Who is at fault when you get hurt on public property?

As you go about your daily errands and activities, you are likely setting foot on a wide variety of different public properties owned by many different people and businesses. If you suffer an injury while taking part in any of these activities, you may wonder exactly who is liable for that injury.

While not all injuries are due to negligence, many certainly are. In the event your injury is a result of the negligence of a property or business owner, you need to inform yourself about your rights and responsibilities under the law and how you can seek the appropriate and fair compensation for your injuries.

The basics of premises liability

When a person suffers an injury on someone else's property or at a public business, the negligence component may fall under a category of the law known as premises liability. The property or business owner may be liable for injuries that occur on his or her property or place of business due to negligence on his or her part.

For example, if a shopper slips and falls in a store because there was a spilled liquid on the floor, the store owner may be liable for any injuries that the shopper has as a result of the spill. The shop owner is responsible for making sure the property and store premises are safe for shoppers and is also responsible for warning shoppers if floors are slippery or wet.

Injuries that can result from negligence

While slip-and-fall injuries are one common example of premises liability cases, other serious injuries can result from someone else's negligence. These can include head injuries, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. In some cases, the symptoms of the injury may not even appear immediately, which is why it is critical to never underestimate any type of injury.

Even if your injury seems minor at first, be sure you collect all the necessary information about the time, date and place of the accident as well as all contact details for the business owner or property owner. This information will be important if you should decide in the future to pursue a premises liability case against the property or business owner.

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