Good Intentions

Accidents and Lawsuits

When you invite guests over to your house, you do so with the intention of enjoying their company, not with the intention of them harming themselves. Unfortunately, accidents happen, and sometimes those accidents result in serious lawsuits. If you're currently involved in a premises liability case or just want to educate yourself on the subject, it's good to know just what constitutes a premises liability case.

What You Should Know

Knowledge About Liability is Key

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What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability cases involve injuries caused by negligence on the property owner's part. True negligence involves a property owner failing to maintain her or his premises or keep up with safety inspections of the property. However, just because a person is injured on your property does not automatically mean that person has a solid liability case against you, nor does it mean you're a negligent property owner.

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The Duty of Care

There are three different categories of visitors in premises liability cases: licensees, invitees, and trespassers. Salespeople are an example of licensees, individuals invited on a property but have their own agenda. Invitees are friends, neighbors, and family while trespassers are individuals who don't have the property owner's permission to be on the premises. Each category comes with a limited duty of care on the property owner's part.

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Types of premises liability

Slip and fall accidents are some of the more common types of premises liability cases in Oklahoma and across the United States. Defective property conditions due to lack of repairs or poor maintenance, preventable fires, and dog bites are typical examples of occurrences claimed in premises liability cases. Lawton attorneys say that property owners should always warn guests of potential problem areas within their property.

Inspect Your Property

Take Proactive Measures

The best way for Oklahoma property owners of residential or commercial property to protect themselves from being involved in a premises liability case is to take steps to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Home owners and store managers should perform routine inspections of all areas of their property and complete necessary repairs as soon as possible. If repairs cannot be completed in a timely manner, hazardous areas should be blocked off from access by visitors.