Premises liability is a legal concept. Usually, it comes into play during personal injury cases when a person’s injuries were caused by unsafe, defective, or negligent conditions on someone’s property. Slip and fall cases are a common example.
If you’ve suffered an injury or accident on someone else’s property, you may be wondering whether it qualifies as a premises liability case. And, if so, what you should do next.
This blog will discuss the ins and outs of premises liability. It will also discuss what you need to prove in these cases, and how to move forward with a personal injury attorney.
Let’s dive in.
The Duty Businesses Owe to Their Customers
Businesses generally care about their customers. They want to provide a safe, welcoming environment that customers want to return to. Customers who feel safe return to a company repeatedly. This provides the ongoing business companies need to stay afloat.
Additionally, most businesses and business owners don’t want anyone to be injured or hurt on their property. They also don’t want their insurance costs to go up. Nor do most of them want to be sued over something they could have prevented.
Unfortunately, some companies are cavalier about company safety. Others are negligent in the way they use or maintain their business locations. However, there are times when things go awry and lead to an accident or injury. These cases usually involve premises liability, which can be difficult for victims to navigate.
What Qualifies as Premises Liability?
Just because you got injured on someone else’s property, that doesn’t mean your case qualifies as a premises liability issue. In a true premise liability claim, the injury resulted from the state of a person’s property.
Here’s an example: a business in the midst of a partial renovation failed to clean up a construction mess. As a result, you tripped over errant tools. That may count as premises liability. Equipment failures, flammable materials, animal and human attacks, and security issues typically also count as premises liability cases.
Who is Liable in a Premises Liability Case?
Premises liability cases can affect a variety of entities, including the following:
Small business owners
Hotels and hospitality businesses
Restaurants and dining establishments
Retail centers and stores
Property management companies
Employees who are responsible for maintaining or cleaning a property
While the property manager is usually the at-fault party in a premises liability case, other individuals and entities could be named in the claim, as long as you can prove that they contributed to the negligence that took place or the condition of the property.
Businesses who want to protect themselves from premises liability claims can purchase premises liability insurance.
What You Need to Prove in a Premises Liability Case
While each state has different laws regarding the necessary elements in a premises liability case, negligence and neglect tend to be two central themes.
Premises liability cases generally hold that the person who owns, leases, or lives on a property has a duty to ensure it is in a safe condition for its intended use and that failure to ensure that safety is negligent.
For your claim to be successful, you’ll generally need to prove the following:
That the person responsible for your injury leased, owned, or was in residence on the property.
That the defendant in the case was negligent or neglectful in some way or that they failed to protect other people using the property.
That you were harmed or injured by the negligence of the other person.
That negligence was a significant factor in your injury or accident.
Additionally, you must prove that you were injured on the property in question. Depending on your condition, you may need to present medical documentation, testimony from your healthcare team, and other supporting documents.
Additional evidence could include CCTV (video) footage, maintenance reports, eyewitness testimony, personal photographs documenting the hazardous condition, and expert witness testimony.
Pulling this evidence together and proving your case can be difficult. Most people in premises liability claims hire a personal injury lawyer to represent them. If you’re looking for legal representation in your injury case or slip and fall claim, Ward & Barnes is here for you. We’ll help you understand what you need to prove in your specific case and how to acquire the proper evidence.
What Businesses Do When They Get Sued
If you initiate a premises liability case against a business, they’ll have a choice of how to respond. They may deny your allegations, for example, or secure an attorney to respond to your claim. Sometimes, businesses also delay the process, adding months of frustration and difficulty to your claim.
Because there’s so much variability in how businesses can respond, having an attorney on your side is a good idea.
In addition to preventing you from making any mistakes during the claims process, an attorney will understand how to counter the company’s response to your claim.
Ward & Barnes: Your Pensacola Florida Personal Injury Attorney Team
Navigating the aftermath of a premises liability case can be confusing, challenging, and stressful. In addition to trying to heal from your injuries and get your life back on track, you’ve got to think about your claim. That means collecting evidence, going to court, and advocating for yourself with an insurance company.
Nobody wants to experience a premises liability claim, but they do happen. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall event or suffered another accident due to a property owner’s negligence, our team is here for you.
Our skilled personal injury attorneys understand Florida law. They will help you navigate your entire premises liability case, from filing the initial claim with insurance to providing evidence and proving negligence in your case. When you work with us, you can turn your case over to our team while you focus on more important things – like regaining your health.
Contact us today to learn more about our personal injury legal services, our team of skilled attorneys, or how we can help you.