It takes less than a second for an accident to upend your life completely. When negligence contributes to your accident, you have the right to pursue a claim to seek compensation for your losses. To give yourself the best chance at recovery, you need help from a premises liability lawyer from Thomas Law Offices.
Our attorneys are well-versed in premises liability claims and understand that state laws can impact your right to file a claim. We’ll carefully review where your accident happened to determine the laws that could affect how you pursue compensation. Before we do that, we’ll go over some basics of premises liability with you, so you have an idea of what to expect.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability refers to the legal obligations that a property owner owes to visitors on their property. Property owners can be held accountable for injuries that happen in their homes, on their land, and in their vehicles. Premises also include places of business, worksites, and tenants’ living spaces.
Injured visitors need to be able to prove the property owner’s negligence directly correlates to their injuries. Property owners owe visitors a duty of care, which means they are required to keep their homes and businesses relatively safe. When that duty is breached and someone gets hurt and incurs losses as a result, negligence can be proven.
It’s important to note that there are situations where the property owner and visitor are found to both hold partial responsibility for what happened. When liability is shared, both parties have to negotiate to determine how to share the damages.
Types of Premises Liability Claims
If you’ve been injured on someone’s property, your attorney will help you determine the type of accident you were in and whether it warrants a premises liability case. Some of the most common cases we see include the following: slip and falls, animal attacks, workplace accidents, inadequate security, and swimming pool accidents.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, but some of the most common places are grocery stores, shopping centers, and parking lots. When a spill isn’t cleaned up properly, anyone in the vicinity is at risk of falling. If the proper signage isn’t put up, the risk increases. Slip and falls can cause serious back injuries and head injuries, depending on how the person falls and if they hit anything on the way down.
Dog owners are supposed to secure their animals and ensure they are not a risk to anyone. If a dog escapes a property and bites someone, the owner can be held responsible. Dog bite injuries can result in infection quickly, so the injured person must seek medical attention as soon as possible.
While some workplace injuries are covered under workers’ compensation, not all are. Suppose you’re in a situation where you were injured at work, but your employer doesn’t want to take responsibility or you are not eligible for workers’ comp. In that case, you may be able to file a premises liability claim. This is also the case in the event a third-party contributed to your work accident.
Landlords and other property owners are responsible, to a degree, for ensuring their buildings are secure. If you’ve been injured because of inadequate security, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses. For example, if you were attacked and mugged inside your apartment complex because your landlord failed to install a security system, you can file a claim against them.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Swimming pools are inherently dangerous—especially for children when adults are not around. Property owners who have pools in their yards are responsible for ensuring avoidable hazards are taken care of as efficiently as possible. This means alerting visitors of wet or slippery conditions and properly closing the pool in the off-season.
Who is Responsible for Premises Liability Injuries?
If you suffer an injury on someone else’s property, the property owner may be responsible. However, it can be challenging to prove liability—even with serious injuries. To prove liability for an accident, you need to present a number of factors, starting with your classification as a visitor.
Types of Property Visitors
If you need to file a premises liability claim after an accident, your visitor status will play a role in your eligibility for compensation. In general, there are three types of visitors: invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
- Invitees. An invitee is a person that is granted access to the property from the owners, family, managers, or staff in order to conduct businesses. Contractors, groundskeepers, and business associates are common examples.
- Licensees. A licensee is someone, like a family member, friend, or neighbor, that is invited onto the property for social purposes.
- Trespassers. A trespasser is anyone who enters private property without a prior invitation from the property owner or manager. Trespassers typically do not have grounds to file an injury claim, but certain circumstances can change that. Your lawyer will be able to explain your rights.
As a visitor, regardless of your status, you have a responsibility to mitigate any possible injuries or accidents. This means you are expected to do everything in your power to avoid injury on another person’s private property. In the event you are injured, you are expected to seek medical attention to have the injury treated.
In addition to highlighting which visitor status applied to you, you’ll also want to be able to prove you were given consent to enter the premises. Consent to enter can be written, spoken, or implied. Once an invitation has been accepted, the property owner needs to ensure the visitor’s safety.
Filing a Claim After an Accident on Someone’s Property
While many personal injury claims are settled via negotiations, this isn’t always possible. If need be, our attorneys can help you file a lawsuit in court—which would get you an official verdict from a judge or jury. The compensation from either situation can be used to manage your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
The sooner you get started with a premises liability lawsuit, the better your chances are of receiving a full and fair monetary award. If you wait too long, the statute of limitations could pass, and you’ll be ineligible for any amount of recovery.
Your lawyer will familiarize you with the steps in a civil lawsuit, so you’re prepared for the process. They will also collect ample evidence to support your case and ensure you have a solid chance of recovering what you need to get your life back in order as quickly as possible.
Contact Thomas Law Offices
If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property and believe their negligence is to blame, you have grounds to pursue an injury claim. To learn about your legal rights and options, get in touch with a premises liability lawyer from Thomas Law Offices.
When you reach out to our law firm, we’ll evaluate your situation, determine if you are able to seek compensation for your losses, and, if you are, we’ll guide you through the claims process. It can seem intimidating at first, but we’ll be by your side the entire time. To learn more or to get started, contact us today.