If you are injured on another person’s property, you may have a case to hold them liable for your injuries. Accidents that are caused by dangerous or defective property inside or outside of a building are known as premises liability accidents. Premises liability accidents can take place at commercial buildings, such as offices or stores, private residences, or on public property, such as in parks or on the street.
For example, if you go to a mall and the bathrooms flood, management of the property has the responsibility to warn visitors of the water with a caution sign and clean the water up in a reasonable amount of time. If they do not do this and someone slips on the water and is injured, the owner of the mall may be held responsible for the accident. In this case, a premises liability suit could recover damages for injuries. However, in a premises liability case, the injured party must first prove fault.
If you are using the property “normally,” that is, in the manner intended and not acting recklessly or illegally on the property, you may be able to prove fault for premises liability. First, you must meet three conditions:
- The owner must have a duty of care for the property. This means you must prove that the owner had a legal responsibility to maintain their property in a safe manner. As a general rule, property owners are responsible for minimizing hazards and creating a safe environment for any visitors.
- The owner has breached the duty of care. This means that the owner has acted negligently or carelessly, or has otherwise failed to maintain the property in a safe manner. Generally, there must be some action that could have prevented your accident.
- There is a causal relationship between the injuries from the accident and the breach of care. This means that your injuries must be directly related to the unsafe situation on the property. Either it caused your injuries directly or caused the accident that caused the injury. If there is no clear cause-effect relationship, you probably will not have a case.
If these three criteria are fulfilled and you were not reckless or “abnormal” in your actions on the property, you may be able to prove premises liability. A personal injury lawyer at Van Sant Law, LLC will be able to help you to better evaluate your case and help establish fault. Contact the firm today to get the answers you need by calling or filling out our online contact form to get more information.