If you’ve been injured on another person’s property, such as in a slip-and-fall case, you are likely eager to more fully understand premises liability cases and how legal responsibility is determined. Many premises liability cases occur when a person is harmed by a hazardous condition on the property. At its most general level, a hazardous condition is anything that could lead to harm to another person. To find out more about hazardous conditions and how they can impact your Mississippi premises liability case, keep reading.
Permanent hazardous condition A permanent hazardous condition refers to some danger that has long existed or is a fundamental component of the property. Good examples include things like a loose stair or a hidden hole in someone’s yard. In both cases, these issues have been around for some time and, as a result, in many premises liability cases, property owners will be found legally responsible for the injuries that result from these permanent hazardous conditions. The reason for this is that property owners with permanent hazardous conditions are seen as having been aware of the danger and having had an opportunity to fix the problem or mitigate the risk of harm. Should the property owner fail to take steps to address the hazardous condition, he or she will be liable for any harm it creates.
Temporary hazardous condition A temporary hazardous condition is, as the name implies, a potential danger that comes and goes. An example might be a leaky roof that can make certain parts of a grocery store slick when it rains. Another example might be ice forming on a store’s entryway. Neither are always present meaning owners might not always have had a chance to guard against these risks.
When it comes to temporary hazardous conditions, it is crucial to determine whether the property owner knew or should have known about the danger or whether he or she was completely unaware and unable to address the harm. Liability will result if the property owner was aware of the hazardous condition, even if the hazard only occurs temporarily. The same is true if the property owner should have known, meaning if a reasonable person would or should have discovered the hazard, then the property owner will be liable. If, on the other hand, the property owner took reasonable steps to ensure the safety of his or her property and a temporary hazard occurs leading to injury, it’s possible that the owner may avoid legal liability.