Being injured while on someone else’s property may entitle you to receive compensation for your injuries. If property owners fail to exercise their duty of care, then they may be held liable for your injuries and other damages.
All individuals have a legal responsibility to exercise a duty of reasonable care in keeping others safe from harm.
Property owners must prevent accidents that cause injury or death to visitors. When they fail to meet this duty of care, they may be held liable in a court of law.
Understanding Duty of Care
Duty of reasonable care is a legal concept you need to understand in order to file a successful legal claim. It consists of a person’s obligation to engage with others in society in ways that are safe and accepted by society as a whole.
When individuals or organizations breach this duty of care, they can be held liable for the injuries that result from their negligence.
Premises liability is specific to cases in which one person is injured while visiting someone else’s property.
Like other personal injury claims, those based on premises liability will consider the role of negligence. Plaintiffs must prove to the courts that owners failed to maintain the property in a way that exercised their duty of care.
There is a wide range of factors that contribute to personal injuries on properties. These include:
- Wet floors
- Defective elevators, escalators, or staircases
- Obscured walkways
- Broken or loose flooring or steps
- Lack of warning signs
- Falling objects
- Exposure to harmful materials
Owners must maintain their properties to keep visitors safe and avoid legal claims resulting from injuries.
Degrees of Responsibility for Property Owners
Every case is unique, and the degree of responsibility that property owners have depends on a number of factors. Negligence exists when one party’s actions or inaction led to harm to another party.
Personal injury court judges and juries determine if defendant was negligent and breached the duty of care.
Invitees are individuals who are on the property for professional reasons. This includes customers, vendors, salespeople, delivery personnel, and others. Invitees are owed the highest level of care from property owners who must inspect and maintain their properties over time.
Licensees include those individuals who visit a property for social reasons or for a non-professional purpose. Property owners must take reasonable steps to keep licensees safe from any known hazards. But they may not be required to inspect for hidden dangers in the same way that’s required for keeping invitees safe.
Trespassers are those visitors who gain access to a property without expressed or implied permission. Although property owners cannot intentionally cause harm to trespassers, they don’t owe the same level of care to them as they do to invitees and licensees.
Navigating the Legal Process and Getting Compensation for Your Injuries
An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you navigate the legal process and get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries, reclaim lost wages, and protect your rights.
Your attorney will consider the unique circumstances of your case while helping you determine if the defendant’s negligence contributed to your injuries.
Understanding duty of care and gathering the evidence that supports your claim helps you prove negligence in a court of law.
Not all accidents are a result of the property owner’s negligence even in cases where the property was unsafe. There are steps you need to take to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve and avoid common and costly mistakes.
The better you understand premises liability, negligence, and the duty of care of property owners, the stronger your case will be and the more likely you are to protect your family’s wellbeing.