Dangerous Residential and Commercial Property Injury Lawsuit: Do I Have a Legal Claim?
In the United States, you will find close to 120 million residential housing units and more than 5 million commercial properties. The role of an owner of a property comes with responsibilities, including a requirement that a property owner act toward others and members of the public with the attention, caution, and discretion that a reasonable person in similar circumstances would use. If a premise is not safe, the property or structure could cause unintentional harm or injury to other people; it is possible a property may be held liable by the court if the property harms or injures a visitor to the residential or commercial property.
No matter the size or type of property, it could be considered a dangerous property. Additionally, a property that is prone to a hazardous waste spill may be considered a dangerous property.
People who have been hurt due to a dangerous structure often contact a personal injury attorney specializing in dangerous structures for legal advice regarding the situation. Review the following sections to better understand the basic information of what encompasses a dangerous structure case, then contact one of the dangerous structure attorneys on our team.
Expected Dangerous Structures
Most properties and structures are not dangerous immediately upon the completion of construction, lack of maintenance can result in a structure that becomes dangerous over time. Whether the property is residential or commercial, expectation does fall on the property owner to perform maintenance so that it is safe.
The residential structures listed below are often cited in dangerous structure court claims:
- Cement balconies, wooden decks, and porches
- Interior/exterior staircases and elevators
- Railings and other support beams
- Cracks, gaps, or foreign substances on the floor that cause a slip and fall
- Flaws or degradation causing supporting wall, floor, or ceiling collapses
The common commercial property dangerous structures detailed in court cases include:
- Storage shelves and overhead lighting
- Display stands for products
- Flooring that is not well-designed
- Broken doors
- Structural flaws or degradation causing wall, floor, or ceiling collapses
In the commercial property sphere, a business is expected to provide conditions that are safe for employees and customers, and OSHA is responsible for ensuring safety at work for all employees.
How Well is the Property Owner Expected to Maintain the Property?
The law varies between states, but it is generally accepted that the property owner is solely responsible for making sure a property is safe. The “duty of care” that the property owner must uphold is dependent on who will visit his or her property. For example, a person who is invited to visit a property, whether it is a commercial property or a private residence, is owed the greatest duty of care, as this guest is being asked to put himself or herself in a situation that might be dangerous without any knowledge of the risk. The law is particularly protective of children, no matter how they know the property owner.
Proving Negligence by the Property Owner
To prove a property owner is negligent in a court case involving a dangerous structure, a plaintiff will need to show:
- Property conditions were dangerous
- The owner was aware of the property conditions
- The property owner failed to enact a plan to correct the dangerous condition
- An injury was sustained due to the owner’s failure to uphold the duty of care
Reach Out to Us for Dangerous Property Legal Help
Contact Action Legal Group if you need a personal injury attorney who can handle your dangerous structure claim. We will protect your rights and fight the insurance companies on your behalf. Call 813-296-6401.