Premise Liability Injuries
Premise liability law holds property owners responsible for making a reasonable effort to maintain a safe environment for those visiting their property. If an owner fails in their duty of care and a person is injured, the injured party may have a right to seek compensation for their loss by filing a premise liability lawsuit against the owner. Common premise liability claims include animal bites and slip and fall claims.
Who may recover compensation for their injuries?
Whether or not an injured party may recover compensation for their injuries will depend on state laws. For instance, some states will determine liability for injury based on the status of the visitor (whether they were a licensee, a trespasser, or an invitee).
For example, if a person is considered an invitee or a licensee the state assumes there is an implied promise that the property owner has maintained safe conditions on their property. Trespassers, however, may have no such implied duty of care owed to them, although state laws have determined that the owner cannot try to intentionally injure a trespasser. In fact, if the owner believes someone is likely to trespass they may be required to provide reasonable warnings of impending dangers.
Who is responsible for my injuries?
Before the court will determine who is responsible for your premise liability injuries they will review the facts of your case. For instance, were you a visitor, invitee, or trespasser? Was the injury foreseeable? Did the owner inspect their property and repair dangerous conditions or put up warning signs? What is the nature of the property?
For example, if you are visitor in a store there is a presumption that the property owner owes you a duty of care to ensure their property is safe and free from hazardous conditions. Failing to clean up spills in a timely manner, to install appropriate outdoor lighting, and to remove tripping hazards could be considered a failure of duty. If this failure caused injury or loss, the property owner may be held liable.
Proving Premise Liability Case
Winning a premise liability claim will be similar to winning other types of injury claims. You must prove the owner owed you a duty of care, they failed to perform their duty, you suffered injury due to the breach of duty, and you suffered actual loss.
First, you will need to prove the property owner owed you a duty of care, which may require you to prove you were an invitee or a licensee. Next, you will have to prove the property owner not only knew about the condition, but they chose to ignore it, thereby shirking their duty. Finally, you will have to prove it was this breach of duty that caused your injury and you suffered actual loss.
For instance, if you slip and fall in a store and you can prove the store owner knew about the spill and failed to clean it up in a timely manner, you will still have to prove you suffered injury or loss from the fall to win your premise liability claim. If there is no injury or loss, you will not win your premise liability lawsuit.
Compensation paid for a slip and fall
Compensation for a premise injury lawsuit can include payment for medical costs, pain and suffering, and loss of current and future wages. As mentioned above, if you did not suffer injury or loss, you will not receive compensation.
Compensation can also be modified if you were partially to blame for your accident. In some states if your actions contributed to your own injuries you will not be entitled to any compensation; other states will allow you to receive compensation if your fault is less than 50%. Still other states will determine the fault of each party involved and award compensation accordingly.