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Key Takeaways

Premises Liability Claims determine who is at fault for another party’s injury
A personal injury lawyer will meticulously navigate the complex and multifaceted aspects of Premises Liability claims to effectively establish and strengthen your case
Premise liability cases encompass a wide variety of scenarios and circumstances
Substantive evidence goes a long way in proving various forms of negligence
The complex nature of negligence heavily influences the amount of damages awarded

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What is a Premise Liability Claim and Understanding Your Rights with Premises Injury Law

Key Takeaways

Premises Liability Claims determine who is at fault for another party’s injury
A personal injury lawyer will meticulously navigate the complex and multifaceted aspects of Premises Liability claims to effectively establish and strengthen your case
Premise liability cases encompass a wide variety of scenarios and circumstances
Substantive evidence goes a long way in proving various forms of negligence
The complex nature of negligence heavily influences the amount of damages awarded

You might be wondering what these personal injury cases are. Put simply, it is an antidote for life. Life is as random as it is meaningful, and any kind of accident can and will happen to someone eventually. Dangerous conditions can suddenly spring from seemingly nowhere and cause life-changing accidents. A surprise puddle of water or oil freshly and discretely accumulating on the sidewalk could cause a hapless pedestrian to slip and fall into casts, surgeries, and medical bills. A neighbor’s seemingly placid dog could one day snap and attack an unsuspecting child. The mounting costs from any of these random predicaments could spread out and affect aspects from your mortgage to your college fund.

Though nothing can truly predict or fully protect from life’s roulette wheel, Premises Liability Claims will go a long way toward rectifying the ills that precede and succeed these events. This type of claim will award damages to an injured party or the relatives of a deceased party if they can prove that they were injured on another party’s property and that the owner had liability for that injury.

Introduction to Premises Injury Law

Unlike car accidents, in which the cause could truly just be an accident, these types of injury claims determine who is responsible for someone’s injury on someone else’s property. There can be cases in which the owner of the premises is responsible for the injury, but in some cases the other party is responsible for their own injury. The core of the Premise Liability case is to examine all the factors that led up to the injury, then determine who is legally responsible for what factors, and how many factors they are responsible for. These can determine whether the defendant’s insurance company, the defendant themselves, or even the injured party would be awarded damages if any are awarded at all. However, the only way to know for sure is to call a personal injury attorney, and let us find out for you.

Key Legal Components of Premises Liability Claims

Many different personal injuries can lead to Premises Liability Claims, but they all have these common legal elements:

Duty of Care: The property owner is required through varying degrees of responsibility to protect other parties that enter the premises. Property owners are expected to protect invitees and licensees from potentially unsafe conditions and ensure that they are as safe as possible. Trespassers, on the other hand, are under no such protection, unless the owner intentionally sets out to harm or injure the trespasser.

  • Invitee: Someone who is on the premises for commercial purposes.
  • Licensee: Someone with permission from the owner to be on the premises.
  • Trespasser: Someone who is on the premises without permission.

Breach of Duty: This is when the responsibility to protect the other party has been broken or otherwise ignored. This describes a property owner’s legal responsibility for any injuries that were caused by not taking the proper measures to ensure the safety of invitees or licensees.

Causation: This proves that the conditions of the premises caused the injury in question. If you injure your back after tripping due to an improperly marked pavement curb, this means that you must prove the improperly marked pavement directly caused your injury.

Damages: the financial and non-financial compensation that can be awarded in an injury lawsuit.

One other aspect that should be noted is that the legal landscape is vast and grows vaster still. While those four aspects are the core of these claims, there are always exceptions. For example:

In Alabama, the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine outlines special exceptions for when a child trespasses onto a property and is injured. If the property is deemed to have attractions or features that could entice children onto it, such as a swimming pool or playground equipment, the owner may be held liable for any harm that befalls the child.

From Slip-and-Falls to Animal Attacks: The Types of Premises Liability Cases

As mentioned above, the types of cases that Premises Liability Law covers take on numerous forms. However, some of the most common are:

Slip and Fall Accidents: In Alabama, this accounted for 18% of fatal occupational injuries in 2021.

Dog Bites and Animal Attacks: Alabama has a series of laws for animal attacks, especially for dog attacks. In Florida, over 600 people are attacked per year.

Toxic Fumes or Chemicals: In the United States alone, workers suffer from an average of 50,000 deaths from chemical exposure each year.

