A premises liability claim is the type of claim you file if you’ve suffered harm on another’s property due to an unsafe condition. It falls under the broad category of personal injury law, which helps injured victims recover compensation for their accident-related losses.
Filing a premises liability claim involves several steps, including proving the necessary details regarding this type of claim. If you have a valid claim and you’re able to establish all elements, you could receive monetary recovery for your injuries.
Who is responsible in a premises liability case?
Premises liability law usually holds property owners or occupiers liable for injuries sustained on their property.
One of the most important parts of a premises liability claim is determining who was in control of the property at the time of your incident. It could be the owner of the property or a tenant who occupies that property.
The person responsible for your injuries depends on the location of the accident. Common places where premises liability claims arise include:
- Grocery stores
- Shopping malls
- Hotels and resorts
- Office buildings
- Apartment buildings
- Parking lots
Property owners and tenants have a legal duty to keep their premises safe for visitors. The exact legal duty an owner or occupier has depends on your legal status on the property at the time of the incident.
If you’re explicitly or implicitly invited onto someone’s property for business purposes, you’re an invitee. Property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care and must:
- Regularly inspect for dangerous conditions
- Warn against any known dangers
- Fix potential hazards to keep invitees safe
When you’re invited onto someone’s property for social, non-business purposes, you’re likely a licensee. Property owners also owe invitees a duty to warn against known dangers, which the licensee is unlikely to discover. Owners do not, however, have a duty to regularly inspect their properties or make repairs.
Trespassers are individuals who have no legal right to be on a person’s property. Property owners owe no duty to trespassers, and trespassers usually have no claims against owners.
Proving Negligence in a Premises Liability Case
One of the most crucial details you must prove in a premises liability case is your legal status at the time of your injury. Aside from that, you must establish the following elements for a successful claim.
A Dangerous Condition Existed on the Property
You must show a dangerous condition existed on the property. Dangerous conditions can be anything from broken stairs to a lack of security. In order to receive compensation for your injuries, a risky situation must have existed to cause your harm.
The Property Owner or Occupier Knew (or Should Have Known) About the Dangerous Condition
It’s not uncommon for property owners or tenants to claim they didn’t know such a dangerous condition existed. You can obtain supporting evidence to show the risk was obvious or that they did know it existed and did nothing about it.
The Dangerous Condition Caused Your Injury
Just because a dangerous condition exists doesn’t mean you have a claim for compensation. Therefore, you must prove the connection between the danger and your injuries.
When you can show the dangerous condition was the cause of your harm, you’re more likely to be able to collect a monetary recovery for your injuries.
A Premises Liability Attorney Can Help Prove the Other Party’s Fault and Fight for Compensation
Premises liability claims can be challenging, especially with several details you need to prove. Fortunately, a skilled personal injury lawyer can take on every case-related task, including proving negligence.
The attorneys at Hunt Law have extensive experience representing clients injured on others’ properties. We serve clients throughout Northern New Mexico. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.