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Premises Liability
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Premise Liability

As the name implies, this type of injury occurs on a premises. It can cover a wide variety of circumstances such as: slip and falls due to improper maintenance or faulty construction, dog bites, assaults which take place on property, etc. The key element to a claim here is notice of the defect or circumstance to the owner or operator before the injury occurs. The notice of the defect can be direct( actual) or constructive(implied) in form. In fact the majority of cases present themselves not with actual notice to the owner, as it is rare to have direct evidence that the owner was given actual notice of the specific defect or circumstance. Most claims are put forth based on constructive notice. Constructive notice is a situation where the owner knew or should have known of the defect given all of the surrounding facts and circumstances. For instance, a property owner of a store or business maintains the store entrance for use by patrons, a snow or ice storm occurs and the owner fails to check the entrance for accumulation of ice and snow for several days. Although no one directly informed him of the condition, he, being aware of the snow or ice storm, should have checked or inspected the entrance for the ice or snow. The snow or ice storm itself provided constructive notice to the owner of a potential dangerous condition which he should have remedied. Thus the law places upon him the duty to inspect for a dangerous condition when given constructive notice of the condition. This principle can apply many situations from someone who slips in a store on a wet floor to someone who is beaten and robbed in a parking garage. If there exists facts or circumstances which will indicate that the owner knew or should have known of the dangerous conditions existing, then the requirement of constructive is generally satisfied.

The second key element in these situations is control of the property where the injury occurred. Sometimes the owner is not the party in control of the premises. The law holds the party in control of the property responsible for the care, maintenance and inspection of same. Thus if the owner has leased the property to a party who has control of the premises it is that party who is responsible and not the owner. The key here is who had control of the premises.

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