What Is Premises Liability? 5 of the Most Common Claim Types

When you hear about personal injury cases, you most likely focus on a single type, such as a slip-and-fall incident or a dog bite. However, many personal injury claims, including slip-and-fall incidents and dog bites, can actually fall under the broader category of premises liability.

Premises liability occurs when the negligence or wrongdoing of a property owner causes injury or loss. In this blog, we cover the basics of premises liability law and list five common types of premises liability claims.

What Is a Property Owner Liable For?

In premises liability, as with any type of personal injury claim, the legal process includes identifying who is at fault for the incident. For the property owner to be liable, the claimant must be able to prove the following:

  • The property is in fact owned by the person in question.
  • The incident occurred due to negligence or a wrongful act on the part of the property owner.
  • Any injuries were the direct result of that negligence or wrongful act.
  • The property owner knew about the defect or deficiency and failed to address it or warn about the hazard.
  • The injured party did not know about the hazard and could not have noticed it in time to prevent injury.
  • There was no misuse of property on the part of the injured party that increased his or her risk of injury due to the defect.

A trained personal injury lawyer gathers the evidence needed to establish liability.

What Are the Most Common Kinds of Premise Liability?

Property-related injuries can occur on residential or commercial properties. Most frequently, these incidents involve one of the following hazards:

  1. Inadequate Security

When you work for or become a patron of a company, that company is responsible for providing safe premises on which to conduct business. When employees or customers are injured in a break-in, robbery, or vandalism incident, the business’s security comes under scrutiny.

If the business’s security was lax, the company may be liable for the resulting injuries.

  1. Obstructions

Walking into an obstruction, whether it lays on the floor or hangs from the ceiling, is a common premises liability issue. In a public or commercial space, the owner is obligated to warn of overhangs and other obstructions.

In all property types, the owner is responsible for keeping walkways clear and usable.

  1. Poor Maintenance

Fixtures, appliances, and other common building elements can become dangerous when neglected. For example, many commercial premises liability cases deal with inadequate escalator or elevator maintenance.

This type of claim also occurs when a vital system, such as fire suppression, fails to function due to a lack of upkeep.

  1. Slip-and-Fall Risks

Slips and falls are one of the most common premises liability types overall. These incidents can occur due to wet or loose flooring, snow and ice, or misplaced cords and equipment.

  1. Uncontrolled Dogs

Pet owners are responsible for damages caused by their animals. This responsibility is particularly relevant when a property owner has a dog that is known to be aggressive. If the dog bites or attacks due to a lack of training or the lack of a fence or leash, the owner may be liable.


While these claim types are the most common, any serious but preventable injury that occurs on another’s property may indicate the right to a premises liability claim.

Have you sustained injuries on someone else’s property that should have been prevented? You may have a claim for premises liability. Consult with the expert staff at Otorowski, Johnston, Morrow and Golden, PLLC. You may be entitled to compensation that can help with your medical expenses, rehabilitation, and any income gaps caused by the incident.

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