Premises Liability 101: Everything You Need to Know

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Property owners are responsible for maintaining a safe, hazard-free property. Any potential dangers could result in a serious accident, potentially leaving the property owner responsible for a severe injury. However, these cases are not as straightforward as they may seem. If you or someone you love was injured on another person’s property, make sure you know what you need for a premises liability case in Wisconsin.

Premises Liability Basics

When you enter another person’s property, that property owner is responsible for preserving your safety while on that property, to a certain extent. If there are any hazards or dangers on their premises, they could be held liable for any injuries that occur as a result. This could include anything from a slip and fall incident caused by a slippery fall to a drowning accident caused by an open pool. If a property owner does nothing to prevent such accidents from occurring, or fails to provide adequate warning against potential hazards, they might be considered responsible for any resulting harm.

Property Visitors

When someone enters another person’s property, they enter as one of three different types of visitors:

1. Invitee

2. Licensee

3. Trespasser

An invitee was either invited or allowed onto the property after receiving permission from the property owner or manager. A licensee is also granted permission from the property owner, but they are there for their own purposes. For example, a licensee might be a door-to-door salesperson. Lastly, if the visitor did not have permission from the property owner, that individual was a trespasser.

Children & Premises Liability

Kids tend to make premises liability cases a bit trickier. While adults are considered capable of discerning certain dangers for themselves, children are not. Kids, especially young children or toddlers, lack the cognitive ability to comprehend some of the dangers certain properties might contain. For example, where an adult sees a rusted, flimsy car frame, a child may see a potential jungle gym. For this reason, property owners are responsible for taking measures to protect children from coming into contact with any potential hazards they contain on their property. If a property is not gated off, or if there are dangerous objects in the front yard where a young child might easily stumble upon them, the property owner might be considered liable for the child’s injuries.

However, there are often exceptions to this rule when the owner has provided adequate warning about the potential dangers, or when the child is old enough to perceive the potential danger. Teenagers or older children, for example, are often capable of seeing the danger in certain actions, but if they forgo all warnings and put themselves in danger anyways, the property owner may not be responsible for their injuries.

Common Types of Cases

Premises liability cases may vary, but there are a few different types of cases that tend to occur more frequently than others. Most premises liability cases include:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Negligent security
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Amusement part accidents
  • Elevator or escalator accidents

If you or someone you love was harmed on someone else’s property, our firm is here to help you. We can assess the circumstances of your injury and help determine whether you have a case and, if so, who may be liable.

To get started on your premises liability case, contact Samster Konkel & Safran and discuss your situation with our Milwaukee personal injury attorneys.

Get in touch with us today to get started with your FREE case review. We’re only a call, click, or short drive away.