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Premises liability and your injury: Who's to blame?

When you get hurt on someone's property, who's to blame? Is it your fault for tripping or slipping? Is it the property owner's fault for failing to fix a crack in a walkway or forgetting to pick up something in the grass? Or, does the blame fall on the city when a sidewalk is uneven or a street has potholes?

If you have these kinds of questions, it's likely that you're considering filing a claim against the party responsible for your injuries. Your attorney can help you decide who you should file against, but generally speaking, it will be the property owner. In some cases, it won't be the property owner but instead a property resident, like if the property is an apartment complex.

Take for instance a situation where you slip and fall on ice that is outside your friend's house. Is your friend responsible? There are a few things to consider. First, did your friend know you were coming over? Second, was your friend home or aware of the ice on the path? If he or she knew, did he or she do anything to prevent you from slipping?

If you can answer that your friend knew about the ice but did not treat it, then it can be reasonably asserted that he or she was negligent in maintaining his or her property. If your friend knew you were coming over, he or she should have made sure the property was in a safe state. This, of course, is not the only kind of situation that can occur, which is why it's important to discuss your personal case with your attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Premises Liability: Who Is Responsible?," accessed Nov. 12, 2015

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