Premises Liability Lawyer
Who should be held at fault when you are injured on someone else’s property?
The person responsible for a premises-related injury depends on several factors. Did the property owner’s negligence cause the accident? Did the victim have permission to be on the property at the time of the incident? And was the victim partly to blame for their injuries?
Proving fault in a premises liability claim can be daunting. For this reason, it’s crucial to have a premises liability lawyer to help you with your case.
At Injury Lawyers Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, our experienced premises liability attorneys can help you recover compensation from responsible parties. From investigating the incident to filing your claim, we will serve as your expert legal counsel and compassionate representation throughout the process.
Contact our skilled premises liability lawyers today for a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.
What is Premises Liability?
Property owners and non-owner residents have a duty of care to maintain a relatively safe environment on their property to prevent injury to others. Owners are legally required to fix any hazards on their property and ensure guests have reasonable warnings of any dangers.
When owners and non-owner residents violate this duty of care, people who come on their property may sustain injuries. Premises liability is an area of law that holds property owners and residents responsible for injuries on their property.
What Are The Different Levels of Care For Property Owners?
Property owners owe different levels of care depending on the type of guest that enters their property.
- Invitees: These people are invited to the property for the commercial benefit of the owner, such as customers. Property owners owe invitees the highest level of care and are responsible for ensuring the safety of these guests. Owners may be liable for hazards they know and should know.
- Licensees: Family members, friends, and people hired to provide services on the property (e.g., plumbers) are licensees. Unlike invitees, licensees are invited to the property for the non-commercial benefit of the owner. Property owners are required to maintain the premises and fix any hazards. However, they are only liable for dangers that they know.
- Trespassers: If a person trespasses on someone else’s property, the owner only has to refrain from gross negligence. In other words, the property owner is not liable for a trespasser’s safety. However, they are not allowed to deliberately set up hazardous items or areas on their property to avoid trespassers.
Children on Property
A property owner owes a different duty of care to children who trespass on their property. If a property owner knows (or should know) that children are likely to be on the premises and that a dangerous condition on the premises may cause injury or death, they must give adequate warning.
This particular duty of care to children is called the “attractive nuisance” doctrine. Attractive nuisances include swimming pools, playground equipment, and construction sites. States have varying rules on what is considered an attractive nuisance on private property.
What Are The Expectations For a Property Owner?
Property owners must enact reasonable care to keep their premises safe. Reasonable expectations for landowners include:
- Fencing in a swimming pool
- Posting signs to warn visitors of hazardous things on their property, such as wet floors, dogs, and low ceilings
- Keeping hazardous equipment (e.g., toxic chemicals, power tools) in safe storage
- Repairing potentially dangerous objects (e.g., malfunctioning electrical equipment, loose shelves)
- Inspecting the property for potential hazards
A property owner could be held liable for an injured visitor if they did not make reasonable efforts to avoid harm to people that enter their property.
Types of Premises Liability Claims
Our lawyers handle numerous liability cases with varying circumstances, such as:
- Swimming Pool Accidents: These cases typically occur when the swimming pool does not have a proper fence or barrier. Fencing in the pool is part of the property owner’s duty to protect others from injury, even if the injured party does not have permission to be there.
- Amusement Park Accidents: These accidents occur when the property owner fails to maintain the safety of the amusement park or take proper preventive measures against accidents. Signing a waiver does not automatically exempt the amusement park owner from premises liability.
- Slip and Falls: These accidents commonly occur when the victim has not been warned against hazards (e.g., wet floors, icy grounds, uneven pavement, etc.). Aside from not giving a proper warning, a property owner may also be liable for not addressing the hazard within a reasonable amount of time.
- Elevator and Escalator Accidents: Elevators and escalators can be dangerous if not properly maintained. A business owner may be held liable for injuries if the accident was caused by a malfunctioning elevator or escalator.
Common Injuries in Premises Liability Cases
Our premises liability lawyers have handled multiple cases involving serious injuries. Common premises liability injuries that we have encountered include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: TBIs are common consequences of slips and falls, car crashes, and other severe accidents. A TBI can range from a mild concussion to a severe brain hemorrhage, depending on the severity of impact on the brain.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: Sprains and strains are typical injuries in slip and fall accidents.
- Spinal Cord Trauma: Injury to the spinal cord can lead to catastrophic consequences, including paralysis. Spinal cord injuries are common in severe car accidents and fall accidents from a great height.
- Fractures: Broken bones typically occur in slip and fall accidents and car crashes. These can range from mild hairline fractures to more severe breaks, such as open fractures wherein the bone breaks through the skin.
- Cuts, Bruises, Burns: These injuries have varying levels of severity depending on the circumstances of the accident. For instance, a mild fall may only result in bruises, while a fall involving impact with a sharp object can lead to deep lacerations.
What to Do If You Are Injured on Someone Else’s Property
Following these steps after an accident can make it easier to recover compensation later on:
- Call the Authorities. Call an ambulance if your injuries need immediate medical attention. The police will also arrive to document the scene.
- Document The Accident Scene. Take pictures of where your injury occurred and the object that caused it. Collect the information of the property owner, the manager on shift (if the accident happened in a business establishment), and any witnesses present. Write down the time, date, and location.
- Seek Medical Attention. Go to the hospital and have a doctor check your injuries. Not only will a check-up ensure you have no underlying injuries, but it will also give you a medical record that you can use for your claim. Monitor your condition in the next few days; some injuries don’t manifest in physical symptoms immediately.
