Proving Constructive Notice Could Be Crucial to Obtaining Compensation in Your Premises Liability Case
In a premises liability case, the person injured—often in a slip and fall accident—must prove the business or property owner was negligent in allowing a dangerous condition to exist on his property. One of the key elements of the victim’s claim is that the business or property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and did nothing to eliminate the danger to others or to warn them of it. If the owner knew of the problem, this is referred to as actual notice. In a case where the victim cannot prove actual notice, he must establish constructive notice, meaning that the owner should have known about the hazard.
What Is Constructive Notice?
Whether a business or property owner had constructive notice of a dangerous condition is a common issue in premises liability cases when actual notice of the problem cannot be proved. Constructive notice means that the problem was so obvious that the owner should have known about it. Property and business owners have a duty to regularly inspect their properties and repair hazardous conditions or place a warning sign in the area to warn others of the danger. This is especially required of businesses where the public is invited into the building for the benefit of the owner.
Constructive notice is often proved by circumstantial evidence, such as by showing one of the following:
- The problem existed for a long enough period of time that the business or property owner should have known about the problem if he acted reasonably.
- The problem occurred regularly enough that the property owner should have foreseen it would occur again.
Proving constructive notice requires a thorough investigation of the accident scene, the business or property owner’s practices and schedule of inspection, and surveillance tapes and interviewing possible witnesses. If you were injured at a business or at a person’s property, an experienced premises liability attorney can help you uncover the facts to prove your case. Check out my testimonials and then call me at 888.716.8021 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.