Statistics show that there are over 1.3 million licensed attorneys in the United States, and that this number is on the rise. With the sheer amount of competition in the market, it can be difficult to know who to hire to deal with your specific issue.
If your issue relates to premises liability, you’ll want a lawyer who has extensive experience in that area, and a track record of leveraging that experience to secure favorable outcomes for their clients.
Read on as we look at premises liability issues and why attorneys with experience in this area are valuable.
Premises Liability: What Is it?
Put simply, premises liability is the legal responsibility that a property owner has as it relates to third parties that venture onto that property.
The most common issue from this legal duty is when “invitees” (customers) of a property or business are injured while they are on the owner’s property.
For example, if a person slips and falls on a wet floor in a bar, the bar may be legally responsible for expenses that arise as a result of any injury caused.
There are a number of factors to consider in any such claim. For instance, was there a sign or notification posted about the wet floor? Or, was the person who fell over so intoxicated that they contributed to their own fall?
A court will consider all of these factors, and more, when making a decision. In short, premises liability cases are rarely straightforward. Both parties to a claim will present anything they can to either confirm or refute the existence of liability.
Therefore, if you’re thinking of making a claim in relation to an injury you sustained on someone else’s property, you’ll want to have the best premises liability lawyer on your side.
When Might I Have a Claim in Premises Liability?
If you’ve had any sort of accident on someone else’s property that was due to the property owner’s failure to properly maintain their property or its contents, you might have a claim in premises liability.
Your claim will be calculated on the basis of the severity of your injury. For example, the compensation you might receive for a broken leg will be calculated with reference to the medical expenses associated with that injury.
However, there are many other factors that dictate whether or not a premises liability claim will be successful.
If you behaved carelessly during your visit to someone’s property, liability is less likely to be imposed. Courts will therefore be careful in assessing the victim’s role in the events leading up to the injury.
Levels of Care for Different Types of Entrant
Another issue in premises liability is the capacity in which you were on the property.
If you were on someone’s premises for a business purpose, you are known as an INVITEE. An example would be a guest at a restaurant. Property owners owe this type of visitor the highest level of care. As such, business owners must be aware of all potential dangers that might arise on their property, and take care to communicate them to third parties.
A LICENSEE is someone that enters onto a property with an invite, but for a social or family purpose rather than a commercial one. The duty of care owed to licensees is not quite as high as that for invitees. Property owners are generally only liable for dangers they actually happen to know about, rather than those they should have known about.
The duty of care owed to TRESPASSERS is significantly less than that for the other two categories of visitors. Generally, a property owner is merely required not to intentionally harm a trespasser.
Common Claims Arising Under Premises Liability
There are a number of claim types that are common in this area of law. Here are a few to consider:
Amusement Park Accidents
Amusement park accidents are quite common in the area of premises liability. These accidents can often be minor, but because of the dangerous nature of some park attractions, they can also sometimes be fatal.
Courts will pay close attention to attempts made by the amusement park to mitigate the risk that caused the accident. And they will also examine the behavior of the injured person.
Many amusement parks require users to sign waivers. However, this does not guarantee that liability will not be attached to every circumstance.
Accidents at Social Events
A variety of accidents can occur at social events. Because they can bring huge numbers of people together in one place, and because alcohol and drug use can be common, injuries are common and plentiful.
Slip and fall injuries, as mentioned above, are probably most common, along with people sustaining injuries while using escalators or stairs.
Elements of the event itself may also cause harm. In the past, people have been injured by stage collapses and reckless use of pyrotechnics, to name just two.
If you are bitten by a dog while on someone else’s private property, the property owner might be liable for damages. But as mentioned above, whether you were a licensee or a trespasser will be a significant consideration.
Your behavior in relation to the dog will also be relevant. For example, did you intentionally hurt or scare the animal? If not, you could have grounds for a claim.
What Am I Entitled to Claim for in a Premises Liability Action?
Harms that are commonly compensated by premises liability claims include:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Wrongful death
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional and mental suffering
Premises Liability: Hire a Professional & Make Your Claim Today!
If you have a claim in the area of premises liability and you think you are entitled to compensation, don’t hesitate to take action.
Take the first step to claiming what’s rightfully yours by calling an experienced premises liability attorney.
If you’d like to discuss the particular details of your situation, and assess the strength of your case, contact us today.