- Call a Premises Liability Lawyer. Numerous factors come into play in a personal injury claim. Therefore, you need a legal professional to help you navigate your case. Contact a lawyer to discuss your legal options.
What Damages Can You Recover From a Premises Liability Claim?
The property owner who caused your injury could be financially responsible for your damages, including:
- Medical Bills: Compensation for medical treatment, including hospitalization, medication, surgery, therapy, emergency transportation, and future medical bills.
- Disability: Compensation for disability-related damages (loss of future earning potential, mobility aids, etc.) if you become temporarily or permanently disabled from the accident.
- Lost Wages: Compensation for wages, income, and benefits you’ve lost while recovering from your injuries.
- Loss of Quality of Life: Compensation for quality of life lost following the accident.
- Property Damage: Compensation for personal belongings lost or damaged in the accident.
- Wrongful Death: Compensation for death-related damages if your loved one dies in a premises liability accident, including funeral and burial costs, pre-death medical treatment, and grief.
Settlement values for premises liability cases vary. Your attorney will estimate the potential value of your settlement based on your damages and other applicable factors.
Filing a Premises Liability Claim
Were you injured on someone’s property due to unsafe conditions? If so, you could file a personal injury claim to hold the property owner liable for your damages.
The defendant in your premises liability case can be:
- Your landlord
- A business
- A company
- Your employer
- A homeowner
- A tenant
- A property management company
- An employee
- Multiple parties
Who is Financially Responsible For Your Damages?
Most business owners have general liability insurance, which covers injuries on the business premises. When you file a claim against a business owner, they will likely use their general liability insurance to pay for your damages.
Most homeowner’s insurance policies also cover injuries on a homeowner’s private property. You could file a claim against the homeowner’s insurance company if your injuries were caused by negligence and not intentional harm (e.g., assault). If a homeowner does not have this coverage, they may have to pay for your damages out-of-pocket.
Your premises liability lawyer will discuss who should be responsible for paying for your damages during your free consultation.
Elements of Premises Liability
For a premises liability case to be successful, you must prove that:
- The property owner had a legal duty to ensure your safety;
- The property owner breached this duty by failing to maintain reasonably safe premises;
- The property owner’s negligence was a direct or substantial factor in causing your injuries;
- You suffered injuries and damages from the incident
Proving a property owner’s negligence in a premises liability case can be challenging. Hence, you must collect substantial evidence that can support your claim, such as:
- Photos of your injuries
- Photos of the unsafe or defective condition that caused your accident (e.g., a broken stair, a slippery floor, etc.)
- Photos of the accident scene
- Surveillance footage
- Medical records
- Police or incident reports
- Witness accounts
The Role of Your Premises Liability Lawyer
Filing a premises liability claim without legal help can be daunting. Defendants often deny responsibility for the accident or insist that you are partially to blame, even if you aren’t. Hence, having a premises liability attorney is a must. They can help you:
- Determine how and why the accident occurred
- Establish the liability of the property owner
- Determine the extent of your damages
- Gather evidence to support your claim
- Estimate the potential value of your settlement
- File a personal injury claim against at-fault parties
- Negotiate your settlement with the liable party
- File your case in civil court, if necessary
After filing a claim against the liable party, their insurance company may offer you a settlement. If this happens, you have two options:
- Accept the payment or;
- Have your premises liability attorney negotiate for a better offer.
Do not accept compensation without consulting an attorney first. Once you receive the payment, you can no longer sue for additional damages, which can prove troublesome if you encounter more losses.
Filing a Premises Liability Lawsuit
Unfortunately, not all premises liability claims settle out of court. Your attorney could help you file a premises liability lawsuit if:
- The property owner denies responsibility for the accident or;
- The insurance carrier refuses to make a better offer.
Your case will go to civil court if you file a premises liability lawsuit. During litigation, a judge or jury will hear evidence from both sides and determine a verdict. You will need to present substantial evidence to prove that the property owner was at fault for the accident.
To avoid litigation, your premises liability lawyer could help you pursue compensation through other dispute resolution methods, such as arbitration or mediation. These alternatives are often less expensive, formal, and time-consuming than litigation.
What if Both Parties Are at Fault?
In some premises liability cases, both the owner and the visitor may be responsible for the accident. Liability is then shared between the property owner and the injured party.
For instance, if you run in a grocery store and slip on an unmarked wet floor, you may have partial responsibility for the accident. In a premises liability accident involving shared liability, the value of your compensation will depend on your level of negligence.
Comparative & Contributory Negligence Rules
All states follow different principles of comparative fault. Your chances of recovering compensation (and how much compensation you can recover) will depend on your state’s rule.
- Pure Comparative Negligence: You can recover compensation, but your percentage of fault reduces it.
- Modified Comparative Negligence: You can recover compensation based on your percentage of fault as long as the percentage is below 50%.
- Contributory Negligence: You are not entitled to compensation regardless of your percentage of fault.
Talk to a Premises Liability Lawyer Today
When property owners neglect their duty to maintain the safety of their premises, they can inadvertently cause harm to people that come on their property. Unfortunately, this type of negligence occurs more often than you think.
Were you or a loved one injured on someone else’s property due to negligent maintenance? If so, you have the legal right to seek compensation for your damages.
The top-rated attorneys at Injury Lawyers Team can serve as your legal advocates on your journey to financial recovery. We handle all types of premises liability claims, including accidents on business premises, private property, and government-owned public spaces.
Call our personal injury lawyers today for a free initial consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.
Our attorneys handle all accepted cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t have to pay for our legal services unless we win your case.