When you visit a business or pass through a neighborhood, you place your trust in the owner of the property. However, some property owners do not uphold their responsibility to visitors and that can put the public at risk. What do property owners owe visitors to their property?

Property owners owe visitors to their property a “duty of care.”

When people visit a property, that property’s owner generally owes them what is known as a “duty of care.” Because of this duty, property owners must take reasonable steps to maintain their property, keep it secure and address hazards on their property.

For example, slippery conditions in a parking lot after a snowstorm would be a foreseeable risk. Customers could reasonably expect that property’s owner to take steps to make that lot safe for the public.

What can happen when property owners do not maintain safe conditions on their property?

When property owners do not take reasonable steps to keep their property safe, passers-by, customers and others can suffer significant injuries. Some injuries that the public might experience include:

  • Falls related to slippery surfaces, uneven steps or broken railings
  • Trauma related to falling objects
  • Bites from a dog that was not appropriately restrained
  • Injuries related to poorly maintained escalators and elevators

Thankfully, members of the public injured as a result of a property owner’s negligence have options. They can hold property owners responsible and get financial support to help them recover from the impact of that negligence.