A lawsuit based on premises liability attributes accountability to a property owner for damages resulting from an injury occurring on their property. Across all states, it is incumbent upon property owners and occupants to exert reasonable efforts in ensuring their property is safe for those who visit. Neglecting to sustain a safe condition on the property for visitors leads to what is termed as “premises liability.”
Premises liability law is an essential aspect of personal injury law that often goes overlooked. This blog post aims to provide comprehensive information on premises liability law, what it entails, and how to claim compensation if you’ve been injured on someone else’s property.
What Is Premises Liability Law?
Premises Liability Law is a legal doctrine that mandates property owners and those in possession of the property to be accountable for accidents and injuries sustained on their premises. The law is based on the premise that property owners and managers must keep their premises safe and free from hazards for visitors. If an individual suffers an injury as a result of perilous conditions on a property, they might be entitled to initiate a legal claim against the owner or custodian of that property.
Elements of a Premises Liability Claim
To establish a premises liability claim, a plaintiff must prove several elements.
The plaintiff must prove that the defendant owns or has control over the property where the injury occurred. This is the first and most essential element to establish.
The plaintiff must prove that the defendant (property owner) failed to exercise reasonable care in maintaining the property, which led to the hazardous condition.
It’s essential to establish that you have suffered actual harm or injury and that this injury directly resulted from the defendant’s negligence.
It must be shown that your injuries can be quantified in monetary terms so that you can be compensated for them.
Property Owner’s Responsibility Under Premises Liability Law
The duty that a property owner owes to individuals on their property varies based on the status of the visitor:
An invitee is invited onto the property for the property owner’s benefit, such as a customer in a store. The owner has the highest duty of care towards invitees, which includes keeping the premises safe and warning of any known dangers.
A licensee is someone who enters the property for their purposes, such as a social guest. The property owner must warn licensees of any known dangers but is not required to regularly inspect for unknown hazards.
A trespasser enters the property without permission. Generally, the property owner owes the least duty of care to a trespasser, which is usually not to intentionally harm them.
Special rules apply to children, even if they are trespassers. Property owners may be held liable for injuries to children if the property contains what is known as an “attractive nuisance.”
Employees are generally considered invitees; property owners must ensure a safe working environment. Workers’ compensation laws might also come into play in premises liability cases involving employee injuries.
Comparative Fault in Premises Liability Claims
In some jurisdictions, the plaintiff’s own negligence might reduce the compensation they can receive. This is known as comparative fault.
Examples of Premises Liability Claims
Here are a few examples of premises liability claims:
Slip and fall accidents due to wet floors or icy sidewalks.
Injuries from falling objects.
Injuries on amusement park rides.
Swimming pool accidents.
Reimbursement in Premises Liability Claims
Upon successfully establishing a premises liability claim, you ought to be eligible for compensation for the entirety of the injuries you endured as a consequence of the property owner’s negligence. You might be granted financial compensation for:
Expenses related to medical treatment
Lost income due to inability to work resulting from injuries
Damages pertaining to pain and anguish
Emotional turmoil stemming from the incident
In instances where the accident results in a fatality, the kin of the deceased may pursue a wrongful death claim to seek compensation if the property owner is found to bear responsibility for the death under premises liability regulations.
Steps to File a Premises Liability Claim
Generally, an insurance company of the property owner will bear the compensation for losses on their premises. If the incident occurred in a residential area, this might be through homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, whereas, for an incident in a shop or public space, diverse forms of business or commercial liability insurance may come into play.
The insurance company might propose a settlement to conclude your claim. If you accept it, you will have to relinquish any subsequent rights to litigate. It’s crucial that you comprehend the complete scope of your injuries, and it is advisable to consult an attorney specializing in premises liability before settling the claim.
Additionally, you have the option to initiate a civil lawsuit. You will be required to substantiate each component of your claim to succeed in the lawsuit. Furthermore, it is vital to initiate the claim within the stipulated timeframe, known as the statute of limitations, which typically ranges from two to four years, depending on the state.
If the incident took place on government-owned property, you might encounter more stringent deadlines for notifying about the injury, and there might be additional regulations pertaining to your case. Under such circumstances, seeking legal counsel becomes even more imperative.
How Can Moton Legal Group Help?
At Moton Legal Group, our experienced premises liability lawyers understand the complexities of premises liability laws and can help you to pursue compensation for your injuries. We will examine the details of your premises liability case and work with medical professionals, accident deconstructionists, witnesses, and other experts to establish that negligence was at play in causing your injury.
Call us at (404) 738-5471 or contact us online to discuss your premises liability lawsuit claim with one of our experienced attorneys.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the premises liability theory?
The premises liability theory is the legal principle that holds property owners or occupiers accountable for injuries sustained by individuals on their property due to unsafe conditions or negligence.
What is another name for premises liability?
Premises liability is often referred to as slip and fall law, though it encompasses more than just slip and fall incidents.
What is the difference between premises and general liability?
Premises liability refers specifically to injuries due to unsafe conditions on a property. In contrast, general liability is broader and covers a range of liabilities, including premises liability, product liability, and other personal injuries or property damages.
What is the difference between premises liability and personal injury?
Premises liability is a subset of personal injury law. While personal injury law deals with injuries to individuals due to someone else’s negligence or intentional acts, premises liability specifically deals with injuries on someone’s property.
Premises liability law is a complex area that can significantly impact property owners and those who suffer injuries on someone else’s property. It’s essential for individuals to understand the basic elements of a premises liability claim and property owners’ responsibilities towards visitors. If you believe you have a premises liability claim, it is advisable to consult an attorney who specializes in this area of law. The professionals at Moton Legal Group or a similar law firm can help you navigate the complexities of premises liability claims and fight for the compensation you deserve.
EXAMPLES OF PREMISES LIABILITY:
Slip and Fall
Dog Bite Cases