·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

News & Politics

Premises Liability vs. Negligence – Know the Differences

— August 26, 2022

Before filing a personal injury case, you must know whether it falls under general negligence or premises liability.

Injuries can happen anywhere. You can get injured at work, on the road, and even in your own home. But what happens when you get injured on someone else’s property? Can you claim compensation?

You can sue the owner if you were injured on their property, but you must know what claim to make. The most common ones are negligence and premises liability.

Many people do not know what these two terms mean or what the difference between them is. However, knowing what makes them different will help you make the correct claim and increase your chances of recovering money from the liable party. 

So, what are the differences between premises liability and negligence?

What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability focuses on the injuries that one gets while being on the property of another person. Sustaining an injury pretty much anywhere outside your house and experiencing the damage due to another individual’s negligence can be considered premises liability. 

For instance, you may get injured in places like a convention center, amusement park, grocery store, school, office building, and so on. Even another person’s home or a sidewalk can be part of a premises liability case. 

What is Negligence?

Negligence is more of an umbrella term because it includes anything that results in a person’s injury. Premises liability is also included under negligence, but other types of personal injury cases can also be considered “Negligence”. 

What is the Clear Difference Between the Two?

In a premises liability case, the victim must have been injured by a specific condition on the property. 

Meanwhile, for negligence, the injury must have been caused by “ongoing activity” when the victim took physical damage. 

In negligent act cases, the victim has to prove that the defendant owed any duty to them and that the duty was breached by the defendant. Also, it must be proven that the injury was caused by the action of the defendant.

Then, in a premises liability case, the victim has to prove that the defendant knew about the condition on their premises, but also that this condition was dangerous and increased the risk of harm and that the defendant didn’t do anything to eliminate this risk or reduce it. Lastly, the plaintiff must prove that the failure of the owner to eliminate or reduce the risk resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries. 

Types of Premises Liability Cases

Because premises liability can be included in negligence claims, people can become very confused. 

There are various injuries that one can sustain while they’re on the property of another individual. Thus, property owners must do everything they can to maintain the safety of their premises and approaches.

Swimming pool with ladder and yellow border; image by Etienne Girardet, via
Swimming pool with ladder and yellow border; image by Etienne Girardet, via

That being said, in case the property landlord doesn’t exercise the necessary care and someone else gets injured on their property, the owner can be held liable and must handle the costs involved. 

Here are the most common types of premises liability cases:

  • Assault and theft
  • Electrocution
  • Dog attacks or bites
  • Slip and fall
  • Near-drowning
  • Chemical exposure
  • Flooding
  • Accidents in elevators and escalators
  • Fires
  • Accidents in swimming pools

Now, of course, there are other types of premises liability cases, but these are a few of the more common ones. You can obtain compensation if you are a premises liability injury victim. 

When Can You Make the Claim?

Most personal injury cases can be made within a certain time limit, depending on the state. For example, in California, the statute of limitations for premises liability cases is two years from the day the incident took place. 

However, you should bear in mind that if your injury was caused by another person’s negligence, you should file the lawsuit as soon as possible and not wait until the deadline passes. This also applies if you have a premises liability case. 

Premises Liability Attorneys – What are They?

A premises liability attorney is someone who can assist you if you’ve been injured on someone else’s property and you want to seek compensation. They will advise you on what to do and what not to do and will investigate every aspect of the case to make sure you can prove the property owner’s fault and obtain the sum you deserve. 

You should consider hiring a premises liability attorney from your area. In California, even the smallest slip and fall accident may be ground for a premises liability claim. You can always seek Merced premises liability lawyers to help you out or hire a lawyer from your area. 

Final Thoughts

Before filing a personal injury case, you must know whether it falls under general negligence or premises liability. Hopefully, this article helped you understand the differences between the two terms.

Join the conversation!