A property owner (whether a homeowner, landlord, store owner, business operator, or proprietor of any other commercial establishment) has a legal duty to exercise reasonable care to ensure the safety and well being of anyone entering or using the property. If they fail in that duty and are negligent, ignore commonsense safety standards, or fail to warn or fix any obviously hazardous situation, they are legally liable for the resulting damages and losses.
Some examples of hazardous and unsafe conditions include:
- snow-covered or icy stairs and sidewalks
- wet and recently waxed floors
- spilled oil or other slippery substances
- sidewalk and pavement cracks, defects, excavations, and holes
- poorly maintained structures, such as stairs and railings, escalators, porches, and balconies
- inadequately protected and fenced pools, trampolines, and other “attractive nuisances”
- lead paint
- other hazardous environmental materials
- inadequate signage, warnings and barriers to prevent the consequences of known hazards
If you, a child, or another loved one, through no fault of their own, was injured on someone else’s property because of one of these or any other hazardous condition that the owner could have prevented, fixed, or warned you about, he or his insurance company may be responsible for fair compensation for your losses. But to make sure that happens, you’ll need the help and advice of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.