When people get hurt on someone else’s property, they often look for ways to hold the property owner accountable. Insurance claims against a property owner are a common response to slip-and-fall incidents, dog bites and many other unpleasant situations wherein people get hurt or suffer property damage losses.
Such claims can be incredibly expensive, and it is often unfair to pass costs on to property owners or their insurance companies because they did everything in their power to maintain appropriate facilities. Under these circumstances, property owners often – very understandably – wonder whether the behavior of a visitor could play a role in defending against a relatively unfounded insurance claim.
Visitors can do very unsafe things
There are plenty of people who will happily try to hold someone else accountable for their mistakes. Someone who tries to visit while heavily intoxicated, for example, might try to blame you for the fact that they fell down your front stairs. Or perhaps there was a large construction project underway at a property and teenagers ended up getting hurt after crossing the fence line.
There are numerous circumstances by which the obviously negligent behavior of a person who gets hurt on another’s property will prevent them from making a claim or taking them to court. If the average person would agree that what they did was unsafe or particularly risky, then that may mean that a property owner has a strong chance of prevailing against such claims by pointing out the negligence or recklessness of the injured party.
Other times, there may be open and obvious safety issues on the property, fences or other barriers places to keep people away from hazards and warning signs. These factors could also help strengthen a defense based on the negligence of the visitor who ignored these safeguards.
Insurance claims and lawsuits are often complex
When people get hurt, they may not have any qualms about stretching the truth or fabricating details that may benefit them. They often think of major property owners, landlords and businesses will simply absorb such expenses without issue.
Rather than just accepting that some potentially frivolous claims are inevitable if you own property or conduct business, it may be a better decision to mount a defense. Reviewing the claims made about an alleged premises liability issue can help those hoping to minimize the losses they incur from such a claim and may even deter similar claims from being filed in the future.