Premises liability accidents are those involving a landowner or other possessor of a property, who allows a dangerous condition on their property to cause injury to another. Generally, landowners and possessors of commercial and residential property, both private and public, have a duty to act reasonably in maintaining a property safe for invitees (those legally on the property) by maintaining, correcting, repairing or making safe, or in some instances simply warning of, a dangerous condition on their property.
The dangerous conditions commonly include potholes, concealed holes, open excavations, poorly maintained streets, torn carpets, unsafe stairs, uneven and damaged pavement, defective chairs, benches and handrails, damaged sidewalks and walkways, standing water, water leaks, wet floors, dirty floors, falling objects, inadequate security, insufficient lighting, improperly secured work areas, and other hazards.
Such hazardous conditions can cause a person to sustain all sorts of injuries including scrapes, bruises, torn muscles and ligaments, bone fractures, head injuries, neck and back injuries, hip injuries, wrist injuries, brain injuries, gunshot or stab wounds, and even death.
Premises liability cases are some of the most difficult cases to prove. Although each State’s laws differ, in most cases, an injury victim must be able to show that a landowner or possessor of property had some form of notice – that they knew (Actual Notice), or that they “should have known,” (Constructive Notice) of the dangerous condition that caused the injury. Notice is many times a extremely difficult element to establish, because most property owners will never admit they knew of the dangerous condition, thus forcing victims to rely mostly on circumstantial evidence of constructive notice. In addition to the infinite defenses against notice, most defendants will assert that every person also has a duty to care for themselves and that the injured victim should have seen the dangerous condition but failed to see it by not looking where they were going or that the person did not take care for their own safety. On these issues alone, one can see how fact intensive and complex premises liability cases can become.
To prevail in these cases, it takes an experienced lawyer, who has an understanding of the law, to ensure that all elements required to prove a premises liability case are met. Our Firm has handled thousands of premises cases involving all kinds of dangerous conditions, and our lawyers will speak to you and help guide you through the process.
If you, or someone you know is injured on a premises of another, call our office now at 305-536-3400, toll free at 1-800-270-1710, e-mail us, or complete a free case evaluation for a consultation directly with one of our attorneys.