Property owners must keep their premises in a safe condition to protect employees and guests. A failure to do so opens the property owner up to a premises liability lawsuit. The legal system holds the property owner responsible if accident occurs on the premises or if someone gets injured because of negligence by the owner. Unsafe or unstable conditions contribute to these accidents and lead to injuries on the part of the victim. When a person sustains an injury on someone else’s property because of the owner’s neglect, victims should contact a premises liability attorney for help in determining how to proceed in obtaining compensation for the injuries, any accompanying medical bills, and damages.
Should You Hire an Attorney?
Individuals involved in an accident on another person’s property must focus on recovering from the injuries. A premises liability attorney helps to explain the process and laws when dealing with an accident of this type, and the attorney handles all matters related to the claim while the client handles the recovery aspects. Claims of this type are complicated, as a person doesn’t automatically receive compensation after being injured on someone else’s property. The plaintiff bears the responsibility of proving the property owner was negligent in one or more ways, and many plaintiffs find this difficult to do. For this reason, they retain legal counsel to help them establish this proof and share it with the court. Many victims receive this help from Uvalle Law Firm.
Filing a Premises Liability Claim
Courts look at the condition of the injured party’s visit when determining whether the victim possesses the right to file a premises liability claim, as property owners don’t owe all individuals the same legal duty. Each state establishes its own laws in this area, and the plaintiff must know the laws. An attorney becomes of great help in navigating the legal system, determining which laws apply in the specific case, and deciding whether the victim should file in a court of law.
When a person visits someone else’s property, they fall into one of three categories. Invitees are those who visit a property open to the public. This visit benefits the invitee and the landowners. A good example of an invitee is a person shopping at a grocery store. The grocer invited the guest to come on the property, browse what is available, make purchases, and leave. The property owner must maintain a safe property for these guests under current law.
Property owners give licensees express or implied permission to be on the property. For instance, a mother holds a birthday party for her child at their home. The guests become licensees when they attend the party and remain in that status until the mother asks them to leave. The mother or property owner in this situation must warn licensees of concealed dangers she is aware of or fix them before the event. When the mother asks a guest to leave and that guest refuses, the guest becomes a trespasser.
Trespassers are individuals who have unlawfully entered a property or remain on a property after being asked to leave. A property owner has no legal obligation to a trespasser, but cannot willfully harm the trespasser. The only exception to this is when the property owner feels threatened by the trespasser, at which time they may act in self-defense.
Premises Liability Injury Causes
Unsafe conditions lead to injuries in premises liability cases. Common causes mentioned in these cases include wet floors with no signage present, unsecured rugs or carpets, and loose or broken floors. Sidewalks, stairs, and steps the landlord or property owner failed to maintain result in injuries, as do broken windows. A homeowner might find they become embroiled in a lawsuit as they have an aggressive animal they failed to secure and keep away from others. Furthermore, broken windows lead to premises liability suits. Inadequate building security serves as another cause of injuries present in victims bringing premises liability suits, and there are many others. Victims have also attributed their injuries to a ceiling collapse, inadequate lighting, and first safety code violations.
Proving a Premises Liability Claim
Victims frequently turn to an attorney for help in providing their premises liability claim. Courts don’t automatically provide compensation in these cases, as the plaintiff must prove that the dangerous condition resulted from neglect by the property owner. Accidents happen all the time, and many accidents have no apparent cause. Inattention on the part of the victim doesn’t form the basis for a premises liability claim, and this serves as only one example of an accident that doesn’t qualify for a premises liability claim.
They must meet certain conditions for a person to have a valid claim, and the victim must prove they met these conditions for the case to proceed. The victim must be an invitee or licensee while on the premises or the claim has no basis. The property owner must know the danger and not inform invitees and licensees of this danger. This hazard must create risk for those on the premises, and the hazard must cause the injuries sustained. A failure to meet any of these conditions means the victim does not have a legal case.
Before suing, victims want to know what type of compensation they may be eligible for. Medical expenses are covered in these cases, along with pain and suffering. Lost wages, the loss of earning capacity, and disability claims typically are covered in the settlement as is disfigurement. In the event a person loses their life because of the accident, the person might file for wrongful death damages. Victims often hesitate to hire an attorney because they worry about the expense. Don’t let this stop you from seeking justice, as attorneys working in this field typically only get paid when they win a case. They take a percentage of the settlement as their fee rather than charging by the hour. If the victim doesn’t get a settlement or award, the attorney does not get paid. Move forward with your case to get the justice you deserve while holding the responsible party accountable. If you don’t win, you don’t pay.