A Useful Guide to Understanding Premises Liability Law
Finding yourself injured on someone else’s property through no fault of your own can be a devastating, overwhelming experience.
Because an unexpected accident (and the injury that results from one) can be incredibly costly, they have the potential to fully upend a victim’s life and livelihood. By educating yourself about premises liability law, you can more effectively protect yourself from this type of dire scenario, however.
So What Is Premises Liability Anyway?
When defining premises liability, a common definition is “the liability that the owner (or occupier) of a property bears for an injury someone suffers due to an unsafe condition existing on their property.” While premises liability laws can differ drastically between states, these lawsuits are commonplace enough to make them mostly uniform in nature (no matter where you live). However, it’s important to remember that property owners are only held legally liable for preventable accidents that occur on their properties. By hiring an experienced premises liability lawyer to represent you, you can approach any case in a self-assured and confident fashion.
What are Some of the Most Common Types of Premises Liability Cases?
Since premises liability accidents can occur in a multitude of different ways, they can be widely defined. However, there are a few common types of premises liability cases that are handled by legal representatives nearly every day in the United States. Dog bites, slip, and fall accidents, crimes that occur due to inadequate security measures, and avoidable obstacle-related accidents are all prime examples of your typical premises liability case.
Understanding the Four Key Elements of Premises Liability
Typically, legal claims break down into a collection of discrete elements, and these elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt for a case to be won. Four key elements are involved in winning a premises liability case:
1. The defendant was the legal property owner (or occupier) when the accident occurred.
2. The defendant’s treatment, care, and maintenance of the involved property were negligent.
3. The victim of the accident suffered a tangible injury on the property.
4. The victim suffered an injury due to the negligence of the defendant.
Five Important Elements of Proof in Premises Liability Cases
By their nature, premises liability cases are considered to be personal injury cases. While the terms are not interchangeable, they deal with similar legal claims and penalties. Due to this, many lawyers who specialize in personal injury claims will also specialize in premises liability claims. When you’re hiring a premises liability lawyer, they will do their best to determine the following five important elements of proof that are involved in practically all premises liability cases:
1 – The Legal Status of the Injured Visitor
The legal status or categorization of an injured visitor or employee can greatly impact the duty a property owner has to them. Invitees, children, intentional harm, trespassers, licensees, and those who cause themselves intentional harm on the property are all treated differently under premises liability law.
2 – Negligence Issues
Negligence rules exist to help victims seek compensation for their injuries. Even if the harm caused was unintentional on the part of the property owner, their wrongful negligence is enough to make them at fault for the accident (and therefore the victim’s injuries, and all damages associated with them).
3 – Owner’s Duty of Care
The degree to which an owner’s duty of care is seen in the eyes of a court can prove incredibly circumstantial. To fully understand this aspect of proof, you’ll need a case-specific breakdown from your hired premises liability lawyer.
4 – Damages and Injuries
To win any sort of compensation in a premises liability suit, your lawyer must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that you suffered an injury (and that it happened on the property in question). Depending on the state, a judge may determine that a certain percentage of an accident is your fault, depending on the action you were taking when the accident occurred.
5 – Causation Considerations
Lastly, causation is a critical element of all personal injury and premises liability claims. You do not need to prove that the defendant was 100% responsible for your injury, and rather only need to prove that they were responding to a degree of criminality and liability.
An Educated Hire is a Safe Hire
Now that you’re educated about premises liability law, you can make an educated, safe hire to represent your case. With the right grit and determination during the hiring process, you’ll soon have the compensation you need to deal with your injuries in a comfortable, and financially-acceptable fashion.