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Definition of Premise Liability

Premise liability laws established the duty of care the owner of property, buildings or land has to others who are on their property. In some situations if the owner fails to perform their duty they may be responsible if someone is hurt and injured on their property.

State laws vary, but generally premise liability laws outline the property owner's responsibility and the uniform standard of care which is applied to invitees and licensees. Under premise liability laws the owner is required to "exercise reasonable care for the safety of the visitor, other than a trespasser." To make sure an owner is using reasonable care they should inspect their property, identify dangerous condition and repair them if possible. If dangerous conditions cannot be repaired they should post appropriate warning signs.

Premise liability holds that an owner can be found liable if they have knowledge of a dangerous condition but they do not remove the danger or warn visitors and someone is injured. The court will review a number of factors prior to determining liability such as why the visitor was on the property, how the property is used, if the accident could have been predicted and the owner's efforts to repair the property.

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