If you have been injured on someone else’s property – public or private – you may have a premises liability case. Premises liability covers injuries caused by unsafe conditions or dangerous methods of operations that could have reasonably been avoided by the property owner.
Property owners are responsible for the maintenance necessary for preventing injury. Commercial property owners, landlords, managers, and businesses are responsible for regularly inspecting their properties and immediately addressing any inadequacies. Hazardous, unsafe, or defective conditions should be repaired, removed, clearly marked, or blocked off to keep people away from any potential injury.
Failure to conduct regular inspections of property could result in a premises liability case and you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. You have nothing to lose and you should not make the decision yourself.
What is a Dangerous Condition
Negligent property owners are often to blame for dangerous and hazardous conditions. While many people associate slip-and-fall cases on wet floors with premises liability, there is a wide range of situations that fall under premises liability. They can include slip and falls on broken or uneven floors; thefts or assault stemming from poor lighting or inadequate security; dog bites from unrestrained animals; construction site injuries; or injuries sustained from falling objects, holes, or defective chairs and benches.
Let’s look at a few examples. A store employee just mops at a grocery store; however, fails to put up a wet floor sign and someone slips and falls. By failing to place warning signs around wet floors, the business failed to warn of the potential danger.
Another example is when an owner knows of a dangerous condition; however, doesn’t fix it in a reasonable amount of time or place warning signs. If a stairway handrail was broken, someone could be injured when they slipped on the stairs and the handrail came loose. The owner may be found liable for the resulting injuries.
Sometimes dangerous conditions may not be so obvious and a property owner may not know about them; however, should have known through routine maintenance and repair.
It’s important to remember that a property owner is under no obligation to protect you from dangers that are obvious and reasonably expected.
Things You Should Do if You are Injured on Someone Else’s Property
Seek appropriate medical attention immediately. You need to be treated for your injuries, especially if they are serious. Also, keep in mind sometimes injuries aren’t apparent right away.
Gather evidence. Take photos of where the accident happened in order to show the dangerous condition. Collect names and information from anyone who may have seen the accident occur.
File an incident or police report. Depending on the situation, you will want to file an incident report. If the injury happened at a business, talk with the store manager or security officer to get the report. If there was an attack involved, you will want to file a police report.
Be mindful of the statute of limitations. There is a certain amount of time in which you can file a claim. You don’t want time to pass and risk not being able to proceed with a case.
Keep medical and expense records. If you are treated for injuries, have lost wages or incur other damages from your injuries, you may be able to be reimbursed for them. You will need to have proof of those expenses such as medical procedures and prescriptions.
Do I Need to Hire a Premises Liability Lawyer
Many premises liability cases are handled without lawyers; however, in the beginning, you can’t possibly know that. At Bowen Painter Trial Lawyers, we will investigate the facts to determine whether you have a case, who is responsible, and how the case should proceed. Premises liability can be complex depending on the different aspects of the case. It is also critical that the premises owner is put on notice of a possible claim and asked to preserve all potential evidence as soon as possible.
If you have been injured on someone else’s property, contact Bowen Painter Trial Lawyers for a free case review. We represent personal injury victims in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. Contact us online or call us directly at 912-335-1909.
Disclaimer: Information provided on this site is not formal legal advice. It is general legal information. Filing a personal injury lawsuit requires a thorough knowledge of the laws and legal system.