your losses.
Statute of Limitations
The state you live in may have different specific rules when it comes to pursuing various personal injury cases. However, if you sustain an injury because of someone else’s carelessness, especially premises liability, talk to a lawyer right away for immediate action. Don’t wait until the end of the deadline to file your lawsuit; it takes time to build a successful case. If you wait until the end, you may lack adequate time to prepare, resulting in a loss or dismissal of your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Negligence Claim With an Experienced Attorney
Did you sustain injuries and other losses due to another individual’s or entity’s negligence? At Oberheiden Law, our attorneys are dedicated to providing expert legal representation to ensure victims of negligence get the compensation they deserve. We provide our services on a contingency basis, charge less than other firms (25% instead of 33%), and have recovered over $6 billion for various clients. We’re available 24/7; schedule your free consultation. Call now.