A common example of premises liability is someone tripping on a sidewalk in front of a business or home that has not been properly maintained. Injuries sustained can range from minor scrapes, cuts, and bruises to more severe issues involving bones, joints, nerves, and soft tissues.
Premises liability refers to any type of personal injury that occurs primarily because of unsafe conditions on someone's property.
Common Premises Liability Injuries
There are many types of accidents and personal injuries that can be considered premises liability injuries. The nature of the injury determines how a victim may be affected. Slip and fall accidents, for example, may result in spine-related problems such as herniated discs, back spasms, neck pain, or aggravation of a spine-related problem that existed before the accident.
Swimming pool accidents or hard falls may affect the spinal cord. Dog bites could lead to infection or, in some instances, rabies or severe damage to limbs, nerves, and soft tissues. Premises liability injuries could also involve:
- Fire-related injuries
- Brain or head injuries
- Exposure to toxic fumes or chemicals
- Joint pain
- Strains and sprains
Causes & Contributing Factors
The possible reasons for injuries occurring on private, public, or business properties can be just as varied as the types of injuries that may be experienced. Water leaks or flooding, elevator or escalator malfunctions, not properly securing animals that may bite or attack, and a lack of building security or maintenance are among the many possible causes and contributing factors that could lead to injuries and related premises liability legal action. Potential contributing factors could also include:
- Unsecured rugs or carpets
- Wet, slippery, greasy, or oily floors
- Hidden extension cords
- Damaged floors, sidewalks, or stairs
- Accumulated ice or snow
- Rugs or carpets that weren’t secured
Diagnosis & Treatment
Minor injuries resulting from premises liability issues may be diagnosed with a basic physical exam. Other injuries may be diagnosed with image tests, such as CT scans and X-rays, or specialized tests like nerve conduction studies or muscle testing.
With injuries that are mild or minor, treatment may involve observation, temporary bracing, or rest for a few weeks to allow the affected tissues to heal. If joints are seriously affected, an arthroscopy may be performed to thoroughly inspect the affected area and remove damaged tissue. If the main problem is lingering pain or inflammation, medication is often prescribed.
Preventative shots may be necessary to prevent rabies or tinnitus if the injury involved animals or scrapes or cuts from rusty surfaces or materials. Periodic cancer screenings may be recommended if there was exposure to toxic substances. Some patients also benefit from a customized physical therapy, pain management, or rehabilitation plan that involves:
- Therapeutic, flexibility, or range-of-motion exercises
- Chiropractic adjustments
- Hot and cold therapy
- Injections directly into the affected area
Because premises liability typically involves some type of negligence, the resulting injuries are often considered preventable to some degree. For example, a person walking along a sidewalk in front of a home or business may not have fallen or tripped if the property was reasonably maintained in the first place. However, simply being injured on someone’s property doesn’t mean the owner was negligent. People are also expected to take reasonable precautions, such as being mindful of clearly visible hazards or dangers. A personal injury attorney can help you determine if you may be entitled to compensation.