Your premises liability claim will look different depending on where you were at the time of the injury, the specific circumstances surrounding your injury and how severe your injuries are. Only a qualified personal injury attorney can help you determine how best to proceed and we don’t suggest attempting to navigate that system on your own.
The compassionate and effective attorney’s at Nunez & Associates will work with your medical providers and a team of respected experts to gain a clear understanding of your injuries and exactly what caused them – allowing us to create a claim that will get you the results you want.
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Premises liability law is part of personal injury practice and involves the responsibility of business, land or property owners to keep their property safe for those who are lawfully on their property. Under certain conditions, trespassers are also owed a limited duty of care.
Property owners who owe a duty of care include those who own the following:
- Department stores
- Parking facilities
- Golf courses
- Swimming pools
- Fitness centers
- Apartment buildings
- Private homes
To recover in a premises liability action, you must prove that the owner had reasonable notice of the hazard, failed to correct or warn of the condition within a reasonable time and that the hazard caused the victim’s injuries and damages.
Business Owner Liability
Business owners possess a high duty of care to patrons whom they invite onto their property to use or purchase services or products. They must undertake periodic inspections to uncover dangerous conditions and to remedy or, at least, warn of the danger.
Notice of the hazard, however, is a necessary condition for finding liability. If someone directly advised the owner of a danger, then direct notice is established. Should the hazard or condition have existed for an unreasonably long period of time, then the owner had constructive notice, which has the same legal effect as direct or actual notice. It is a question of fact whether a condition constituted a hazard and if the owner had notice of its existence for a long enough time where it should have been remedied or an adequate warning posted.
Homeowners also owe a duty to keep their property free of hazards, though the duty to warn persons lawfully on their property extends only to non-obvious dangers such as a loose board on a stairway. If children are on the premises, the landowner’s duty is higher, since young children are unable to appreciate or understand certain dangers that are obvious to adults, such as a swimming pool.
Examples of dangerous or hazardous conditions that can lead to injuries and impose liability on the premises owner include:
- Slippery floors
- Falling objects
- Defective step
- Torn carpeting
- Uneven pavement
- Lack of or defective railings
- Unsafe or poorly maintained playground equipment
- Lack of security at a bar or parking facility in a high crime area or where assaults have occurred
- Poor lighting on stairways
- Elevator or escalator malfunction
- Lack of fencing around a pool or failing to secure a lock
If a town, city, county or state is the owner, different rules apply for bringing a claim, including giving notice to the proper municipality within a certain period of time, shorter filing deadlines, and possible limitations on damages.
Most defenses in premises liability cases involve the allegation that the plaintiff was aware of the danger, that it was obvious, or that the claimant failed to exercise ordinary care in preventing the accident or incident. It is always imperative that anyone injured in a premises liability case immediately contact an experienced premises liability attorney to preserve evidence as well as their rights. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with our trained attorneys, so that we may assist you with your personal injury claim.