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Premises Liability vs. Automobile Accidents

How does a premises liability case differ from a car accident?

The personal injury damages for medical bills, pain and suffering and the like would be the same in either type of case. The person represented and the types of damages that would be recoverable are the same.

The real difference is the issue of liability and how you go about proving that the landlord or owner of the property that caused the injury or wrongful death did something wrong.

Let’s say someone falls down a flight of stairs and is seriously injured or dies. What was wrong with the stairwell that caused the accident to occur? Perhaps i could be contributory negligence. And, then, if so, to what extent was it the individual’s fault?

In cases like this, I go to the scene and see what the condition of the stairwell was and whether or not it was below the standards and building codes. That part can be difficult to find because before anything is built, the builder must make sure that it meets the building codes before they commence with the construction.

You could potentially sue for negligence per se, arguing that they failed to comply with some kind of building requirement or maintenance. It depends on the circumstances. You go and investigate the stairwell, and say it was built to code, but they failed to maintain it. Then you have a potential claim against that person for the way they maintained the stairwell and how that led to the injury.

What if there is a “Watch Your Step” sign?

If there is a sign warning people of a potential hazard and an accident occurs, you could argue that it’s potentially an admission, that they knew the stairwell was unsafe but, they failed to do anything to adequately correct it.

Learn more about auto accidents.