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Do premises liability claims spike during spring break?

A property owner might be found liable, as a matter of law, for injuries suffered by an invitee in a number of circumstances. Generally speaking, a premises liability lawsuit requires the victim to show that his or her injuries were caused by a foreseeable risk on the owner’s property, such as a hazard resulting from negligent property maintenance. 

Of course, it would be preferable to avoid injury in the first place. In that regard, invitees can also take a proactive approach to their own safety by staying alert and aware. 

This advice is particularly timely, as college students across the country may be participating in vacations or special activities during spring break. In the characterization of one article, spring break might even be seen as an invitation for injuries. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. 

Certain group activities during spring break may warrant special care, such as attending sporting events or house parties. For example, attendees at a professional sports game may not realize that their ticket may have included a liability wavier for any injuries incurred during the game or event. In addition, some courts have determined that fans also assume the risk of injury, to an extent, by attending such events. Given that, fans at an event should not assume that safety in the stands is a guarantee.

College drinking parties also warrant extra precautions, starting with a designated driver. That individual may also be able to keep an eye on party guests, helping them to avoid risky situations. A responsible host can also do his or her part by not over serving guests. Although the law generally holds a host liable for alcohol-related injuries that occur on the premises, a sober friend might assist in prevention.

Source: FindLaw, “Spring Break Injuries: 3 Things You Should Know,” Christopher Coble, March 13, 2015

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