Drowning or Other Swimming Pool-Related Accidents: 10 people drown daily, and it is the leading cause of death for infants.

The Evidence to Prove Comparative Negligence in a Premise Liability Lawsuit

If one is to receive compensation for a premises liability claim, the law dictates that the plaintiff’s burden of proof rests on whether or not the other party had a duty to protect you, that the other party breached that duty, and that you were injured as a result.

Various items can and should be used as evidence in a premises liability claim. The other party, or parties, can mount any counterclaim for a Premises Liability Claim. For cases that can be a bit more malleable than others, hard evidence is even more necessary than you could anticipate.

For example, when filing a toxic tort claim, medical documents proving you were infected by toxic substances, proof that others were infected in similar circumstances, or warnings about the substance that affected you would be invaluable as some symptoms can occur regardless of chemical or fume exposure, or appear long after the exposure. With weakening links like this, medical records, warnings, and other proof will fortify your claim in court.

In a dog bite case, witness testimony, citations, and police reports can be key evidence in proving negligence especially since common defenses in these claims blame the victim of the attack, claiming the victim made the dog attack them through either trespassing or provocation. Evidence like this can provide a sure foundation for a Personal Injury Case.

All of these aspects work in tandem to prove that the other party’s negligence was responsible for the suing party’s injury or death. But even with evidence, that does not necessarily guarantee paid damages. The courts could find that the injured party is as much at fault as the other party. Comparative Negligence determines how each party could have potentially contributed to the accident that occurred. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be awarded damages, but the amount that you win hinges on the percentage of negligence the court finds from both parties. The law in the United States exercises two types of comparative negligence.

Pure Comparative Negligence: This category awards damages based on the amount of negligence the court finds. If the party is 65% negligent, they owe 65% of the damages.

Modified Comparative Negligence: This category has a limit for the amount of negligence a party can still collect damages for. Some states say that if a party is over 50% negligent, they cannot be awarded damages; other states say the party can’t be awarded if they are over 51% negligent.

However, some states are stricter than others and adhere to Contributory Negligence. If the injured party is found to be even 1% responsible for their injuries, they will not be able to receive any form of compensation. These states include:

Alabama

Maryland

North Carolina

Virginia

Washington D.C.

In these jurisdictions, it's imperative to engage legal representation to demonstrate that your injuries were indeed caused by the negligent actions of another party. It's crucial not to assume fault, as the nuances of the law and the specifics of your case can greatly impact the outcome.

If you were injured on someone else’s property, contact Wettermark Keith today for a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation to assess the circumstances surrounding your injury, building a compelling case to establish liability and secure the compensation you rightfully deserve.

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Compensation from a Premises Liability Case

The results of personal injury are just as random as the accidents themselves. Sometimes, the injuries could be minimal, and others they can be serious to the point of fatal. Because of this, the damages awarded are not fixed. They are flexible to the demands of the injuries that have occurred. Despite their flexible nature, there are distinct categories under which they would qualify. In a Premises Liability Lawsuit, there are three types of damages that can be awarded:

Economic: this type of compensation encompasses financial aspects of the case, from medical bills to lost wages.

Non-Economic: this type of compensation encompasses non-financial aspects, such as pain and suffering.

Adding to this is that the property’s conditions might not have just been a fluke. In some cases, the property owner caused the dangerous conditions specifically to injure the other party. That is where the third type of damages comes in.

Punitive: this type of compensation is usually meant as a penalty for egregious behavioral misconduct from the other party and as a warning for others. This happens after the economic and non-economic damages are already awarded.

Because of the varying damages that could be awarded, being represented by a seasoned personal injury attorney would be an invaluable navigator through various laws and clauses that could provide for lost wages, medical bills, and even mental stress.

If you’ve suffered injury as a result of an accident on someone else’s property, understanding your rights and potential compensation guaranteed by law is paramount. With all of these factors whirling around, legal representation can prove to be a substantial relief from the chaos. As such, hiring a personal injury lawyer is the optimal solution to not only get the compensation you are entitled to but to navigate through the stress of these factors.

Frequently Asked Questions

The statute varies depending on the state law, but in Alabama, the statute of limitations is 2 years for physical injuries and 6 years for property damage. In Tennessee, the statute of limitations is 1 year, and in Florida, the statute of limitations is 2 years.

