The personal injury industry as a whole is expected to grow to $35 billion in 2019. This valuation represents a 1.4% growth.
With the uptick in overall personal injury cases, there is a need for increased awareness on the legislation on premises liability.
If you have suffered injury due to premises liability you need to understand how to go about seeking redress. Your pain and suffering are costly, and it is only equitable that you get compensated for it.
Here is a primer on all you need to know about this type of liability to help you seek the justice you deserve.
Types of Cases Found in Premises Liability
The legal concept of premises liability is one that occurs within the confines of personal injury cases.
It is a set of laws used to determine who is responsible (if at all there is a party to be held liable) for the condition of premises when it causes an injury.
To better understand these set of laws, it is vital to define the term premises.
A premises is a building or piece of land that belongs to either an individual or an organization. The owner of the building or land in question is legally responsible, within reason, for any injury that might occur on it.
If an accident does occur on the property, it might be because the owner was negligent. Negligence is when there is a failure by the owner to take reasonable care of the property.
Majority of personal injury cases revolve around some negligence that occurred. When it comes to premises liability cases the situation is no different.
To win such a case, therefore, means that you have to prove that the owner did not take reasonable care in either the property’s ownership or maintenance.
There are many types of personal injury cases that fall under this category which include:
Slip and Fall
A slip and fall accident is the most common type of premises liability cases. It can occur when you trip or slip on someone’s property and fall.
Insufficient Building Security
Poor security in offices and apartments can lead to a premise liability lawsuit. The owners of such property are expected to reasonably secure access to them.
As a result, large apartment buildings and offices now have security guards and doormen on the first floor. Small apartment buildings and offices demand that tenants lock the front and back doors.
If an assault or murder occurs inside the property, the owner might be liable for criminally negligent homicide if it’s proven access wasn’t reasonably secured.
Other types of cases include:
- Dog bites
- Chemicals and toxic fumes
- Escalator and elevator accidents
- Inadequate building security leading to assault or injury
- Accidents at amusement parks
- Swimming pool accidents
Proof of Liability an Injured party Must Deliver
When discussing premises liability laws its essential to remember two key points:
- Just because you got injured while on someone else’s property does not prove the owner’s negligence
- Just because the property might have been in a condition that made it unsafe doesn’t indicate the owner’s negligence
Elements that make up a valid case will vary from state to state. You should look up what your specific jurisdiction says about it.
However, there are some common elements that the injured party (the plaintiff) will have to prove. The following are some of them.
1. the Defendant Owned, Leased or Occupied the Property
The first item the plaintiff needs to demonstrate is that the defendant did indeed own, lease or occupy the property.
In a case with merit, the evidence will clearly show that the defendant had a duty of care. It will be clear to see that they were responsible for ensuring the property inspection.
They ought to have ensured it was in reasonably good condition for the use it was intended for.
2. the Defendant Was Negligent While Using the Property
The plaintiff has to prove next that the defendant was negligent in their property use. They must attest as to how the defendant did not uphold the standard of care for that particular situation.
In proving negligence, there are two predominant approaches. One has been in use historically, and the other has recently gained prominence. They are:
Liability Derived from Ordinary Negligence
Under this approach, the property owner has a duty to warn you of danger. It extends to both known and latent danger that you may not have reasonably discovered on your own.
The defendant’s duty also extends to the dangers that they should have known about if they had exercised reasonable care.
Liability Derived from the Status of the Person in the Land
The historical approach to determining liability hinged on the status of the person entering the land. The status classifications used were as follows:
Those who enter the land for the defendant’s financial benefit. Also, those who enter land generally open to the public. The duty of care is to maintain the premises reasonably.
Those with the defendant’s express or implied permission to enter the land. The duty of care here is to warn of concealed dangers the licensee may not be aware of. Once a licensee is asked to leave, and they don’t, they become a trespasser.
Those who unlawfully enter into the land and remain on it. The only duty of care here is to refrain from wantonly and willfully hurting them.
3. You Suffered Harm
The plaintiff must show the injury they had to suffer through. They can produce a doctor’ testimony and medical bills. They can also demonstrate how the injuries and ongoing medical attention will impact several aspects of their life.
4. the Defendant’s Negligence Was as Significant Factor Leading to the Harm
When proving that the defendant’s negligence contributed substantially to your injury the harm must be reasonably foreseeable.
The defendant’s negligence doesn’t have to be the only cause of harm. It does, however, need to be proven to have significantly contributed to the injury.
Be Better Informed
Premises liability is a part of the law that is increasingly becoming critical as more people suffer injury. To mount a valid case you need to consult a lawyer with experience in handling these kinds of cases.
Your attorney will guide you in ensuring you have all four requirements to prove your case successfully.
If you have suffered personal injury and need to talk to an experienced lawyer, Houston Personal Injury Lawyer Mario Madrid is here to help. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you win your case.