What is a premises liability claim?
Premises liability is an area of personal injury law that concerns injuries on someone's property. The owner or manager of a property is responsible for maintaining safe conditions, and failure to meet that standard of care can result in a premises liability claim. Examples of premises liability claims include:
However, just because you were injured on another person's or company's property does not automatically mean you have a premises liability claim. In order to claim damages (financial compensation), you need to prove that your injury was caused by a dangerous condition on the premises. There are numerous dangerous conditions that can cause serious injuries, including:
- Slippery conditions such as spills and ice
- Dim or unreliable lighting which may result in a trip and fall
- Inadequate guardrails and other safety devices
- Lack of security cameras and other precautions that could prevent a violent incident
In order to win a premises liability case, we need to prove that the property owner or manager either caused the dangerous condition, knew about the dangerous condition, or should have known about the dangerous condition and negligently failed to resolve it. We also need to demonstrate that the property owner breached a legal "duty of care" by failing to address the dangerous condition. The duty of care depends on the injured person's status at the time of the incident:
- Invitee - This is a person who is invited onto the premises by the owner for a business purpose, either by specific arrangement - for example, a plumber or electrician, or a tenant in a rental property - or because the premises are "open for business" - customers in a retail store, for instance. The property owner owes the highest duty of care to invitees. The owner is expected to proactively inspect the premises for hazards and either fix them or alert the invitee of the danger.
- Licensee - A licensee is someone who is on the premises for a social rather than business purpose. For example, friends and family who are invited over to someone's house are licensees. The duty of care owed to licensees is somewhat lower than that owed to invitees; the property owner is not required to proactively inspect the premises, but he or she is required to address any known safety issues or to warn the licensee of the danger.
- Trespasser - Trespassers are individuals who are on the premises without the owner's knowledge or permission. Perhaps surprisingly, trespassers do still have some legal rights. The owner of the premises has a duty of care not to intentionally injure trespassers - placing traps or deliberately concealing hazards, for example, would violate this duty of care. Additionally, other legal doctrines apply if the trespasser is a child.
Because of all the legal complexities associated with premises liability claims, it's critical to have an experienced attorney on your side. That's why you need to contact us right away.
We fight to hold property owners accountable
Convincing an Indiana jury of the merits of a premises case requires diligence, thorough research and persistence. We know how to get to the bottom of what happened, establish your legal status at the time of the injury and prove that the owner's negligence led to your injury. Our attorneys are prepared to justify every dime we demand, not with smoke and mirrors, but with hard evidence.
We also understand that these cases are often delicate, especially when the owner of the premises is a friend, family member or business associate. It's important to remember when you file a premises liability lawsuit, you aren't trying to take your friend's money. You're compelling their insurance company to provide the liability coverage your friend has already paid for. In most cases, we can handle your claim by dealing directly with the insurance company so you can maintain your relationship with the property owner.
Schedule your free consultation today
When you've been injured due to unsafe conditions on someone else's premises, you deserve to be fairly compensated for your losses. Medical expenses can add up quickly. And if you can't work, you have less money coming in. A premises liability lawsuit can help you rebuild your life and take care of your home and family.
Take action right away to protect your legal rights. Contact us online or call 1-877-962-4373 to schedule your free consultation.