Wet floor sign over a wet floor

4 Elements of a Premises Liability Case

A successful premises liability case requires four necessary elements. These are: (1) a duty of care owed by the defendant to the injured person; (2) a breach of that duty of care; (3) damage or injury sustained by the plaintiff due to that breach of duty; and (4) causation, which ties the injury to that breach of duty.

#1 - A Duty of Care

The first element, a duty of care owed by the defendant to the injured person, is essential in establishing a viable premises liability claim. In order for this element to be met, it must be determined that the defendant had some kind of responsibility toward or control over the property where the injury occurred. This could include duties such as maintaining safe conditions on and around their property, warning of dangers on the premises, refraining from dangerous activities that create a risk of harm to others, or any other duty associated with ownership or control over the property.

#2 - A Breach of the Duty of Care

The second element, breach of that duty of care, is also an important factor in proving a viable premises liability claim. This requires demonstrating that the defendant either failed to take reasonable measures for safety and/or created hazardous conditions on their property. Examples could include failing to repair broken stairs or handrails, leaving debris in walkways, keeping inadequate lighting in public areas, or not addressing known health hazards in time.

#3 - Damage or Injury Sustained

The third element necessary for a successful premises liability claim is damage or injury sustained by the plaintiff due to that breach of duty. For example, if a plaintiff is injured as a result of slipping and falling on a wet floor due to an inadequate warning by the defendant, then they can seek damages for physical injuries sustained.

#4 - Causation

Finally, causation ties back to the breach of duty element and requires showing that the injury suffered was due to the defendant’s failure to provide adequate safety measures. This must be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt in order for the plaintiff to succeed in their premises liability claim.

When all four elements are present in a premises liability case, the plaintiff will likely prevail. It is important for plaintiffs seeking damages from premise owners or occupiers to understand these four key factors before embarking on such claims. By doing so, they can ensure that they have sufficient evidence to support their claim of negligence.

We Can Help

If you’ve suffered injuries as a result of a dangerous condition on another’s property, you may be eligible for compensation for your losses, and we may be able to help you recover what you are owed.

Contact Christie Farrell Lee & Bell today with the details of your case by calling (317) 245-3709 or filling out our online contact form to learn more about how we can help.