An essential part of the real estate industry is offering open house tours to those who may be interested in buying property. Potential home buyers often need an in-person visual of the property, and usually like to get a feel for the place to make sure they’ll find comfort residing there. It’s the job of a real estate agent to make this happen for potential buyers. But, what if during the property tour a client suffers injury? Well, that’s where premises liability law would come into effect.
Touring a home is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. Real estate agents may spruce up the place as a way to help prospective buyers feel at home. Despite attempts at a successful tour, a buyer can get seriously hurt if risks to safety are present. When someone is injured while at another’s property and pursues compensation, this is referred to as a premises liability case. Fault for the injury will be determined, and whether the property owner is liable or not will be assessed. If a property owner is deemed at-fault, they will have to pay for the victim’s medical bills and other losses. Injuries sustained while visiting a real estate property may happen due to dangerous conditions. Examples of injury causes include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Balcony fall
- Slip and fall
- Toxic fume
- Elevator accident
- Fire or flood
- Dog bite
- Swimming pool accident
- Inadequate security
If you were injured while touring a real estate property, a premises liability lawyer may be able to help you. When determining who is responsible for the injury accident, it will depend on who owed the injured person a duty of care. What this means is that someone had a duty to protect or provide proper warning to those entering the property. The foundation of every personal injury case, as a premises liability lawyer from Cohen & Cohen, P.C. can attest, is proving that someone failed in their duty of care. For instance, a property owner or real estate agent may be aware that there is damage to a staircase, but failed to warn open house visitors about the risk of slipping and falling. In fact, slip and falls are the most common types of injuries in premises liability cases.
Because a realtor is only responsible for opening up a property for buyer tours, they may not be at-fault for an injury sustained on the property. The real estate agent probably does not own that property, so they may not have been aware of all the potential dangers. As your lawyer can review with you, in order for the real estate agent to be liable there will have to be evidence that shows the agent was privy to the hazardous conditions and failed to properly disclose it ahead of time. Many real estate agents have insurance for instances like these, just in case they find themselves part of a personal injury case while hosting an open house tour for prospective buyers.
If you have been injured because of the negligence of a property owner or someone else, contact a personal injury lawyer today.