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The Nuts and Bolts of Premises Liability

People may suffer an injury while walking in a shopping mall or a store. The injury may be caused by defects in the building or water spillage on the floor. Residents of Illinois should be aware that in such cases, the victim might be able to file a premises liability claim against the owner of the property on which the injury occurred.

When a person is injured on someone else's property, the property owner may be held liable for the accident under certain circumstances. Different U.S. states have different laws regarding premises liability. Some states consider whether the visitor legally entered the premises, and some states consider whether the property was reasonably safe.

In states that consider the visitor's status, a visitor is categorized as an invitee, social guest, licensee or trespasser. The owner is responsible for ensuring the safety of visitors to his property and to his customers but not to trespassers or licensees. Even if the visitor isn't careful, the owner may be held responsible for accidents. States that consider the property condition apply a uniform standard of care to the licensees and invitees. However, owners are not generally held responsible for injuries in trespassers.

According to the law, the owner has to give trespassers reasonable notice of dangerous artificial conditions, but if such conditions are obvious, no warning is required. If children enter the property, the owner must warn the children of dangerous conditions. If a child is injured, the owner may generally be held liable even if the child entered the property without permission.

If a property is rented, the person leasing out the property may not generally be held responsible for physical harm caused to visitors because he or she has no control over the place. If the property was defective when it was leased and a person receives injuries due to such damage, the person who leased it out may generally be held responsible.

Anyone who is injured on someone else's property should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to explore their options. Under certain circumstances, the property owner may be held liable for those injuries.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Premises liability who is responsible?"

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