Suffering an injury can be a traumatic experience, and even more so when that injury occurs on someone else’s property due to negligence or unsafe conditions. Premises liability laws protect a person who suffered an injury because a property owner failed to live up to their responsibility to prevent dangerous conditions that could cause somebody injury.
If you or a loved one were injured on someone’s property, understanding premises liability law is a vital part of seeking compensation from the property owner. Find all about premises liability law in our guide below to determine if you have a case worth bringing to a premises liability lawyer.
Understanding Premises Liability Law
Learning about premises liability cases requires that you understand a concept known as duty of care. Duty of care is the legal duty that a property owner has to ensure that people who visit their property are free from undue danger and that they keep the premises safe to a reasonable degree.
Proving the defendant’s negligence to live up to their duty of care is vital to the success of your premises liability lawsuit. Establishing the negligence on the part of the owner that led to the injury or that they are at least partly responsible is a substantial factor in arguing your premises liability case.
Responsibilities of a Property Owner
Premises liability law stipulates that the highest duty of care falls on property owners to provide for their guests. Whether a person is a social guest invited onto the property or a person given implied permission to be on the property, they are entitled to legal protection.
Proving the defendant’s negligence to exercise reasonable care for the people on their property is the center of any premises liability claim. It is important that you provide thorough evidence that the injury occurred due to dangerous conditions created by actions the property owner took as the sole cause. If you are found to be partially responsible for the injuries, the legal doctrine of comparative fault may reduce the amount you are awarded.
Types of Premises Liability Cases
One of the most common types of premises liability claim are injuries that result from a slip and fall on someone else’s property. Whether the fall occurs at someone’s home or in a public place such as a store or shopping mall, a property owner may be held liable if the fall was caused by dangerous conditions they failed to mitigate.
Personal injury cases center around establishing the fault of the property owner that led to the damage. For instance, if the owner knew about a slippery surface but failed to warn visitors or post adequate signage, they may be at fault for the damages that the person suffered. On the other hand, if the visitor fails to heed the warning provided by signage on the property, they may be responsible for the injuries caused as a result of the fall.
A swimming pool is a place where you are supposed to be able to have fun, but injuries can occur if an owner fails through negligence to keep the premises as safe as possible. A general rule is that if a reasonable person would have done things that the property owner failed to do through their negligence, they may be legally responsible for the injuries.
Failing to mark shallow areas of the pool is one example of negligence on the part of a pool owner. A pool owner also needs to keep the property free of things that might injure someone in a pool, such as objects with an electrical current running through them.
Attractive Nuisance Instances
Another type of premises liability claim involves something known as the attractive nuisance doctrine. This law stipulates that if children suffer a personal injury on someone’s property that occurs because the property owner failed to remove a dangerous condition that could have been secured if they had paid reasonable care, that property owner may be legally responsible for the damages.
Many things are considered an attractive nuisance under liability law. Any type of dangerous property condition, from old cars sitting on the lawn to pits of sand, can be considered an attractive nuisance. Keeping the premises safe and free of any junk is a legal burden that falls on the owner to fulfill, ensuring no unsafe condition is created by the state they leave their property in.
Pets are an important part of many people’s lives, but failing to keep control of animals on a person’s property creates a dangerous condition that property owners may be held liable for. Dog bites and other types of animal attacks can lead to serious injury, leaving the animal owner open to liability lawsuits.
If an owner fails to keep their property safe by properly restraining animals on the premises, liability law can protect the injured party. The property owner may have to pay the medical bills as well as any expenses incurred due to emotional distress, lost income, or other factors.
Accidents are all too common in the tight spaces that a parking lot creates. The owner of a parking lot has responsibilities to keep the premises safe and secure. If a dangerous condition leads to an accident on the entity’s property, the parking lot owner may be responsible for the damages.
There are many types of dangerous condition that a parking lot owner may be held responsible for. Something that obstructs the vision of drivers in the parking lot, such as low-hanging signs or other obstructions, are one such dangerous condition. Poor design of the parking lot that makes accidents more likely is another factor that may be taken into consideration.
A property owner of a construction zone has to adhere to strict standards for safety on the site. They must follow a wide variety of different rules that govern the security of the site, ensuring that both construction workers and those passing by the premises are kept safe. Negligence or any failure to meet these requirements may leave the property owners open to a lawsuit.
Property owners who create unsafe conditions in their construction zone may be held liable for injuries caused as a result. The property must be properly marked off with relevant warning signs, with adequate notice posted to alert people to the potential dangers on the premises. All equipment that could cause injury on the property also needs to be properly secured to protect people on the premises from injury.
Elevator or Escalator Accidents
Equipment such as elevators or escalators provide a convenient way for a person to get around an area. However, when this equipment fails, it can lead to serious injury for people in the area. Liability law protects people who were injured when a property owner fails to live up to their intermediate duty to keep the area safe and to keep the elevator or escalator working properly.
There are a number of ways that an injury can occur with an elevator or escalator. If a malfunction in the equipment causes it to seize around a person’s limb and cause damage, that may be grounds for a lawsuit. In more severe cases, the total collapse of an elevator or escalator could be something that a property owner has liability for if they failed to take steps to maintain the equipment and prevent such a failure from happening.
How to Know if You Have a Premises Liability Case
The legal status of premises liability claims can be a complicated subject. Going to an experienced personal injury lawyer is the best way to determine the merits of your case. An experienced attorney can provide you with many benefits, from determining the strength of any premises liability claims you wish to pursue to communicating with your insurance company for you.
Although the expenses involved in bringing a case forward can be daunting, it is important that you do not let money get in the way of seeking justice through your premises liability claim. Often, part of the settlement for a personal injury case will involve the defendant paying the injured person’s legal damages. If you have a case under premises liability law, you must take steps to protect your rights.
How to Proceed with Premises Liability Claims
If you or a loved one has been injured because a property owner was unable to provide a safe environment for them, it is important to contact an experienced premises liability lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you begin the process and file your personal injury claim, the better your chance of a successful resolution to your premises liability case.
If you were injured in a premises liability accident, our team can help you hold the property owners responsible to the full extent of premises liability law. Our familiarity with premises liability cases will enable us to fight effectively for your rights, navigating all the special rules associated with liability so that we can build a strong case.
Contact Holman Schiavone, LLC online today or give us a call at 816-399-5149 and one of our experts will assist you.