Premises Liability refers to the duty of care that property owners have to people who legally come onto their property. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, or by something falling on your or dangerous equipment on someone else’s property, speak with an experienced Wisconsin premises liability attorney about your rights. People expect a reasonable degree of safety when visiting other people’s homes, when shopping, or doing business, Unfortunately, sometimes the people who have a responsibility to the safety of people on their property don’t live up to that responsibility.
Anyone who owns property in Wisconsin has a legal obligation to ensure the reasonable safety of people who come onto the property. This means different things for different types of property owners. Homeowners, for example, have a duty to the safety of invited guests, as well as for anyone who passe by their home on the sidewalk. For a rental property, these duties might be split between the property owner and the renter, but the idea is the same. People who walk past your home, or who you invite into your home, can reasonable expect to be safe. Business owners typically have a greater duty of care. Customers at stores have a reasonable expectation of safety from slipping and falling, from having things fall on them, and just general safety while shopping. Some businesses, such as mechanics, where there might be dangerous equipment, or oil or other slick spills, have a duty to keep their shop as free of hazards as possible, and to warn customers of hazards that may exist.
In Wisconsin’s long, cold winters, the duty of care includes clearing sidewalks and parking lots of snow and ice. Every year, a number of people suffer serious injuries when they slip on sidewalks and parking lots. Homeowners have a responsibility to clear their sidewalks within a reasonable amount of time after it snows, a responsibility that is often assigned by legal agreement to tenants of rental homes. Business owners (including owners of apartment buildings) have a responsibility to clear the sidewalk in front of their building, as well as their parking lot if they have one. A Milwaukee premises liability lawyer can explain your options if you have injured yourself by slipping and falling on an icy sidewalk.
This duty of care extends to the inside of businesses as well. Poor lighting, faulty shelving units, floors that are consistently greasy, oily, or wet, or where consumers are not warned of slick conditions are all conditions that a business owner has an obligation to fix in a reasonable amount of time. The word reasonable can be very important in premises liability claims, because every situation is different. There may always be water on the ground at a car wash by the nature of the business, people should expect that and be careful. However, if the floor is wet at a grocery store, customers should be warned, and the water should be dried up as soon as possible. Likewise, many businesses have heavy, dangerous machinery; that machinery should generally be kept in a place where customers will not be exposed to it. In short, property owners need to use a reasonable degree of care in keeping employees, customers or clients, and passersby safe.
If you have been injured by a lack of care in maintenance of someone else’s property, contact a dedicated Wisconsin premises liability law firm immediately to discuss your situation. Premises liability claims can be complicated because you need to show that the property owner neglected their duty of care, and that you could not reasonable have foreseen the accident. The attorneys at Jastroch & LaBarge will meet with you for a FREE CONSULTATION, and help you understand whether you have a claim, and what your options are. For more information, contact Jastroch & LaBarge today at (877)558-5855.