The duty a property owner has to maintain a secure environment for any visitors to his or her property is known as premises liability law. Any losses a victim sustains as a result of a preventable accident that takes place on the property are the owner’s responsibility.
For instance, if a victim breaks her leg after falling on a piece of loose carpet in a house, she can file a premises liability claim to receive compensation for all costs associated with the broken limb.
However, premises liability is more intricate than this. It involves questions of carelessness on the part of the victim and the property owner, as well as the property owner’s duty of care to the victim and reasonable measures to provide a safe environment.
Defining premises liability law
Wondering what is premises liability? Let’s find out.
Any time a person is hurt as a result of a dangerous situation on property that the property owner might have reasonably removed, the victim may be entitled to file a premises liability claim for monetary damages to compensate for their losses.
When a hazard is present and the property owner is aware of it but cannot reasonably remove it, it is his or her responsibility to prominently label the hazard on the property to avoid accidents.
Other risky circumstances that could exist on a person’s property and endanger visitors include:
- Wet surfaces broken stairs or railings
- Leaf accumulation, craters in the ground that are hidden by vegetation such as grass or other plants
- Unkempt trees and bushes
- Ponds, streams, and other water bodies that may be obscured by foliage
- Open swimming pools
- Inconsistent carpeting
- Cords that aren’t securely fastened
- Fire pits that aren’t securely closed
There is no limitation to the number of circumstances that can be potentially identified as a breach of the premises liability law. Often, the severity of the injuries or the amount of loss suffered determines how much the compensation will be in such cases.
Compared to other types of cases, such as an Indiana OWI case, premises liability cases can get drawn out.
In some cases, property owners might also end up paying other fines and charges, especially if other laws were also breached unrelated to the victim’s injuries.
Getting the help of an experienced personal injury and criminal defense lawyer is important regardless of which side of the fence you’re on.
What to know when filing a premises liability claim?
You must have evidence of your injuries’ date, origin, and severity to bring a premises liability claim. This indicates that you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible after being hurt.
Gather every available proof, no matter how small. This usually consists of images taken at the accident scene, your damaged belongings (clothes and personal stuff), and your medical records.
You must have a thorough awareness of your legal rights to bring a premises liability claim. What particulars prove that someone else is responsible for your injuries? What losses do you have a right to recover?
After completing these preliminary measures, you should get in touch with the owner of the building or establishment where you fell. Your lawyer should typically handle this. Notifying a property or company owner of your claim can be done correctly or incorrectly, and making mistakes at this point could make it much more difficult to obtain fair compensation.
In a typical situation, this is when settlement talks will start. Premises liability claims are covered by homeowner’s insurance and commercial liability insurance plans, therefore your lawyer (or you, if you decide to try to handle your claim yourself) will probably be interacting with the property or business owner’s insurance provider.
Knowing the whole amount, you are entitled to recover will help you bargain more effectively. Additionally, to current and upcoming medical costs, and income loss.
Finally, you will have to argue your case in front of the judge or jury if you don’t settle before your court date. It is incredibly difficult to successfully litigate a premises liability claim, so you will require a skilled lawyer who is willing to represent you in court.
A BuyCrash Indiana might be a good first step after you have intimated the police in case you’ve been in an accident.
What to know when defending against a premises liability lawsuit?
Someone could sue you for premises liability if they were hurt on your property. They may want to file a lawsuit to seek remuneration for the accident-related damages they suffered, including medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. They can claim that you caused their injuries by failing to remove a hazard from your property. So, to defend yourself, you must be aware of a couple of points.
Awareness of a hazard
In a premises liability action, you can only be held accountable if you were aware of or should have been aware of a specific hazard on your property. Lawyers could raise the defense that you were unaware of the threat.
This can be a strong defense, and you could even be able to get the case dismissed if the plaintiff cannot demonstrate how long the dangerous condition lasted or if it is unclear when the illness first manifested.
You might not be liable if the incident that led to the plaintiff’s injuries was unforeseen. If you run a restaurant, for instance, and the plaintiff is assaulted on your premises by a stranger, you can claim that you are not at fault because the incident was not foreseeable.
You cannot be held responsible for any misconduct that took place, even though it took place on your premises if you could not have reasonably foreseen that the third person would attack the plaintiff.