Property Liability in McKinney Slip and Fall Cases
Premises liability means the responsibility for the maintenance of a piece of property or premises. The owner or occupier of the premises has the duty to make safe any defects that the owner knew or should have known about or alternatively to warn visitors of any defects.
Property liability in McKinney slip and fall cases revolves around the concept of premises liability. Property owners who fail to fix or warn of a hazard that could cause a fall, such as a spilled liquid, may be liable for an injured visitor’s injuries. Contact a seasoned slip and fall lawyer for help with your claim.
Legal Standard of Reasonable Care
Property liability in McKinney slip and fall cases revolve around the legal standard of reasonable care. Reasonable care is the type of care that a reasonable person would use in the same circumstances. It is a floating standard in that it depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding the activity at the time. When a jury applies that standard, it means they have to consider the potential danger and risk to others when deciding whether an action or a condition is reasonable.
For instance, if a property has a condition that might result in someone stubbing a toe, since it is not a serious injury, the need to prevent it is relatively low. On the other hand, if a condition could result in somebody falling, having to have several surgeries, and ending up with lifetime disability, a much higher degree of care is reasonable under the circumstance.
How an Injured Person’s Classification Affects Property Owner Liability
In slip and fall cases, plaintiffs fall into several categories depending on whether they are a trespasser, licensee, or invitee. Based on the classifications, the injured person is treated differently. If the injured person is a customer or potential customer at the location to do or potentially do business, the injured person is considered a business invitee.
Another class of injured person is called a permissive user. A permissive user has permission to be on the premises but is not there for the potential economic benefit of the owner or occupier of the property. For permitted users, there must simply be a warning of any known problems or defects. A permissive user is similar to a business invitee but there is no duty to fix are warn of hazards that the owner or occupier should have known about but does not.
The lowest level of care is owed to a trespasser, a person who is on someone’s property without permission. The only duty a landowner has to them not to intentionally harm the trespasser; the owner or occupier of the property owes them no other duty if they are harmed by a premises defect.
A Lawyer Could Help Establish Property Liability in McKinney Slip and Fall Cases
Establishing property liability in McKinney slip and fall cases may require collecting evidence to prove both the property owner’s knowledge of the underlying hazard and the plaintiff’s classification as an invitee. The investigation necessary to gather such evidence may be difficult for a layperson. If you have suffered injuries in a slip and fall, contact an experienced attorney for help moving your case through litigation.