Warning of Dangerous Conditions

Personal injuries can sometimes occur due to dangerous conditions of personal property and/or real property.  The focus on this brief blog will be real property.  Real property in reality means land and those things attached to it (such as buildings, steps, equipment, etc.)  Real property naturally carries with it risks that injuries and damages can be sustained in the use of the property.  In the legal world, we refer to injury claims from real property as within the realm of “Premises Liability”.  The question, therefore, becomes whether the property owner should be responsible (liable) for injuries on their real property under premises liability theories. Theories can include negligence, willful failure to warn, and recklessness.   Liability rests on multiple factors, including foreseeability.  If it is foreseeable that someone could be hurt because of a condition of the real property, the property owner generally owes a duty to protect against harm.  However, not all conditions would be considered “dangerous” which would warrant explicit protections.  After all, doesn’t just about everything have the ability to cause injury; especially if the plaintiff is not paying attention and fails to head to obvious dangers?  That said, protections could include: 1) warning of the dangerous conditions, 2) eliminating contact with the condition (such as fencing or enclosures), and/or 3) eliminating the condition.  Of course, there are exceptions to general rules and for the most part determining whether a “dangerous condition” is even applicable is on a case by case basis.  The important thing to remember is to hire qualified counsel knowledgeable in the area of premise liability and counsel willing to fully investigate the case facts.