Where a person lives may dictate property owner’s responsibilities to others

Property owners are responsible for keeping their land and building safe for visitors. Those who don’t may face legal action.

It’s the law that property owners are obligated to keep their property safe. It’s just that simple. Or is it simple? In some cases, it may not seem to be fairly straightforward, particularly if a trespasser is injured on the property and sues for damages. “While you might think they’d be out of luck, the truth is in some cases, if the owner could have anticipated someone may trespass, they may still be liable. Each case is different,” said Chicago injury lawyer Michael Osborne. The Law Office of Michael Osborne helps accident, wrongful death, and personal injury victims in Chicago, Illinois.

Generally speaking, when there are unsafe conditions on a property, owners are required to post warnings that there is a hazard. This applies even if it is private property. Since premises liability is considered to be a tort or a wrong, if someone gets hurt on another’s land, the end result may be a personal injury lawsuit.

“Having said that, you should also know that premises liability laws do vary depending on what kind of property you have. For instance, if it’s a private residence and you have really obvious hazards that no one could possibly miss, you don’t need to post a warning. But, less obvious ones – like if you step on a certain part of the porch, you’ll fall through – need to be posted. In a nutshell, if you have hidden hazards and don’t post, anyone may sue you, despite their status,” said Chicago injury lawyer Osborne. Status refers to whether or not the person is an invited guest or trespasser.

Let’s say someone owns a business and people come there regularly. If this property is open to the public, it must be maintained properly and there must not be any hazards. If there is a hazard present, for instance a puddle of water in an aisle, there must be a warning sign. “If you don’t put up a warning sign and someone slips in the water, trips over a loose tile or brick or falls over something that fell from a shelf, they may be able to sue for compensation for their injuries,” Osborne said.

“If you’ve been in a similar situation and have fallen and injured yourself, give me a call. I can explain how premises liability works and also talk to you about the various kinds of situations that are classified as falling under premises liability law. For example, toxic mold, staircase injuries, elevator malfunctions, swimming pools and lead paint. I’d be happy to talk to you about your case,” he said.

The Law Office of Michael Osborne helps accident, wrongful death, and personal injury victims. To contact a Chicago personal injury attorney or learn more, visit http://www.michaelosbornelaw.com or call (312) 315-1765.

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