If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be wondering if you have a case for premises liability. After all, it’s not always easy to prove that the property owner is at fault. But with a little bit of know-how and the assistance of qualified premises liability lawyers, you can strengthen your case and increase your chances of winning.
In this article, we will discuss some ways that you can strengthen your premises liability case.
What Is Premises Liability Law?
What is premises liability law? In short, it is the legal doctrine that holds property owners responsible for injuries that occur on their property due to negligent or dangerous conditions. This includes both public and private property, such as businesses, homes, and even vacant lots.
If you have been injured in an accident on someone else’s property, you may be able to recover damages under this law. Likewise, if you own property, it is important to be aware of your legal obligations to avoid liability. An experienced premises liability lawyer can advise you of your rights and help ensure your property is safe for all who enter it.
If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, you may be wondering if you have a premises liability case. To prove premises liability, the injured person must show that the property owner or occupier knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and failed to either fix it or warn visitors about it.
For example, if you trip and fall on a broken step, the property owner may be liable if they knew the step was broken but didn’t fix it or warn visitors about it. Similarly, if there’s a spill in a grocery store and the store employees don’t clean it up or put up a warning sign, the store may be liable if you slip and fall.
Have you been injured on another person’s property? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other damages. If you are successful in your claim, you may be able to recover damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Elements of a Premises Liability Claim
In order to win a premises liability claim, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent in their duty to keep the premises safe. There are three main elements that must be present in order for the plaintiff to succeed: duty, breach, and causation.
Keep in mind, premises liability law can be complex. So if you have been injured in an accident on someone else’s property, it is essential to consult with an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your rights and options.
The first element, duty, requires the plaintiff to show that the defendant owed them a duty of care. This duty generally requires the property owner or occupier to conduct reasonable inspections of the property, make repairs, or take other corrective action in case of any danger.
The scope of the duty owed by the property owner or occupier depends on the visitor’s status—whether they are an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
- Invitees: Invitees are owed the highest duty. These are people who have been expressly invited onto the property for a purpose related to the business of the property owner or occupier. For example, if you own a store and someone comes in to shop, they would be considered an invitee.
- Licensee: Property owners and occupiers only owe a limited duty to licensees (those permitted to be on the property for their convenience). An example of a licensee would be a flower delivery person or a pizza delivery person.
- Trespassers: Trespassers are people who enter a property without permission and are only owed a duty not to intentionally injure them. If someone is trespassing on your property, you can ask them to leave, but you can’t legally harm them or hold them against their will.
Another key element in any premises liability case is whether the owner or occupier of the property breached their duty to keep visitors safe. This duty can be divided into two main categories: the duty to warn and the duty to repair.
- The Duty to Warn: The duty to warn applies when there is a hidden hazard on the property that the owner or occupier is aware of. For example, if there is a loose step on a staircase, the owner must warn visitors of the hazard.
- The Duty to Repair: The duty to repair applies when the owner or occupier is aware of a hazard but does not take steps to fix it. For example, if there is a hole in a sidewalk, the owner must repair it or provide warning signs so passersby are aware of the hazard.
If the owner or occupier fails to take either of these steps, they may be held liable for any injuries that occur as a result.
Another key element you must prove in a premises liability case is causation. This requires the plaintiff to show that their injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach of duty.
There are two types of causation: “cause-in-fact” and “proximate cause.”
- Cause-In-Fact: Also referred to as “but-for” causation, means that the plaintiff would not have been injured but for the defendant’s negligence. In other words, the defendant’s negligence must be the cause of the plaintiff’s injury in order for the plaintiff to recover damages.
- Proximate Cause: Requires the plaintiff to show that the defendant’s negligence was a foreseeable result of their actions. In other words, even if the defendant’s negligence was not the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, it must have been reasonably foreseeable that such an injury could occur.
Establishing causation can be complex, and it is often one of the most critical elements of a premises liability case.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Settlement or Verdict
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your settlement or verdict:
1. Make Sure You Have A Strong Case
To win your case, you’ll need to show that the property owner was negligent in some way. Here are a few tips to help strengthen your premises liability case:
- Gather as much evidence as possible. This includes photographs of the scene, witness statements, and any medical records. The more evidence you have, the easier it will be to prove your case.
- Make sure to file a police report. This will provide an official record of the incident, which can be helpful in court.
- Preserve any damaged belongings. For example, if you fell and tore your pants, don’t throw them away. Instead, keep them in a safe place so they can be used as evidence.
- Get in touch with a premises liability lawyer. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal process and increase your chances of winning your case.
2. Be Prepared To Negotiate
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the responsible party’s insurance company. However, it’s important to understand that the insurance company’s goal is to minimize its payout, so it’s likely that they will try to lowball you in settlement negotiations. That’s why it’s essential to have a realistic idea of the value of your case before entering into negotiations.
Experienced premises liability lawyers can help you determine a fair settlement amount. They will take into account things like the severity of your injuries, the cost of medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering. With this information, you can enter into negotiations from a position of strength and make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.
3. Be Willing to Go to Trial
If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, you may need to take your case to trial. Going to trial can be a long and costly process, but it may be the only way to recover the full amount of damages you’re entitled to.
A Texas personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and build a strong case against the responsible party. Don’t let the insurance company get away with offering you a lowball settlement – fight for what you deserve.
Contact the Best Premises Liability Lawyers Today!
If you have been injured on someone else’s property, it is important to seek legal help right away. The best way to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve is by working with a qualified premises liability lawyer.
At The Burkett Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping people like you get the justice they deserve. We have years of experience handling these types of cases and know what it takes to win. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you take the next step in your case.