Premises liability refers to the general idea that property owners owe a legal duty to help prevent injury to visitors. This concept applies to homeowners, businesses, and other property owners. When the appropriate standard is not upheld, the owner can be held liable for any injuries that occur on the property. If you have been injured at another’s home or at a business, our Arkansas premises liability attorney can help you determine your legal rights and options.
What Must a Property Owner Do to Keep a Property Safe?
As is often the case with legal matters, it depends. Typically, victims are injured while shopping at a store, in which case the visitor will likely be considered an “invitee.” Businesses have a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition for the benefit of invitees, which includes, for instance, maintaining sidewalks, stairwells, walkways, and parking lots to ensure they are not in disrepair or otherwise in a dangerous condition. For example, following an ice or snow storm, walkways should be cleared and salted as soon as practicable to prevent slipping. Similarly, businesses should clean up spills as soon as possible and warn customers of dangerous conditions.
Sometimes victims are injured at a person’s home, in which case the visitor will likely be considered a “licensee.” In that case, the property owner generally owes a duty to warn of hidden dangers that are not obvious to the visitor. For example, if a homeowner knows the exterior stairs are in poor condition, and the stairs break beneath the weight of a guest, causing injury, the homeowner is likely liable for the guest’s injuries.
Common Premises Liability Situations
A variety of different accidents can happen on a property. However, the most common type of premises liability situation is called a “slip and fall.” This type of accident involves tripping, slipping, or stumbling on something. For example, spills, debris, ice, or loose or uneven flooring can cause a person to slip or trip, and the resulting fall frequently causes serious injury.
Common injuries include:
- Head injuries such as concussions, lacerations, brain injuries, and more
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones, fractures, or sprains, usually resulting from either a twisting motion as one falls or from using a hand or arm to brace the fall
- Facial cuts, scrapes, and other lacerations
- Dental injuries, such as broken teeth
The most common causes of these incidents and injuries are poor lighting, slippery surfaces, obstructions in walkways, stairs, or other common areas, holes, debris, and spills.
Consult With an Attorney
If you or a loved one was injured while on another person’s property, you may have a claim against the property owner. An experienced premises liability attorney can help you bring a lawsuit and recover for your injuries. You need to act quickly. In Arkansas, you have three years, with certain exceptions, to bring an injury claim. That time begins to run on the date of your injury or accident. We understand the importance of promptly addressing your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.