For many, the majority of our waking hours are spent outside of our homes — at work, at church, at community events or shopping. As guests at these places, it is not reasonable to think that we can be aware of all the potential hazards on the property. Personal injury at any of these places falls into the legal category of premises liability.
Premises liability generally refers to accidents that happen to a guest and take place on another’s property. These property-holders include homeowners and business owners, and the injuries usually result from an unsafe condition on the land due to the negligence of the owner or some failure to warn of the dangers.
Landowners retain varying degrees of responsibility toward their visitors, depending on the category of law into which the visitors fall: invitee, licensee or trespasser. These categories are usually determined by the nature of the visit — whether it is for commercial or social purposes, whether it is by invitation or an intrusion.
To determine liability, inquiries will be made into the creation of the hazard, the length of time the hazard has existed, whether the landowner knew of the hazard or whether the landowner should have known of the hazard. Petersen & Petersen represents many people who have been innocently hurt while lawfully using another’s property. The following result involved a premises liability claim:
$1.635 Million Dollar Settlement in Wrongful Death Nursing Negligence/Premises Liability Case.
Plaintiff’s counsel alleged that a greater than 70 year old woman was the victim of substandard nursing care during an inpatient rehabilitation stay following an injury for a fall that occurred prior to admission. In the fall, the woman suffered a significant laceration of her knee and subsequent complications. The woman died several weeks later of sepsis. Plaintiff brought suit, alleging the nursing care was negligent and caused the woman’s death. Punitive damages were also alleged against the facility. The defendant nursing provider disputed the allegations. The case also included a premises liability claim against the business owner where the original slip and fall occurred. The remaining terms of the settlements, including but not limited to the identity of the parties and Court in which the matter was pending are confidential.