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Premises Liability Attorneys
Seasoned Personal Injury Representation
When you enter a building or property with permission, you reasonably expect the premises to be safe. If you are injured due to a property defect – whether that be uneven flooring, a slick surface, or inadequate maintenance – you may be able to recover compensation if the property owner owed you a duty of care.
Premises liability can be complex, and laws vary by state, but Shane Smith Law is here to make it simple. If you or someone you know was injured due to a slip and fall, dog bite, swimming pool accident, or any other incident that falls under premises liability law, we can provide the compassionate, personalized representation you need to seek justice.
Our premises liability lawyers are passionate about helping victims recover compensation and have a strong track record of securing favorable results in personal injury cases. Our team has what it takes to win and will fight for you every step of the way.
Request a case evaluation by contacting us online or calling (980) 246-2656. Se habla español.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability refers to situations where someone is injured due to an unsafe condition on another person’s property. Premises liability laws generally apply if a property owner was negligent in maintaining their property and therefore failed to ensure it is free of dangerous hazards.
If someone is injured in a place where they had permission to be despite acting reasonably, they may have a claim. However, the claimant will need to prove the property owner knew – or should have known – about the defect that caused their injuries but did not take steps to resolve the issue.
Understanding “Duty of Care” and Determining Liability for a Premises Liability Accident
Each state has its own premises liability laws, but they all involve a concept called “duty of care.” To establish liability in these cases, you must demonstrate the property owner owed you a duty of care.
In many cases, a plaintiff in a premises liability case will need to prove:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. You must establish that the defendant was responsible for reasonably maintaining the safety of the property. This can be done by producing documents that show the defendant owns or leases the property where the injury took place. In many situations, so long as you were in a place you had permission to be, the property owner probably owed you a duty of care. Some states have different duty of care rules depending on the injured party’s classification, so, depending on your state, you may also need to demonstrate you were an invitee or a licensee at the time of the accident. When applicable, property owners must show a higher duty of care to invitees, who are generally considered visitors to a commercial space like a grocery store. Licensees are people the property owner has given permission to enter a property that is not typically open to the public, such as a residential home. Trespassers are not usually owed a duty of care.
- The defendant breached the duty of care. A property owner is negligent in maintaining their property when they fail to resolve a problem they knew about or reasonably should have known about.
- The breach led to one or more injuries. The plaintiff must show that they sustained one or more injuries as a direct result of the property owner’s negligent behavior.
Types of Damages You Can Recover in a Premises Liability Lawsuit
If you think you have a premises liability case, you may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages from the property owner. However, you must speak to a legal professional right away. Premises liability victims only have a limited time to initiate legal action, and each state has a time limit for filing a lawsuit.
Many states give victims two years from the date of the accident to pursue a claim, but some states offer less, so do not wait to get legal advice. If you miss your state’s deadline, you will be barred from recovering any damages.
Our premises liability attorneys will pursue compensation for all relevant losses, including:
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Why Shane Smith Law?
At Shane Smith Law, we have an exceptional track record of obtaining favorable results for our clients. We know how to win premises liability cases and are always ready to go to court. Our premises liability lawyers also focus heavily on treatment and want to make sure you have the resources and care you need to get better.
While you rest and recover, we will get to work on building a strong case. No matter the situation, we are confident we can provide the resilient advocacy you need to prevail.
If you believe you suffered injuries due to a property owner’s negligence, do not wait to call (980) 246-2656 or contact us online.
Many people associate premises liability with slip and fall situations. While this is a common type of case involving premises liability, it is by no means the only scenario covered by premises liability law.
Common types of premises liability cases include:
- Slip and falls. If someone trips and falls due to a slick surface, uneven or loose flooring, debris, or some other form of poor maintenance, the property owner may be liable if they should have detected the problem and did not take swift action to correct it.
- Swimming pool accidents. When a residential or commercial property contains a pool, the owner must take steps to warn patrons or invited visitors about any dangers that may not be obvious, such as shallow depths inappropriate for diving. They must also quickly act to repair maintenance issues that could potentially harm an invitee. Swimming pool owners are not generally liable for the actions of trespassers unless the trespasser is a child. Laws vary by state, but pool owners are typically obligated to implement specific security measures that work to prevent children from accessing a pool without supervision.
- Inadequate security. Property owners sometimes have a legal obligation to protect invited visitors from foreseeable criminal activity through the implementation of robust security measures. In other words, if a particular building has a known history of criminal incidents, the owner may be liable for future incidents if they do not provide adequate security.
- Dog bites. Depending on the circumstances, a dog owner can potentially be held responsible for injuries sustained from a bite or attack. In some states, the dog owner is only liable if they knew the animal had a history of violent behavior. In other states, any bite is enough to trigger liability if the victim was on public property (or had permission to be on private property) and did not provoke the animal.
- Amusement park accidents. When a patron is injured on a ride, attraction, or anywhere in an amusement park as the result of insufficient maintenance or some other defect, the park’s owner may be liable for damages if the victim behaved reasonably and was following all advertised rules at the time of the incident.
What Is the Role of an Attorney in a Premises Liability Lawsuit?
To win a premises liability lawsuit, you must convince the court that the defendant owed you a duty of care and breached that duty. This can be a tall order, especially if the defendant retains aggressive legal representation.
A strong lawyer can prove the elements of your case and protect your interests throughout the legal process. Not all premises liability claims go to trial, as many are settled out of court. Your attorney may be able to avoid the time, expense, and stress that comes with a trial if they can negotiate an acceptable monetary settlement.
If your claim does go to trial, the defendant may claim you were partially responsible for your injuries. Refuting these arguments is extremely important, as they can adversely affect the amount of compensation you ultimately receive. In some states, you will not be able to recover any compensation if the court decides you share any level of the blame. Your lawyer will anticipate and be ready to disprove these arguments and protect your right to compensation.
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