Most people probably don't consider the simple act of walking into a building as a risk. That's because we aren't supposed to consider it a risk. The premises that we enter is supposed to be safe and up to code. No one expects that floor to collapse, or for shoddy work to cause a slip-and-fall on a staircase. No one thinks the elevator they enter is going to collapse.
But, unfortunately, these things happen. Premises liability is a very important area of law, and those who are victimized by irresponsible property managers and landlords deserve justice. So what do you need to know if you are hurt as a result of an unsafe premises?
First, your status as a person on the property is important. You will be classified as one of four legal statuses: an invitee, a licensee, a social guest or a trespasser. As you can probably tell, the first three statuses mean that the person has a reasonable expectation of safety when they enter the premises. But as a trespasser, you do not have that same expectation.
Your status is only part of the equation. What you were doing when the incident that caused you injury occurred matters greatly. In addition, "comparative fault" is often utilized in premises liability cases, wherein the injured party assumes some of the responsibility but doesn't actually pay for it. Instead, their ultimate reward is reduced to reflect their portion of the fault in the incident.
Premises liability cases are complicated, but that shouldn't deter you from pursuing litigation is you have been injured as a result of an unsafe premises.
Source: FindLaw, "Premises Liability: Who Is Responsible?," Accessed Feb. 8, 2016