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What is a Premises Liability Expert?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2016
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A premises liability expert is a person with special experience in the area of premises liability, a section of legal liability concerned with hazards on the site of a business premises. Insurance companies commonly employ such people, and they can also work independently, offering consulting services. Some reasons to call upon a premises liability expert might include wanting to make a premises as safe and secure as possible or needing an expert witness for a lawsuit. The fees charged by premises liability experts vary, depending on the region and the situation.

Premises liability is a broad area of the law and can involve a number of different topics. Any time people enter a facility to conduct business, the operator of the facility can be liable for injuries experienced on site, such as broken limbs from falling on slippery floors or electrocution from improperly installed electrical components. A premises liability expert can enter a site to identify potential liability issues, looking specifically for anything that a person exercising due caution would identify as a risk and address. The expert can provide advice on making a premises safer and more secure.

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Insurance companies may request such a review before offering premises liability insurance, or provide it as a service to customers concerned about making their premises as safe as possible. If a lawsuit is filed, the premises liability expert can be sent out to inspect the location and see if the suit has merit. This will help the insurance company decide how to move forward on resolving the suit. This specialist can act as an expert witness in the trial on behalf of the defendant, providing information about the steps taken to keep people safe on the premises and supporting a claim that the defendant took every reasonable precaution.

A plaintiff preparing a premises liability suit can also retain a premises liability expert to examine the site, determine if there are grounds for a suit, and prepare a case. This person can also act as an expert witness, showing that the claims made have validity. It is possible for dueling expert witnesses to present information in a case. When preparing a case, people seek out very qualified experts so the judge and jury will be more likely to pay attention to their statements.

Working as a premises liability expert requires the ability to travel. People need to go to disputed sites to take a look, and they also need to take photo and video evidence for recordkeeping purposes. A keen eye for detail is necessary, as are good communications skills.

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