Defending against a premises liability claim can be important for property owners and landlords to be familiar with. Because their exposure, and liability, can be a costly headache in some situations, knowing how defend against premises liability claims is valuable information to have.

Defenses to premises liability claims

One common defense is that there was no notice of hazard. If the property owner did not have actual or constructive notice of the hazard the injured party claims injured them, the property owner, possessor or landlord may not be liable under premises liability law. Additionally, if the property owner knew of the hazard and warned the injured party, they also may not be liable for any injuries suffered.

Second, one may argue that the injured party’s conduct was not foreseeable. Foreseeability of the injured party’s conduct is an element of a premises liability claim based on an assertion of negligence on the part of the property owner, possessor or landlord. If the injured party’s conduct was not foreseeable, the property owner, possessor or landlord may not be liable under premises liability law.  

Another common argument is that the injured party is to blame for their injuries. Based on their own level of negligence, the injured party may be considered responsible for their own damages suffered in a premises liability incident, such as a slip and fall accident or other premises liability incident, if their conduct contributed to their injuries.

Other defense options may also be available depending on the circumstances, such as if the allegedly injured party was trespassing at the time of the alleged incident. Overall, premises liability defense options and resources are important for any property owner, property possessor or landlord to be familiar with when facing an assertion that the injured party was harmed on their land or in their building or parking lot.