If you were injured while trespassing, your ability to file a premises liability claim will depend on various factors, including the property owner's awareness of your presence, the foreseeability of harm, and whether the property owner engaged in willful or wanton conduct.

For instance, if the property owner knew or should have known that trespassers were likely to enter the property and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent harm, you may still have grounds for a claim. Additionally, if the property owner intentionally created hazardous conditions or failed to warn trespassers of known dangers, they could be held liable for any resulting injuries.

In premise liability claims, insurance is crucial as it protects property owners financially if someone is injured on their property, covering medical bills, lost wages, and legal defense costs. The property owner's insurance policy will determine the coverage limits and handle negotiations for settlements. If the insurance denies the claim or offers an unsatisfactory settlement, the injured party may need to pursue legal action. Essentially, insurance acts as a mediator between the injured party and the property owner, aiming to resolve claims efficiently and fairly within the policy's coverage limits.

If the property owner is attempting to shift blame onto you for an accident that occurred on their premises, it's important to remain calm and take certain steps to protect your rights.

Firstly, refrain from admitting fault or making any statements that could be construed as an acknowledgment of responsibility. It's crucial to avoid discussing the details of the incident with the property owner or their representatives without consulting legal counsel.

Next, gather any evidence that may support your version of events. This could include photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, medical records documenting your injuries, and any correspondence with the property owner or their insurance company.

It's advisable to seek legal representation as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney can assess the circumstances of the accident, review the evidence, and advise you on the best course of action. They can also handle communication with the property owner and their insurance company on your behalf, helping to protect your interests and ensure that your rights are upheld.

This varies by state law, the degree of the injury or lack thereof, and whether or not the case goes to trial at all. Sometimes these cases can take years. Legal representation can be a great assistance in carrying you through these hurdles.

For the conditions to constitute premises liability, one requirement is that they must be preventable within reason. If there are irregularities in the floor and the owner does not at least mark them or warn customers, that can constitute dangerous enough conditions to account for premises liability. If a property owner does what they can to protect customers and an accident still happens, that does not necessarily constitute premises liability. An experienced personal injury attorney will evaluate all possible evidence to see if the property owner did their due diligence in protecting their customers within reason, and fight to make sure that you are given due damages if you are injured through a property owner’s negligence.

These three types of visitors can be one of the crucial deciding factors in whether or not you could have a case. A licensee is someone who enters the property for their own personal reasons, an invitee is someone who comes onto the property for commercial purposes, and a trespasser is someone who comes onto the property without permission. An attorney will take great care to find all the conditions and evidence that could potentially mount a premises liability case.

In Alabama, an exception, titled the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine, accounts for children in premises liability law. This states that if a child comes onto the property and is injured, the owner of the property is liable if the premises is a location that a child would normally go into if the conditions endanger children especially, and if they are preventable. Some states have exceptions to this law. For example, Florida considers discarded iceboxes, washers, dryers, and refrigerators attractive nuisances by Florida Statute 823.08. A legal representative will navigate through the intricacies and determine who is at fault.

Yes, it is possible to be found negligent even if you were the one injured in an incident. This concept is known as "contributory negligence" or "comparative negligence," depending on the legal principles that apply in your jurisdiction. Given these complexities, it's crucial to consult with an experienced premises liability lawyer who can help prove that your injuries were primarily due to the property owner's negligence. Even if you are found to be somewhat negligent, a skilled lawyer will work to limit the degree to which you are deemed at fault, potentially maximizing the compensation you can recover. This legal expertise is vital for navigating the nuances of negligence laws and ensuring that your rights are fully protected.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Expert Premises Liability Lawyers Today

Wettermark Keith’s team exercises thorough care in all our cases and is ready to guide you through the legal process to get you the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait for potential damages to slip through your grasp. Call us for a free consultation.

At Wettermark Keith™, we have an excellent reputation as one of the most accomplished personal injury firms in the country. We offer a diverse range of practice areas, including personal injury lawsuits, auto wrecks, trucking wrecks, nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, on-the-job injuries, social security, and VA disability, to name just a few. At Wettermark Keith, we believe in taking cases personally. Our purpose is to practice with care and compassion - to tell our clients' stories and make their voices heard. We achieve this by building strong relationships based on constant communication and an unwavering dedication to truth and trust.

Ready to work together? Contact us today for a free consultation.

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If you or a loved one have been injured and think you might have a case, call us now for a free consultation.