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Distinguishing between premises and personal liability claims

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Premises Liability

After an injury, you may be entitled to pursue financial compensation through legal means. Two primary types of liability cases may come into play: premises liability and personal liability.

The determination of which case applies hinges on identifying who bears responsibility for the accident that caused the injury. It can help to understand these distinctions on a basic level before speaking with a legal team to pursue the compensation you deserve.

Premises liability

The premises liability legal concept mandates that property owners or occupiers maintain a reasonably safe environment for visitors. This duty applies across various types of properties like commercial buildings, residential units, public spaces and even private homes.

In a premises liability case, the key issue is justifying if the property owner or occupier failed to address known hazards or maintain proper safety standards. Common examples include:

  • Slip and fall accidents due to hazardous floors
  • Inadequate security that leads to criminal incidents against guests
  • Injuries from defective or poorly maintained structures or equipment on the premises

To establish premises liability, the injured plaintiff must prove the property owner or occupier had actual or was aware of the dangerous condition but failed to take reasonable preventive measures to fix it or warn visitors appropriately.

Personal liability

This concept revolves around the negligent, reckless or intentional actions of an individual or entity that directly cause injury to a person. Personal liability cases can arise from situations like:

  • Car accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Defective products
  • Assault and battery incidents

Here, the critical factor is the negligent party’s conduct or omissions leading to harm, not the state of a property. To prove personal liability, the plaintiff must be certain the defendant owed them a duty of care and failed to honor it through negligent or intentional misconduct.

These legal concepts seem similar but impact personal injury cases differently. Premises liability focuses on unsafe property conditions and owner negligence. Personal liability deals with an individual party’s actions causing harm. In either case, seeking legal guidance can help protect your rights.