When you get hurt on someone else’s property, whether it’s in a restaurant or store, or while you’re visiting an acquaintance, you may or may not be entitled to compensation, depending on a number of factors, all of which fall under premises liability law. It’s important to be able to understand how the law functions and what is necessary to get compensation for your injury. Learn the circumstances under which you can file a premises liability lawsuit, how this kind of law works, and why you need a premises liability lawyer.
Premises Liability Law
When a person files a suit or seeks compensation for injuries suffered on another person’s property, the legal statutes that attach fall under premises liability law. This generally revolves around the duty of care that people hold in regards to those who come onto their property. For businesses, this could be the owner or manager. For residences, it involves the legal occupant, owner or property manager.
What Is a Duty of Care?
A duty of care means that when you visit someone else, and you have the legal right to be there, that person is responsible for maintaining a relatively and reasonably safe environment for you. They are responsible for making sure that there are no undue hazards or immediate dangers, or at least of warning you about any dangers that are present so that you can avoid them.
This means, for example, if there’s a hole in the sidewalk, a business owner needs to either patch it or place clear warning signs while working to repair the damage. If there’s loose carpet that could cause you to trip, it should be nailed down or again, warnings issued. When a person fails to take these basic precautions, they can be liable for injuries suffered as a result.
When you are injured on another person’s property, you need to prove that they were negligent in exercising their duty of care. Consider the following circumstances in which a person slips and falls in the parking lot of a store. The first situation sees the person walking from their car when a sudden sleet storm kicks up, quickly coating the ground with a sheet of ice. The person slips and falls.
In the second circumstance, the weather is clear but a sleet storm three days earlier left ice on the ground, which the store owner never cleared. In the first example, it would be hard to prove the store owner’s responsibility. In the second, the owner had a responsibility to clear the ice or warn people of the danger.
Premises Liability Lawyer
Even in the second example, though there may be tricky complications like a clause in the snow removal contract the business owner holds, which indemnifies them against negligence. It’s these very complexities that require the services of a qualified premises liability lawyer.
If you have been in an accident on someone else’s property, don’t just assume it’s cut and dried. In order to get the maximum possible award for your damages, work with an attorney who knows how to prove liability and get you the compensation you deserve. For more information and a free case evaluation in the Nashville area, call Mitch Grissim & Associates today.