To many people, premises liability is synonymous with a slip-and-fall situation. They think of a business where staff members don’t keep the floors clean or the parking lot clear of snow and ice during inclement weather.
However, premises liability claims can result from a broad assortment of scenarios in which a property owner’s failure to maintain their property leads to unsafe conditions that cause injury. Incidents far worse than a same-level fall can occur because a property owner has failed to adequately maintain a building or even outdoor spaces.
Poorly-maintained decks, porches and balconies
Having an outdoor adjacent space where someone can enjoy a bit of privacy is a very attractive property feature. Individual residential properties and commercial properties alike may have decks, patios, porches or balconies installed to expand the space that people can utilize and improve the attractiveness of the property. Unfortunately, maintenance issues with decks can lead to tragic incidents, ranging from handrails that break loose and prompt a fall to the collapse of a deck, which could lead to multiple simultaneous injuries or worse.
Old wiring and other fire hazards
Bad property maintenance can cause fires in a variety of different scenarios. Older buildings that have aging or frayed wires might eventually catch fire due to issues with the electrical supply. A failure to prevent animal incursion at a property could worsen this, as rodents might chew through wires. Unkempt spaces and an accumulation of debris in or around buildings can also lead to preventable and potentially deadly fires.
Old roofs and other sources of leaks
Water damage can be equally dangerous for visitors and occupants of a building as fire hazards. An older roof that allows water to trickle into a building could damage the structure, leading to a catastrophic failure. Dripping pipes or improperly managed condensation from air conditioning could cause similar damage. A ceiling collapse might lead to severe injury or even death. Water incursion can also lead to illness if it causes mold growth that sickens someone.
Poorly maintained sidewalks, unlit stairwells and negligent security are all also premises liability issues that can lead to claims filed by anyone who has been harmed. Understanding when a property owner is likely liable for the injuries someone suffered may help people pursue appropriate compensation after a preventable incident at a property.