When it comes to premises liability, it is the responsibility of the owner of a property to ensure that they have a safe environment for all the guests that visit.
Suppose a guest suffers damages or injuries as a result of a preventable accident while in a property. The property owner may be liable for the accident. For example, if a guest trips on a piece of unsecured carpet and breaks their leg, they can seek compensation for the expenses related to that accident through a premises liability claim.
A premises liability case can exist in all structures, buildings, or open spaces. You will need to hire an experienced attorney to help you file the claim so that you can get your rightful compensation.
Here is what you need to know about this claim:
Table of Contents
What Is a Premises Liability?
If you sustain an injury while on someone else’s property and you have good reason to believe that your injury was as a result of the owner’s negligence, you can be entitled to this claim for monetary compensation.
Since a majority of personal injury cases are based on negligence, premises liability cases are no exception.
Legally, the property owner should ensure that they keep their premises free from all preventable accidents. Examples of such accidents include:
- Bites from animals like dogs
- Swimming pool accidents
- Slip and falls
- Amusement park accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Accident caused by falling objects
- Criminal attacks because of inadequate security
- Gas leaks
These accidents can be as a result of wet surfaces, broken stairs or railings, sinkholes, un-fenced pools, unsecured electrical cords, and more. If you sustain an injury from these types of accidents, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible and follow this link to speak to a personal injury attorney.
Making a Premises Liability Claim
Though the basics of such claims vary from state to state, there are a few things that the victim or plaintiff should prove to make this claim.
There must be proof that the defendant or the property owner leased, occupied, or owned the property at the time of the accident.
The plaintiff should also prove that the defendant was indeed negligent, and as a result, the plaintiff sustained injuries.
It is important to note that, just because you were injured in someone else’s property because the property was not safe in one way or another does not necessarily mean that they were negligent. This is why you have to prove that the owner was aware of the dangers in their property and failed to take the right measures to ensure safety.
Why You Should Hire an Attorney
A premises liability lawsuit can be very complicated because of the factors that you have to prove to defend your case.
An experienced attorney will know what to do to prove your case. Some of the evidence they can produce include:
- Collect accident reports
- Gather all necessary evidence
- Take statements from witnesses
- Take photographs
- Get the video surveillance footage
- Medical records
- Calculate the damages accurately
Your attorney needs to collect as much evidence as they can to allow them to negotiate your compensation. This way they can be able to help you recover the maximum possible compensation.
If the defendant’s insurance does not offer you a good settlement, your attorney can go ahead and take your case to court by filing a lawsuit. Once the case goes to court, it will be the responsibility of the judge and jury to decide on the case and award compensation according to the law and the evidence.
Remember, there are statutes of limitations involved in such cases, be aware of the statute of limitations of your state so that you can file your claim in good time.
The Property Owner’s Duty of Care
According to the premises liability law, the rules that are used to determine a premises liability claim are different in some states. There are states that use the status-based approach while others don’t. Do not forget to double-check the laws in the state in which the accident occurred.
The historical or status-based approach used by some jurisdictions to determine the defendant’s standard of care mainly depends on the status of the person entering the property. The three basic statutes used are invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
Other jurisdictions that have abolished the status-based approach use the reasonable person standard for all entrants. Under this kind of approach, it is the responsibility of every property owner to remove any hazard that they are aware of or use a caution tape or bright signage to warn their guests of the risk.
Trespassers also have some legal protection, especially if they can prove that they were injured by a trap set by the defendant or any other hazard that the property owner intentionally created to harm them.
If the trespassers are children, they are most likely to be afforded better legal recourse if they choose to seek compensation than trespassing adults.
Limitations on Recovering for Premises Liability
Several states use the principles of comparative fault in premises liability cases. This principle states that anybody who is injured and is fully or partially responsible for the accident may not qualify for compensation.
This means a guest has the duty to ensure that they use reasonable care to stay safe. If they fail to do so, the compensation can be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if the plaintiff was to get $100,000 and is 10% responsible for an injury while the defendant is responsible for 90%, they will only get $90,000.
Hire an Attorney If You Have a Premises Liability Case
If you sustained an injury while on someone’s property, whether commercial or residential, and you have reason to believe that the accident was as a result of the owner’s negligence, you can be having a premises liability case and you can claim for compensation. Hire an expert attorney to help you with your case.
After learning how premises liability cases work, don’t stop there, we have more tips on entertainment, health, lifestyle, gaming, and news. Check out our other posts.