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Premises liability refers to the potential legal responsibility of a property operator or owner for injuries resulting from unsafe conditions on the property. Premises liability cases may exist in nearly all types of structures or spaces, and accidents may involve swimming pools, falling equipment, inadequate security, fires, slips and falls, and construction sites.
Simply getting injured on another person’s property does not automatically make the property owner liable, nor does property being in an unsafe condition. How then do you know whether you have a valid premise liability claim? Here is a guide on how such cases work.
What to Prove in a Premises Liability Case
Elements of premises liability laws vary in various states; therefore, it is essential to confirm your jurisdiction’s laws. However, there are general factors that my plaintiff will have to prove:
- The defendant leased, occupied, or owned the property
- Negligence of the defendant
- You got harmed
- The defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in the event that caused the harm
Relationship of the Defendant and Property
To set a proper premises liability case, it should be clear that the occupier, lessee, or owner had a duty to inspect their property, and ensure that it’s in a reasonably safe and sound condition-based on the intended use of the property. The first aspect is proving the defendant’s relationship with the property gave rise to such a responsibility.
Negligence of the Defendant in Their Use of the Property
Civil courts use the legal concept of negligence to hold people accountable for the unintentional harm caused to others. When considering a premise liability case, think about whether the person at fault failed to achieve the standard of care that the particular situation required.
A defendant must warn you of any latent and known dangers you are unaware of and could not possibly discover them yourself. The duty extends to all risks that the defendants should have known of, had they exercised a reasonable amount of care to their premises.
You Suffered an Injury
Whether it was a slip and fall or any other kind of injury, you must show that you got injured for the liability to be worth a claim. You can prove injury by your testimony along with the testimony of any other treating doctors. Once you get a personal injury lawyer, they will present to the court the extent of your medical treatment, its expenses, and how the injuries and ongoing treatment will affect the various aspects of your life.
The Defendant’s Negligence as a Substantial Element in the Causation of Your Injury
Even with all other factors constant, a premise liability case would be incomplete without the relation of your injury to the defendant’s negligence. The harm you suffered should be reasonably foreseeable in light of the action that the defendant did or failed to do. Ideally, the defendant’s negligence must not be the only cause of injury, but it has to have materially contributed to your injury.
Many people tend to give up on their claim when the defendant’s negligence was just a contributing factor in the confusion of whether they are liable. Before concluding, seek the services of a lawyer and explain your circumstances to them.
Seek Settlement for Your Premise Liability Case
Premise liability cases are vast and could range from snow and ice accidents, defective conditions in a premise, dog bites, fires, toxic fumes or chemicals, water leaks, flooding, inadequate maintenance, and elevator accidents. When you find yourself injured, take down everything that occurred, leading to your accident and after. Next, seek the advice of a personal injury attorney before accepting a settlement from the premise owner. Your lawyer will walk you through the options.