How Does Premises Liability Work in Personal Injury Lawsuits?
When someone hurts themselves or suffers harm while on private property, premises liability laws will hold the property owner accountable for any personal injuries that occur there.
These laws regulate the responsibility a property owner or operator would face for having unsafe conditions in their home or on their property that may cause a personal injury.
What Type Of Accidents Does Premises Liability Laws Cover?
Premises liability laws encompass a wide range of accidents, attacks, and personal injuries.
If someone slips and falls in a store because there is water on the ground without a caution sign, a property owner may be responsible. In or on a private residence, if an invited guest suffers harm from an animal attack, there’s inadequate security that led to a violent attack from another person, there’s a fire, or a swimming pool accident, the owner may be held responsible.
What Needs To Be Proven In Premises Liability Personal Injury Cases?
Each state will have varying rules under premises liability, but in general, a few guidelines apply in each. The victim’s (or plaintiff) legal team must prove:
- that the defendant owned, leased, or operated the property where the injury occurred
- that the defendant acted negligently in the use of the property
- that the plaintiff suffered harm
- that the defendant’s negligence was a leading factor in causing the plaintiff harm.
Proving that the defendant owned or lease the property should be simple and straightforward in most cases.
To prove the defendant acted negligently, your legal team will need to prove that the defendant “failed to use the standard of care as required by the particular situation.” Proving that the defendant failed to use the proper standard of care will also depend on how the plaintiff entered the property. For example, if the plaintiff entered the property unlawfully, such as trespassing, or they weren’t invited and then suffered an injury, the defendant may no longer be held accountable.
Then, you’ll need to prove your injury. Give your lawyer a copy of your medical records and medical bills. In some cases, your legal team may want an expert medical witness.
Finally, your legal team must prove that the defendant’s negligent actions were a central factor, but not necessarily a sole factor in causing your injury. The harm you suffered as a result of the defendants’ actions — or lack of action — must also be considered “reasonably foreseeable.” For example, if the defendant left a live wire near a pool, and you were injured, it can be reasonably foreseen that a live wire near water would cause harm.
How Do I File A Personal Injury Lawsuit With Premises Liability?
If you have suffered some harm or injury on private property or in a store, reach out to Hyland and Padilla’s legal team to discuss your case. Our team will advise you on your likelihood of winning your case, what we’d need to prove, and the type of potential recoveries you could win.