Premises liability is a legal concept that states property owners are responsible for maintaining safe conditions on their property. If a property owner fails to fulfill this legal obligation, he could be held liable for any injuries that are sustained on his property as a result of hazardous conditions. However, some property owners try to place the blame for an accident on a third party. When this happens, the “non-delegable duties” legal concept often comes into play. Here’s what you should know about this legal term:
What Are Non-Delegable Duties?
Property owners often claim they delegated the duties of maintaining safe conditions on the property to a third party. Therefore, if an accident occurs, the third party is liable for the victim’s injuries, not the property owner. But, it’s important to understand that this defense strategy will not hold up in court.
Property maintenance and security issues are classified as non-delegable duties. This means a property owner cannot transfer liability for an accident related to maintenance or security to a third party.
An Example of Non-Delegable Duties
Many property owners hire landscaping companies to maintain the landscaping on their property. If someone trips over a tree stump hidden in the grass and breaks their arm, the property owner may tell the victim that it’s the landscaping company’s fault. However, the landscaping company cannot be held liable for the victim’s injuries. Even though the property owner hired the landscaping company to take care of the landscaping, property maintenance is a non-delegable duty. This means regardless of who is hired to help with this duty, the liability still falls on the property owner if an accident occurs.
The victim’s premises liability claim would still be filed against the property owner, who may be ordered to compensate the victim for his injuries. However, the property owner could seek reimbursement from the landscaping company that was hired to maintain the property. If the property owner chooses to do this, the case would be completely separate from the victim’s premises liability claim. The victim would not be involved in the property owner’s efforts to seek reimbursement.
If you have been injured on someone else’s property, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Proving liability in these cases can be challenging, which is why it’s important to seek help from our experienced personal injury attorneys. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.