What Is Negligent Maintenance in Premises Liability?

Caution Tape

Premises liability cases involve injuries on another party’s property. The responsible party might be the land owner, the owner of a store, an on-site property manager, or maintenance providers. In some cases, these injuries are entirely preventable, and they may result from failure to adequately maintain the property.

Negligent maintenance cases are the result of poor maintenance of the property where your injury occurred.

Negligent Maintenance in Illinois

Negligent maintenance occurs when the property owner—or any other party responsible for maintaining the premises—fails to keep it in a safe condition. The standard of care here is whatever would be reasonably prudent in similar circumstances.

For instance, a poorly maintained sidewalk that causes someone to trip and fall could constitute a personal injury case, particularly if it would be reasonable to expect the property owner to keep it in good repair.

Common Types of Negligent Maintenance

Negligent maintenance takes many forms, and each can potentially cause an injury to people visiting the premises. A few examples include the following.

Broken or Unmaintained Fixtures

Broken light fixtures might cause injury in low-light conditions. If other hazards are present on the property, they may be more difficult to see, making an injury more likely. Property owners are responsible for making sure their premises are properly lit and that all fixtures are kept in good condition.

Cracked and Broken Floors

Cracks, seams, slick spots, and other hazards on flooring, sidewalks, or parking areas can make a trip and fall injury more likely. Ideally, floors should be well enough maintained to keep them from falling into disrepair, but signage can help mark hazardous areas if damage does occur.

Loose Handrails

Stairs can be hazardous as is. If you’re relying on a handrail to navigate the stairs and it fails on you, that can result in serious injury. Naturally, the onus for keeping handrails firmly fixed in place and in good condition generally falls on the property owner.

Cluttered Walkways

Walkways full of boxes, products, debris, or even vegetation can make it harder for visitors to get through, and as such may pose a hazard. Clutter can be especially dangerous in the case of an emergency that demands swift evacuation of the premises.

Lack of Security

Some areas require more security than others, in which cases it’s highly important to make sure onsite security measures function properly. For instance, security cameras used in a condominium community should be kept in good condition in order to prevent break-ins.

Seeking Damages for a Negligent Maintenance Injury

In the event that you are injured due to negligent maintenance on residential or commercial property, it’s important to determine the exact cause of your accident as well as who is responsible. The responsible party may be the property owner, or it could be a third party, such as contracted maintenance help.

Competent legal aid is also necessary when seeking compensatory damages for a negligent maintenance case. If you have been injured due to a property owner’s negligent actions, contact an attorney as soon as possible.

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