Premises Liability Accidents
If you were injured while on someone else’s property you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries under the Premises Liability law. The most common cases of Premises Liability are slips and falls.
Unfortunately, this has created somewhat of a misconception that anyone who scraped their knee falling on someone else’s property can claim millions in compensation. Premises liability is everything but a lottery ticket. It is a legal gateway for persons who were seriously injured on someone else’s property where the property owner should have ensured that the property was a safe environment.
The three principles of premises liability
If you have been injured on someone else’s property and want to successfully file a case based on Premises Liability, your case will only be successful if the following three principles apply:
- The action can only be brought against a defendant who owned the property in question
- You must have been a “guest” at the time of the injury
- Negligence on the part of the property owner must have been the cause of your injury
If any of these three points cannot be demonstrated, you will struggle to get compensated for injuries sustained on someone else’s property.
Who’s to blame in a premises liability case?
Slips and falls can happen anywhere and on anyone’s property. We’re walking through a grocery store and slip on a wet floor or trip over a loose stone in a restaurant’s walkway and break a bone. Injuries like this seem so avoidable, if only the grocery store had put a sign out indicating “Wet Floor!” or if the restaurant had fixed that stone two months earlier when they’d noticed it for the first time. But here’s where Premises Liability gets tricky. If, for instance, there was a sign saying ‘Wet Floor, Beware!’ and you slipped and fell because you were not paying attention, then you may not be able to prove liability on the store’s part for your fall. That’s where a good Premises Liability Attorney can help you sort out the issue of negligence and liability. The bottom line is, no two slip and fall cases are the same. There is no set way to determine blame. Only an expert Personal Injury Attorney can tell you if you have a case.
If you should bring a lawsuit against a property owner, the court will weigh how long such a situation existed and whether or not the property owner was careless or unreasonable in allowing a condition such as this to exist. In addition, the court also considers whether he warned you that the problem existed and you ignored him. Conversely, the court will also determine if the victim is a ‘reasonable person’ as well. For instance, if the victim was trespassing on the property owner’s land or if he was doing something he clearly shouldn’t have been doing (like drinking five beers and climbing to the top of the nearest oak tree) then the court will take the victim’s own actions into consideration when determining Premises Liability.
Children and premises liability
Children are a protected class when it comes to Premises Liability. When a child is injured on someone else’s property, a special group of laws apply. Something called “Attractive Nuisance” is often involved in children’s cases. Often, these cases turn tragic. Recently, a child in Southern California died after climbing through a broken fence to play in a sand tunnel. That broken fence and sand lot had long been the source of worry for many parents in the neighborhood. They complained to the property owner, but nothing was done to repair that fence. The child was killed when the sand tunnel he was playing in collapsed on him. The broken fence and dangerous sand lot posed an ‘Attractive Nuisance’, or something that might pose interest for a child. It was a preventable tragedy. Property owners have the responsibility to protect Attractive Nuisances, such as an un-strapped refrigerator outdoors, an unlocked storage unit, unfenced swimming pool, or power equipment. Construction sites must also strictly enforce their safety codes.
Workplace injuries and premises liability
Workplace injuries also fall under Premises Liability law. While employers are held strictly liable for most injuries incurred on-the-job by the Worker’s Compensation law, the amount of damages collectible by the injured party is limited. An expert Personal Injury Attorney who specializes in Premises Liability can determine whether other issues, such as product liability might be involved in such an accident at work. There is a time limit on cases of Premises Liability so it’s important to contact an attorney who specializes in this kind of case as soon as possible after you have an accident.
Premises liability and trespassers
You would think that a trespasser has no right to claim any compensation due to an injury on your property. However, if the owner of the property was aware of the fact that people are likely to trespass on their property and that there is a condition on his property that is potentially dangerous and that he didn’t put up a warning, the trespasser may actually have a case against the property owner.
Premises liability with Linden Law
By now you may have realized that Premises Liability is not a simple matter. One would definitely need to get a lawyer involved if you’ve been injured on someone else’s property and you want to claim compensation. Linden Law has excellent Premises Liability Attorneys on board who are well-versed in the intricacies of the Premises Liability laws. They will be able to evaluate your case for free – no obligations – and tell you whether or not you have a case. Since Linden Law prides them on personalized legal service, you can rest assured that our legal team has your best interest at heart.