Premises liability is a concept of legal theory referring to accidents, incidences and events caused by a condition occurring on another’s property. Usually, the accident involves injuries and damages caused by accumulated snow and ice, improper maintenance, a defect in construction, obstructions, foreign objects, broken stairways, slippery floors or property defect.
By law, a property owner or property holder in Rhode Island can be held legally responsible to pay for personal injuries and damages suffered by a victim that was using the property or visiting. Many, but not all, premises liability cases involve slip and fall accidents. However, nearly all premises liability cases involve allegations of negligence.
Common Rhode Island Premises Liability Cases
Many victims injured on another’s property will hire a personal injury attorney because of the complexities of filing and resolving a claim for compensation involving premises liability. This is because pursuing financial recovery is extensive and requires a comprehensive understanding of Rhode Island tort law and the ability to negotiate with claims adjusters or present a case at trial. The most common Rhode Island premises liability cases handled by personal injury attorneys involve:
• Slip and falls occurring because of accumulated snow and ice
• Injuries from slippery surfaces in retail establishments and grocery stores
• swimming pool drowning or accident
• Animal attack or dog bite
• Porch railing failure or porch collapse
• Stairway collapse or defective stairs
• Smoke or fire injury
• Deck or balcony defect
• Building or floor collapse
• Serious injuries caused by uneven surfaces
• Insufficient lighting
• Lack of security leading to physical assault or sexual assault
• Injury caused by water leakage, flooding or spills
• Fallen merchandise
• Building code violation
• Improper building construction
• Defective building design
• Unmarked stairways or stair steps
Who is legally liable for a personal injury involving premises liability?
Usually, in Rhode Island, the property owner has a legal responsibility for any injury occurring through negligent maintenance of the premises. However, many business tenants lease the commercial property from the owner who might not have any or all control of the premises. When that occurs, the business tenant usually has a legal responsibility to keep the maintenance on the property.
However, many slip and fall accidents occur on residential properties that might be owned by a landlord and rented by the tenant. Other situations might include contractors working on the property who share in liability if they played a part in the accident that caused injuries. In most cases, homeowners, property owners and commercial tenants will maintain liability insurance that provides coverage for slip and fall and premises liability claims.
“Premises liability” is defined in Black’s Law Dictionary 1199 (7th ed. 1999) as “[a] landowner’s or landowner’s tort liability for conditions or activities on the premises.”Premises liability law in Rhode Island “imposes an affirmative duty upon owners and possessors of property: `to exercise reasonable care for the safety of persons reasonably expected to be on the premises . . . includ[ing] and obligation to protect against the risks of a dangerous condition existing on the premises, provided the landowner knows of, or by the exercise of reasonable care would have discovered, the dangerous condition.'” Kurczy v. St. Joseph Veterans Ass’n, Inc., 820 A.2d 929, 935 (R.I. 2003) (quoting Tancrelle v. Friendly Ice Cream Corp., 756 A.2d 744, 752 (R.I. 2000)). FARAH PAUL,v.STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS, alias. C.A. No. PC 06-0287 Superior Court of Rhode Island, PROVIDENCE, SC. Filed – August 10, 2010.DECISION STERN, J.
Because most premises liability cases are based on a condition, proving an individual or entity is at fault requires a demonstration of how those in charge knew, or should have reasonably known, that the condition existed. As an example, premises liability attorney working on behalf of their client must prove that workers or management knew that the spilled liquids on a grocery store floor and yet took no action to remedy the problem before the victim slipped and suffered injuries.
Protecting your rights is essential after being injured in a premises liability slip and fall incident. It is crucial to use an experienced Rhode Island personal injury attorney or RI slip and fall lawyer with an understanding of complex regulations and Rhode Island tort and liability law. In many incidences, immediate notice to the property owner, insurance companies and claims adjusters is required to ensure all of your rights are preserved.
You should contact a Rhode Island Personal injury lawyer or a Rhode Island slip and fall attorney to obtain an initial opinion as to whether or not there was comparative fault involved. David has been practicing for 18 years and is licensed in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and the United States Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court of Texas stated “In a premises–liability case, the plaintiff must establish a duty owed to the plaintiff, breach of the duty, and damages proximately caused by the breach. Whether a duty exists is a question of law for the court and turns “on a legal analysis balancing a number of factors, including the risk, foreseeability, and likelihood of injury, and the consequences of placing the burden on the defendant.”In premises–liability cases, the scope of the duty turns on the plaintiff’s status.Here, Smith was an invitee, and generally, a property owner owes invitees a duty to use ordinary care to reduce or eliminate an unreasonable risk of harm created by apremises condition about which the property owner knew or should have known.” 307 S.W.3d 762 (2010) DEL LAGO PARTNERS, INC. and Del Lago Partners, L.P., Doing Business Under the Assumed Name of Del Lago Golf Resort & Conference Center, and BMC-The Benchmark Management Company, Petitioners,v.Bradley SMITH, Respondent.No. 06-1022. Supreme Court of Texas. Argued December 6, 2007.Decided April 2, 2010. http://www.scotxblog.com/orders/texas-supreme-court-upholds-liability-against-a-bar-that-did-not-stop-a-brewing-fight-orders-of-apr-2-2010/