person slipping and falling in snow

16 Dec Premises Liability 101 for Holiday Gatherings

The holidays are a great time of the year. Nothing is better than spending time with family, eating comfort food, and enjoying holiday decorations.

Unfortunately, however, the holidays can also involve injuries and accidents. Icy walkways and slippery floors can easily lead to a slip-and-fall. It’s not just home gatherings during Christmas or Thanksgiving either. Injuries can happen almost anywhere —office parties, store events, ice rinks, holiday markets, etc. That’s why it’s so important to ensure your holiday gathering is as safe as possible for your guests.

Premises Liability

Today, we’ll talk about an important concept called premise liability. This guide will talk you through what premise liability is and what to do if you’re injured somewhere. We’ll even feature some important tips at the end of this article for staying safe during the holidays.

What Is Premises Liability?

According to Nolo, premises liability involves “ personal injury cases where the injury was caused by some type of unsafe or defective condition on someone’s property.”

Many personal injuries can be classified as a premise liability case.

Premises Liability Elements

Here are some of the basic elements that can be involved in a premises liability case:

  • The property owner had a “duty of care” to the injured party.
  • The property owner breached their duty of care (this can be due to either action or inaction).
  • The breach of duty caused the injury.
  • The injury led to specific damages.

Premises Liability Lawyer

Have you recently been injured somewhere? If so, contact us as soon as possible for a consultation with one of our attorneys. We can talk through your case and help you decide on the next steps. The benefit of having a lawyer is that they can help you file paperwork and are aware of important deadlines. Keep in mind that personal injury cases often have to be filed within a certain period of time of the injury occurring.

Remember that premises liability can include a slip-and-fall, a dog bite, a ceiling collapse, or something else entirely. The best way to find out whether you have a legal case is to talk to a lawyer. Here at the Cochran Firm Philadelphia office, we’d be happy to talk to you about your injury.

Premise Liability Insurance

Often, an insurance company may pay some of the settlement costs after an accident. You may have encountered this before with car insurance. Did you know, however, that there’s insurance coverage for premise liability as well?

For many homeowners and renters, premise liability may already be included in your home/renters insurance. It’s important to call your insurance company or read over your policy to find out exactly what is and isn’t covered. Premise liability coverage might pay for things like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, legal bills, and much more. Some insurance policies also cover dog bites. It’s important to remember, however, that insurance doesn’t always cover all of these things, and each case is different. That’s why it’s best to know your own policy.

Businesses have a lot of insurance options as well. Although solely premise liability insurance does exist, many businesses have a general liability insurance policy that covers a variety of accidents.

Liability Coverage 

As we mentioned above, there is a multitude of different insurance companies and policies out there. Each one covers different accidents to different extents. The best way to find out what your insurance does and does not cover is by contacting them.

Premises Liability Injuries

There is any number of ways in which someone could get hurt on your property. Anything from tripping to food poisoning.

Here are some tips for hosting a safer holiday gathering:

  • Remove debris and other tripping hazards from walkways and stairways. Checking for slippery surfaces may be a good idea as well. Look for wet floors or icy walkways outside.
  • Install and/or secure handrails on both sides of all staircases (if there is one).
  • Make sure that all areas are well-lit. Pay special attention to stairwells and parking lots.
  • Leash and/or secure any pets. If you have an aggressive pet, try to keep them away from guests.

Premises Liability Case Examples

As we mentioned earlier, injuries can happen in any number of ways. Having said that, here are a few of the most common types, as well as some recent examples of settlements.

  • Slip and Fall
  • Hotel Injuries
  • Dog Bite
  • Balcony Fall
  • Swimming Pool Injury

Premises Liability Settlements

Now that we’ve talked a bit about what kind of injuries can occur, let’s look at a few real-life examples. Keep in mind that settlement amounts can vary greatly in cases like this. These are just a few specific cases from recent years.

Surfside Condominium Collapse

On June 24th, 2021, Florida saw one of the most enormous building collapses in recent years. During the night, the Champlain Towers South had a partial collapse, causing the death of 98 people. According to NPR, a judge in Florida has “approved a $1.2 billion settlement” for the unit owners and families involved in the collapse. The decision regarding this settlement was reached within less than a year of the collapse.

Nebraska Animal Medical Center

In 2019, the Nebraska Animal Medical Center had a partial ceiling collapse occur due to an overloaded area above the ceiling of its first floor. Unfortunately, Ryan Kizzier, who was called to fix the water pipes, was crushed underneath the ceiling collapse and died six days later. According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the veterinary clinic and its property owner have agreed to pay $3 million to settle the case.


In April 2016, William Mora was shopping in the meat department when he suddenly slipped and fell. The fall was caused by a pool of water that had leaked out of a freezer island that was being repaired. As a result of the fall, Mora hit his head and broke his nose. He also complained of a loss in taste and smell. According to KGET, the county jury “awarded damages of more than $4 million” to William Mora.


In January 2020, a young girl was injured while shopping with her grandmother at a Kmart in Chatswood, Australia. Cecilia had slipped and fallen onto a metal clothes hook. According to Nine News, the “then six-year-old’s right eyelid was almost completely torn off”. Unfortunately, this was not the first time that this has happened. Many young children have been injured on similar metal hooks at large stores.

Aside from obvious physical injuries, Cecilia also suffers from anxiety and permanent scarring as a result of this event. According to Nine News, Kmart was ordered to pay $60,000 in compensation for the event.

Personal Injury Lawyer In Philadelphia

Have you or a loved one been the victim of a personal injury recently? If so, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with an attorney. An experienced attorney can discuss your case with you and lay out some legal options.

An attorney will also be able to help you read over and file legal paperwork correctly. Personal injury cases often have a deadline (or statute of limitations) for legal action. This can vary by state and case, making it a complicated process to keep track of. Fortunately, an attorney can help you with all of this.

Here at the Cochran Firm Philadelphia office, our attorneys offer not just top-tier legal help but a shoulder to lean on as well. Our team goes above and beyond for our clients because we truly care. Simply call or fill out our online form to book your FREE consultation. We’re also more than happy to answer any questions you may have about our process.

The best part is that our firm handles civil cases on a contingent fee basis. This means that we only get paid if you do. This way, we’re able to offer much-needed legal services to more of our community.

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