Anytime someone falls on your property, you face the possibility that you are at fault. Premises liability claims are not always easy to prove, which means you have a range of defenses at your disposal.
Protecting yourself and your property from a claim that you somehow caused another person injury may come down to understanding some common defenses.
When did the incident happen?
Under the law, an injured party has the right to bring a premises liability suit within a specific time. While the time may vary from state to state, this statute of limitations starts tolling from when the person discovered the injury. If the time expires, even by a day, you may move to have it dismissed.
Did you know a hazard existed?
A crucial element in premises liability is proving that the property owner knew or should have known that a hazard existed. To counteract allegations, you need to show that you did not know about the danger until after the slip and fall. For instance, if you could not reasonably know a patron spilled water in an aisle before the fall, you may have a plausible defense.
Was the injured party responsible?
What if the fault lies with the injured party? Should you have proof or a reasonable belief that the person who fell actually caused the injury, you may present that in court. For example, if the injured person was drinking, a judge may logically conclude that the intoxication led to the fall and not any factor in your premises.
It may feel impossible to defend a premises liability case at the onset of the proceedings, but a professional who understands how the process works may provide you with a viable defense.