When it comes to premises liability, property owners carry a big responsibility. If you’ve invited people onto your property, such as when customers enter a store, then you have a legal duty to protect those individuals from unreasonable risk of harm raised by dangerous property conditions. This means that you need to routinely inspect your premises and quicky remedy hazardous conditions, and you should post warnings of the hazard until you can fix it.
The open and obvious defense
That said, if you’re accused of possessing a dangerous property condition that resulted in injury and are now facing legal action, then you need to assess your defense options. One of the strongest may be the open and obvious defense.
Here, you argue that the victim should have noticed the hazard and taken action to protect himself or herself. The court typically uses a reasonable person standard, meaning that the court will assess whether the plaintiff approached the situation with the right amount of cautiousness and acted sensibly to avoid the hazard.
This gives you a lot of room to work with when it comes to developing your legal arguments, particularly given that many dangerous property conditions really are easy to spot and simple to avoid. So, make sure that you have witness testimony, surveillance footage, and anything else that may demonstrate that the hazard was easy to recognize and avoid.
Develop the comprehensive defense that you need on your side
As you develop your premises liability defense, you should ensure that you understand your legal options and how to present the strongest case possible. This means gathering evidence that supports your position and being prepared to counter the other side’s claims. We know that’s easier said than done, but you can work closely with an experienced legal professional to build the compelling arguments that you need to protect your interests.