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What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability is a type of personal injury claim that holds a property owner responsible for injuries sustained by a person while on the property. Most premises liability cases are referred to as “slip-and-fall” accidents because the injury is the result of a fall of some type.

Slip-and-fall cases often result in permanent injuries that can seriously alter the life of the victim and his or her family. The result is expensive medical bills and other economic and non-economic damages. By filing a premises liability claim, you may be entitled to receive compensation for damages including:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Mental Anguish
  • Physical Suffering
  • Prescription medications, medical devices, and transportation costs
  • Cost of personal services
  • Lost employment benefits
  • Punitive damages (in some cases)

A property owner has a “duty of care” or responsibility to maintain property in a safe manner to prevent visitors or others from being injured while on the property. If a property owner is negligent in maintaining the property or failing to warn of dangers, the owner may be held liable for the victim’s damages if the attorney can prove:

  • You had a legal right to be on the property
  • The owner of the property was negligent in maintaining the property or failing to warn you of a dangerous situation
  • The owner’s negligence caused your injury
  • You suffered damages as a result of the injury

Examples of Premises Liability Cases

A slip-and-fall can result in a premises liability claim in numerous ways. A premises liability claim can arise out of a fall on private, commercial, and government property. One of the most common premises liability claims arises when a customer slips and/or falls while shopping due to something slippery on the floor or an obstacle on the floor. Other examples of premises liability claims include:

  • Falling on stairs because the handrail is broken or missing
  • Falling in a stairwell or parking lot due to inadequate lighting
  • You are working on a construction site and fall due to lack of safety equipment
  • You are at your neighbor’s house and fall in the driveway because of a large whole or you fall in the house because the floor is uneven
  • You become ill while staying in a hotel because it sprayed for bugs using a chemical that is not safe for humans
  • You are injured while getting off of an elevator because it did not stop evenly with the floor
  • A store does not place rugs and warning signs of the potential for slippery floors during a rainstorm
  • Your child falls in a parking lot and is severely injured because of broken glass

In some cases, you may be entitled to receive compensation if you are a trespasser; however, those cases are limited and specific. An attorney must review the facts and circumstances to determine if you are eligible to receive compensation if you were not legally on the property when you were injured.

If you are injured on someone’s property, immediate notify the owner, seek medical attention, and contact a premises liability attorney as soon as possible.

Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney for a Premises Liability Case?

You need a personal injury attorney with experience handling premises liability claims to represent you to ensure you receive the maximum compensation allowed by law. A premises liability attorney understands the specific laws in you state governing this type of injury claim and the attorney understands what is needed to prove the elements to collect compensation.

It is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. The statute of limitations for premises liability may be as short as one year in your state (or less for government agencies). If you do not file your claim before the expiration of the statute of limitations, you are barred from recovering compensation for your losses.

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