How Does a Premises Liability Injury Case Work?
Many premises liability injury cases come to the courts every year. The plaintiff holds the owner of a property liable for the injuries he suffered in his property in a premises liability case.
Some unsafe condition on the property of the person might have led to the accident in which the plaintiff was injured. This can be in any type of place or properties and will include slip and fall accidents, swimming pool accidents, construction site accidents, fire accidents, dog bites, etc. In all such cases, the victim of the accident may make a successful lawsuit against the owner of the property in which the accident occurred.
The specific elements of premises liability case will differ based on the particular state in which it is raised. However, there are certain common things that a plaintiff will have to prove for the validity of a premises liability case. Herein are listed the important things that you have to prove if you are pursuing a premises liability case against a property owner. You may seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney to have a clearer idea of the matter. He will be able to clarify all your doubts regarding the pursuit of a premises liability case.
You Need to Prove That the Defendant Owned, Leased, or Occupied the Property
This is the first and the most important thing you have to work on in your premises liability case. Your case will not and cannot proceed forward unless you prove that the defendant owned, occupied, or leased the property. This is necessary to show that he was responsible to inspect the property and to ensure the safety inside the property. You should be able to convince the jury that the property owner, lessee, or the occupier as in your case is directly or indirectly responsible for the accident that happened to you.
You Need to Prove the Negligence of the Defendant in Using the Property
Negligence is the main grounds on which a person can be held liable in a civil court for the unintended harm that he had caused to others. You, as the person who suffered injuries from the accident, should be able to prove that your defendant was negligent in the proper use of his property. Along with that, you should be able to prove that he failed largely in taking the required safety measures in the property thereby violating the standard of care he is required to follow.
Previously, the status of the person entering the property determined whether the property owner can be held liable or not. However, presently, some of the states use the principles of ordinary negligence, in proving the fault of the defendant.
According to the earlier method, the status of the person entering the property was grouped in three as licensees, invitees, and trespassers. The standard of care required of the defendant will be different for the people of these three statuses. Invitees are people who enter the property after being invited to be there. For such people, it is the responsibility of the owner to ensure their safety inside the property. The owner is required to give reasonable care in maintaining the property safely.
A licensee, on the other hand, is a person who has the implied permission of the owner to enter his property. Social guests belong to this category. However, the social guest can become a trespasser if the person chooses to stay inside the property even after the owner has asked to leave. For this group of people, the owner has the responsibility to warn them about the dangers that might be present in the land about which the person might be unaware.
A trespasser is for sure a person who enters the property unlawfully. The owner owes no responsibility to such a person. However, the owner must refrain from harming him willfully.
In California and many other states, the type of liability imposed in such cases has changed. There are no more liability considerations based on the status of the person injured. Rather, the principles of ordinary negligence are used to determine the liability of the owner, occupant, or the lessee. According to this, the defendant is directly responsible to warn the people entering his property, about the dangers in the land. There might be a chance that no one was informed earlier about the danger. In such cases, if the owner fails in executing his duty of ensuring the safety of the people, he can be held liable for the accident and the injury.
You Need to Prove That you Were Injured
This is very important in pursuing a premises liability lawsuit. You will have to prove that you suffered injury in the property of the defendant. The report of your doctor and the medical bills can be the data you can use for this purpose. You will have to prove that the negligence of the owner was the reason for the injuries.