What Does It Legally Mean When Someone “Knew or Should Have Known”?

retail store known or should have knownIn the world of law, whether you know or should know something has a different meaning than in everyday life. Certain phrases prompt obligation under the law. Knowing or should have known fall under this rule, as it implies that there is an owed duty of care from one individual or entity to another. For instance, if a hazard led to an accident and the manager knew or should have known about the hazard, it creates liability for the accident.

This makes the meaning of knew or should have known interesting in the legal world. Even if someone did not know about a situation, the obligation is not necessarily lifted, as negligence could still be the culprit for the cause of the accident. This terminology is particularly prevalent in premises liability law, as the source of liability often comes down to ownership, management or other operation of an area combined with actual knowledge or a lack of knowledge due to negligence.

The distinction in law is important. After all, simply not tending to your own premises should not be a legal defense, especially if someone has been hurt. On the other hand, if there was no way for you to know about the condition of an area, you should also not be liable. This is why it is phrased as “known or should have known.” The phrasing gives protection to those who are owed a duty of care while also working in favor of premises owners that are vigilant in their ownership.

If you have been harmed due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve to receive compensation. Contact our team today to find out how we can help. Our team looks at the individual circumstances surrounding each injury and crafts a legal strategy that aims to successfully hold negligent owners responsible for their property condition.