Premises liability injuries can happen almost anywhere — from broken staircases that were never repaired to unmarked slippery floors. Hazardous situations that result in personal injury are normally the responsibility of the property owner.
Property owners are required by law to maintain safe conditions for visitors to their premises. This includes warning visitors about dangerous conditions and resolving the problem in a reasonable amount of time. If property owners do not provide sufficient warnings or take care of hazards on their property, their negligence can result in a visitor’s injury.
However, the property owner is not always willing to admit to their negligence, in which case a personal injury lawyer is needed to represent the rights of the victim.
Defining a Premises Liability Claim
A premises liability claim is a civil lawsuit in which the victim of a personal injury may file against the owner of the property where the accident occurred. However, as property owners cannot be held responsible for every loss suffered on the property, negligence of the property owner is usually a key factor in the claim.
In order to prove negligence, the injured victim must show that the property owner knew about the hazardous condition that caused the accident and did not take action to fix the problem. For example, the property owner may have failed to repair a broken step or label a slippery floor. A premises liability injury may also be caused by criminal activity that was left undetected due to insufficient security on the premises.
Types of Injuries
There are many different types of injuries that a victim of a premises liability accident may suffer. These include:
- Broken Bones: A slip-and-fall accident may result in a broken arm, leg, shoulder, or hand. Elderly victims who slip and fall often suffer hip fractures that cause permanent damage.
- Bumps and Bruises: These minor types of injuries are common in slip-and-fall accidents. While they may not require medical attention or civil litigation, victims should still consult with a medical professional to ensure that the injuries aren’t serious.
- Head Injuries: A head injury from an accident can possibly cause a fractured skull or a traumatic brain injury, which can result in symptoms such as headaches, blurred vision, and even a permanent loss in physical or mental ability.
- Lacerations: Lacerations may result from an accident involving a sharp object lying on the ground in a frequented area. These injuries usually need medical treatment and may sometimes require surgery.
- Spinal Damage: The spine and spinal cord can be damaged in an accident that causes the victim to twist or strain the spine or neck. Such injuries may cause severe back pain or even paralysis
- Sprained Wrists and Ankles: A fall caused by uneven flooring or a broken step may easily result in sprained wrists or ankles when victims try to catch themselves from falling.
The compensation that a victim can receive from a premises liability claim depends on the extent of the injuries. Losses to be considered in a civil lawsuit may include hospital bills, prescription drug costs, therapy fees, lost wages, and suffering related to the accident. Working with an experienced premises liability attorney can speed up the process toward receiving compensation.
This guest post is courtesy of Jesse Harwell, a former private investigator who now owns and manages the site Master of Homeland Security. It is a resource for students looking to earn a Master's Degree in Homeland Security.