Every business owner has a legal liability to maintain their premises reasonably safe. If people suffer injuries while in such premises, the owner may be held liable for such injuries.
Unfortunately, such injuries may lead to death.
As such, it behooves every premise owner to have adequate inspections of their property to ensure it’s in a safe condition for customers or any other person.
If you have suffered injuries on someone’s private property, read on to discover what to do and whether you may have a personal injury claim.
For any death of a loved one due to injuries, it would be possible to file a wrongful death claim.
Liability For Your Injuries
It’s always vital to understand the rules that govern private property before filing a personal injury claim. You may consider having a personal injury attorney in Alaska advise you on such statutory rules and laws. Some many accidents or deaths may happen on private property. For instance, you may have slipped and fallen due to a slippery floor with no warning; it could be a dog bite or any other injuries. The best option would be to sue for damages. Liability may fall on:
- Owner of the private property, or
- A third party: Where a third party did something unreasonable that the private owner could not detect, they may be liable for your injuries. Such cases are common in negligence construction. For instance, a construction agency may poorly fix the guardrails that may cause injuries to customers or even workers. This is construction negligence. And the duty of care in such a case extends to anyone who has been harmed by the defect, including the private property owner, customers etc.
To hold the owner responsible, you have to prove that they had a duty of care, and this was ignored. In some cases, the owner may try to argue that no reasonable person would have detected the unsafe condition. Such cases become complicated and would require you to hire a lawyer.
For your claim, you can prove that:
- The owner failed to take responsibility for the element that caused your injuries.
- There was no warning that there was danger, and posting a warning would not have led the private owner to use unreasonable expenses.
- You suffered injuries due to the foreseeable danger that could be avoided.
Remember that suffering injuries at someone’s private property doesn’t mean the owner is to blame. You have to prove that the owner did something wrong that contributed to your injuries.
Classification For Injured Victims
When it comes to liability concerning private property, each state has its own laws when classifying injured victims. However, in most states, victims are classified as:
- Trespassers: A private owner is responsible for keeping the environment safe to protect anyone therein from danger. Where there is danger, the owner must provide adequate warning. However, if such an owner never expected such a person, the owner may have no legal liability in case of injuries. One example of trespass is when children go swimming in pools. In most of these cases, a private owner may not be liable for children injuries or deaths to anyone who trespasses to swim on private property. However, it has to determine whether such a pool was enticing such that the child would not have avoided swimming. In such a scenario, attractive nuisance doctrine can apply.
- Licensee: This is an individual on private property but not for business purposes: The law doesn’t require the premises owner to warn of a licensee of any obvious danger. But where a necessary adequate warning has to be provided
- Invitee: An invitee is on private property for business purposes. Such should be protected from any harm or danger within the premises. For that reason, the premises owner should take reasonable care to ensure a safe environment. For instance, if there are unsafe stairs guardrails, and the property owner knew about them, they have to warn the invitees to make the environment safe.
In almost all cases, negligence has to be involved. But in some cases, the victim can also be blamed if another prudent person in the same circumstances would have acted otherwise. For instance, if the victim held on to a defective stair handrail and the defect was so obvious that any person would see it; this would raise the issue of liability.
How Comparative Negligence May Affect Your Case
If you’re partly liable for your injuries, you would still get some compensation. The premises owner will only have to compensate you for the percentage of the damage they caused. Here comes the burden of proof. To apply comparative negligence, the jury or judge will have to consider whether you have a connection to the cause of your injuries. This will be after determining whether the defendant was negligent for such injuries.
After filing your claim, the defendant will fight to prove you also played a party to suffer injures.
If you have been injured on private property, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to guide you on the laws to apply to your case. The same lawyer can guide you to filing a wrongful death claim where a loved one succumbs due to injuries.