Imagine that it is winter in Montana, and though the snow is piling up, you put off shoveling and salting your sidewalks. A visitor stops by to drop off some cookies, but slips and falls on her way down your icy front stairs. She is hurt and needs medical attention – if you end up liable, would your insurance cover the payments? This is a classic case of premises liability.

Premises Liability

The idea of premises liability coverage comes from the idea of protecting yourself in case of personal injury to someone else on your private property. If that injury results from unsafe conditions or defective property, you could be responsible for the bill.

The key is negligence, and who knew what information when the incident occurred.


In this sense, negligence would mean the property owner did not use “reasonable care” on the property. For a personal or bodily injury lawsuit to gain traction, the injured party would have to show that the owner knew (or reasonably should have known) that the property conditions were unsafe, yet failed to remedy them regardless.

Premises liability cases include:
– Slips and falls
– Dog bites
– Swimming pool accidents
– Fires
– Fumes

And much more, especially if your private property is also your workplace with employees.

Different States, Different Laws

Laws around premises liability vary from place to place and are applied to different categories of people in different ways. For example, a visitor slipping on your icy steps could have more protection than a trespasser who does the same. 

It is a complicated subject. Our experienced attorneys at Terrazas Henkel, P.C. can guide you through the ins and outs of Montana’s premises liability laws and insurance coverage expectations, giving you a bit of control in otherwise unexpected events. Call to schedule an appointment at 406-541-2550.