• Apr
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    Who is Responsible When There’s an Accident in a Private Home?

    Premises Accidents

    We’ve all heard stories of people who’ve suffered slip and fall accidents on the job, in restaurant or hotel lobbies or grocery stores and who have gone on to file lawsuits against the property’s management and owners. But what happens when the premises accident happens in your own home? Can you be sued in the same way that those companies and business owners can?

    The short answer is yes. If you own property, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a business or a private home when it comes to maintaining a safe environment that people can enter without being at risk for injury. The laws that address this obligation fall under the category of premises liability, and the basic premise is that property owners have a duty of care to those who enter their premises. That doesn’t mean that every accident is the fault of the owner, but it does mean that as owner, you can be held liable if it is shown that you didn’t act responsibly.

    When it comes to determining who is at fault when a premises accident occurs, there are a few questions that need to be answered. One of the most important is whether the visitor was on your property legally and in what capacity. If a person has been invited onto the property or is there at the consent of the owner, then the assumption is that they are welcome and that the owner will have taken precautions to assure their safety. By contrast, trespassers do not have permission to be on your property and there is no assumption that the property owner is responsible for their safety.

    In determining fault for a premises accident, there are other factors that need to be considered, including the condition of the property and whether the property owner should have an expectation that people will come onto their property. This is particularly important in situations where a child might come onto a property uninvited as a result of something attractive on the property, such as a sledding hill, a trampoline or playground, or a swimming pool. In those cases, even if children are not invited onto the property there is an expectation that the owner will address any dangerous condition that might exist and take appropriate steps to prevent injury or death.

    People who enter a private home are expected to act responsibly and can be held partially at fault if they did not exercise care on their own behalf. If you have been injured and need information about your rights, contact our office today and set up an appointment to discuss your case.



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