Posted on Tuesday, January 29th, 2019 at 4:59 am
A premises liability case occurs when a person gets injured on someone else’s property. The owners of the property ensure that their property- building or open space- is secured for the visitors. The owners have a legal responsibility to ensure that property is safe and has taken the safety measures which prevent any harm or damage from occurring to others.
If the owner fails to observe this legal duty and an accident occurs in the result of this, the victim will file a lawsuit for the compensation of sufferings and losses. Accidents such as falls and slips, animal attacks, falling equipment, security lapses, fires, injuries at swimming pools or construction sites etc. are subject to lawsuits.
Criteria for the Premises Liability Case:
In order to file a premises liability case, you need to prove certain things to win the case:
- The defendant is the legal owner of the property: it is important for the plaintiff to prove that the place where the incident occurred is defendants legally owned property.
- The defendant is careless in taking care of the property: the next important thing after determining the ownership, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant showed negligence in taking care of the property and failed to warn the visitors about the known and possible dangers on the property which was undiscoverable by the visitors on their own. It is very important to prove that the defendant did not provide a safe environment on his or her property and owner’s negligence caused the damage to the victims. This would mean that the defendant had time to remove the dangers but did not or failed to do so.
- The plaintiff suffered the damage or injury: it is of crucial importance that the plaintiff has to prove that he or she was actually injured as the consequence of the defendant’s negligence. This point is proven through the testimony of the plaintiff, doctors or the expert witness(s). These professionals attest the severity of the damage, its reason and the impact on the victim’s life.
Factors that can complicate the Case:
Despite the above-mentioned things are proven there are certain factors that can complicate the premises liability case and can raise several important questions:
- Plaintiff’s Status at the time of the accident: it is important to determine the victim’s status when the accident occurred; was he or she the licensee, an invitee or a trespasser? A licensee is a family member or friend who visits home frequently and receives less protection as compared to the invitees. In the case of invitees, they are supposed to be protected by the host or defendant. The trespasser is not allowed and has the minimum protection in such case.
- Was the plaintiff expecting a danger or hazards within the premises?
- Was the victim in part responsible for the injuries?
If at any stage, the case gets complicated, it is better to seek legal help of a personal injury attorney who can guide the plaintiff or suggest ways to get through such complications.
How to Strengthen Your Case:
Since the can become complicated, there are few ways to strengthen your premises liability case:
- Collect Evidence: it is the responsibility of the plaintiff to prove that the defendant was at fault or negligent. He or she must gather proofs in his or her favors through taking pictures at first place.
- Observe Statue of Limitations: any case within the purview of personal injury has a certain statute of limitation. Once this time period lapses, the claim cannot be made. So it is important to update the law.
- Stay Truthful: Getting caught in lies can prove to be damaging for the plaintiff’s reputation leading to losing the case. So, if at any stage the plaintiff is at fault or is a trespasser, he or she must own the mistake.