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
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.