Falls cause injuries for countless people each year. According to the CDC, every year 2.8 million older people must be treated in emergency departments because of fall injuries, and over 800,000 people are hospitalized. These injuries result in medical costs of $31 billion each year.
For the thousands of people impacted by these accidents, it is important to understand how liability and fault are determined. Contrary to popular belief, becoming injured on another person’s residential or professional property does not automatically make the property owner legally liable. Many factors must be taken into account, and Chris Roy and his team are here to help.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability refers to the responsibility of a person or entity when someone else is injured on their property. The legal system will look at a variety of different factors to determine who is at fault for a particular accident. To win a judgment, the person who was injured will generally be required to show that the injury was caused by a defect in the property that the owner should have addressed. For example, in a store parking lot, the property owner must ensure that the area is well lit, particularly around stairs or other areas that could be dangerous.
Other factors, however, will also likely come into play.It must be determined whether the injured person had a right to be on the property and what responsibility he or she had for the risks assumed. Often the potential impact of other factors, such as alcohol or drug usage at the time of the injury, will need to be examined as well.
When do Premises Liability Suits Arise?
Premises liability can occur in a variety of different situations. Nearly any public place you visit for business or pleasure can potentially become involved in a premises liability suit, including stores, office buildings, public parks, and pools. Premises liability can also impact private homeowners.
During a premises liability case, the incident will be examined to determine the level of care that both the plaintiff and the defendant exercised and how that compares to what a reasonable person would do. In particular, the plaintiff will try to prove that unsafe conditions occurred, typically in the form of dangerous environment or inadequate lighting.
A property owner may be liable if they failed to maintain a safe space, such as ensuring the safe conditions of stairs or repairing cracks and holes in a sidewalk. They should also ensure that there is enough lighting to allow people to see where they are going. Owners are responsible for warning people about any potentially dangerous conditions and then making the needed repairs as quickly as possible.
What should a person do if they are injured on another person’s property?
If you become injured while on another person’s property, there are a few steps you should take to protect yourself.
Seek medical attention. Premises liability covers a wide range of injuries, many of which can be very dangerous or painful, such as head injuries and broken bones. Any injured person should seek medical attention to determine the extent of their injuries.
Do not admit fault. Although many people may be tempted to place the blame upon themselves after an injury, such as saying, “Oh, it was my fault, I should have watched where I was going,” these types of statements can hurt a legal investigation later. Do not admit legal responsibility.
Document everything. If there is a legal investigation into an injury, documentation will be critical. This includes noting when, where, and how the injury occurred, as well as notes about the type and cost of any medical attention received and how the injury affects one’s daily life. The injured should also get the contact information of any witnesses to the injury.
Seek legal advice. The Roy injury law team wants to help those who have been harmed to receive the compensation they deserve. Contacting us as soon as possible can help ensure that evidence is collected right after the incident, when everything remains fresh in people’s minds.
How can the Chris Roy team help?
Chris Roy and his team have the expertise needed to help those who have experienced personal injury to receive the compensation they deserve. Once you have gotten medical attention for your injury, contact our office as soon as possible. We will help you determine whether you have a premises liability case and what your next steps should be. You can trust that we will use our resources to get you all of the compensation you deserve.
We encourage those who have experienced this type of personal injury to reach out to us today. Call 318-487-9537 to learn more about your options and to schedule a complimentary case consultation. We look forward to helping you.
Third generation attorney serving Central Louisiana for 30 years. Let our experience help you.