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The size and type of establishment will influence the type and amount of evidence available. For example, a local family store or single-family home will not likely have the extensive evidence listed above, unlike a big-box store. (Credit: Thanwarat Tangthawilap/Shutterstock.com) The size and type of establishment will influence the type and amount of evidence available. For example, a local family store or single-family home will not likely have the extensive evidence listed above, unlike a big-box store. (Credit: Thanwarat Tangthawilap/Shutterstock.com)

Premises liability is a legal concept that stems from circumstances where an injury is caused by an unsafe or defective condition on property someone either owns or occupies, and insured commercial property operators must understand the importance of gathering and preserving evidence when an accident occurs to help mitigate extremely costly claims.

Whether the property owner or occupier (i.e., the insured) is responsible for any damages to the injured person is generally determined by whether they knew or should have known of the unsafe or defective condition and failed to act. An insured’s failure to act could include not warning of the unsafe condition, not repairing the condition, or not keeping the premises safe in general. When an accident occurs, an insured’s quick action to preserve evidence is imperative in limiting exposure to liability claims.

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