Premises liability is categorized under the law of negligence, and it involves the liability of owners and occupiers of land for injuries caused to other people by unsafe or defective conditions. All property owners and occupiers have a legal responsibility to maintain their property safely and carefully so as not to create an unreasonable danger to visitors. If the owner or occupier created the condition, knew of it or should have known of it, visitors must be made aware of it. If the property owner or occupier fails to do so, and a visitor to the property is injured by the unsafe or defective condition, liability could attach.
Types of premises liability cases
Many different types of personal injury cases are treated as premises liability matters. Some of the more common examples are:
- Slip and falls and trip and falls
- Falling merchandise in stores
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Swimming pool and amusement park accidents
- Attacks by third parties
Under Oregon law, there are three categories of visitors to properties. Those types of visitors are business invitees, licensees and trespassers.
A visitor who is invited onto a premises for the business purposes and the commercial benefit of the owner or occupier of the property is an invitee. An example of an invitee would be a shopper at a supermarket. The owner or occupier of that commercial premises has a duty to warn invitees of hidden dangers, and it must otherwise protect them from dangers that are known or reasonably should be known.
A licensee is invited onto the property of an owner or occupier of land, but not for commercial purposes. A licensee might be a guest who was invited to a home to watch a Sunday football game. The owner or occupier of the premises might be held liable for injury to the guest that was caused by a defective condition on the premises.
No duty is owed to a trespasser by the owner or occupier of land, but that owner or occupier can’t deliberately create dangerous conditions for trespassers.
Recreational use of property
Pursuant to statute, an owner of land who makes it available for recreational use by the public can’t be held liable for injuries to a person using that land unless a fee was charged.
Acts of third persons
An owner or occupier of land might also have a duty to protect an invitee from the negligent or intentional acts of third parties. For example, a bar owner in Milwaukie Oregon might need security personnel inside or outside of the premises if it knows that customers might get out of order inside or get assaulted outside of the business.
If you’ve been injured in or around Milwaukie Oregon, and you believe it was the fault of an owner or occupier of land, contact us at the Barbur Law Firm for a free consultation and case evaluation. We’ll listen to your side of the story, and tell you what we might be able to do for you.