Premises liability cases are complex, and it is generally recommended that you seek out the services of a premises liability lawyer if you have legal issues regarding a property owner. Many accident victims do not know which entities or individuals may be liable for the injuries they suffer during an accident that occurs on the property of another. An Oklahoma premises liability lawyer can provide you with the information you need to understand your legal rights.
Owners and Occupiers of Land
Landowners are bound by specific duties that are designed to protect those who come onto the property from the risk of serious bodily injury or death. A landowner owes specific duties to licensees, invitees, and known trespassers. Understanding how these individuals are categorized can help you understand your own premises liability case.
A licensee is someone who comes onto the land of another as a social guest or for their own benefit. Typically, a licensee is a guest who visits someone in their home and is not engaging in any economic activity. On the other hand, an invitee is typically a patron who comes onto property owned by a business entity.
Depending on which party is visiting a landowner, liability will attach based on the facts of the case. Invitees are afforded the highest degree of protection, and landowners must make safe or warn of any dangerous conditions that exist on the property. Also, a landowner only owes a duty to known trespassers, not unknown trespassers, and this can be relevant in negligent security cases.
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The Types of Damages You May Claim in a Premises Liability Case
It is necessary to calculate the total damages amount associated with your premises liability case. Most injured victims claim general damages and special damages as part of a premises liability case. Punitive damages may also be applicable to a premises liability case, but only if the defendant engaged in willful, wanton, or malicious conduct.
General damages are not entirely reducible to a numerical value. Some examples of general damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress. Special damages, on the other hand, are more quantifiable than general damages and may include property damage, medical bills, and lost wages.
The Most Common Types of Injuries Victims Suffer in Premises Liability Cases
The majority of premises liability cases involve slip and fall accidents. Many different types of injuries may occur during a premises liability accident. The following are the most common injuries suffered by victims who suffer injuries while on the property of another:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bone fractures
It is possible that other types of injuries may occur during a premises liability case. An injured victim may be exposed to criminal activity and serious bodily injury due to the negligent conduct of the property owner. A lawyer can help you determine how to receive medical treatment that can provide you with clear information regarding the nature and extent of your personal injuries.
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Establishing Liability in a Premises Liability Case
The principles of negligence law are relevant to your premises liability case. The four elements of negligence are duty, breach, causation, and damages. It is necessary for the injured party to establish these four elements to seek financial compensation for their injuries.
Owners and occupiers of land must adhere to specific duties mandated by law that apply to licensees, invitees, and known trespassers. An invitee is a person who comes onto the property to benefit the property owner, typically a business. A licensee is a social guest who comes onto the property of another primarily for their own benefit.
To establish liability in a premises liability case, the injured party must prove that the owner or occupier of the land was negligent. Therefore, it is essential to prove that the landowner was aware of a dangerous condition and did not make this condition safe or provide licensees, invitees, or known trespassers with adequate warning about the dangerous condition.
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Gathering the Evidence You Need for a Premises Liability Case
It is necessary for an injured party to gather all the relevant evidence which will be applicable to establish the liability of the defendant. Medical records, property records, safety policies, and other documents are necessary to prove that the defendant was liable for your injuries. Collecting these records and reviewing them will make it more likely that your case will be resolved through settlement negotiation.
You may have to submit records requests to various entities to acquire the documents relevant to your case. Also, you may have to obtain these documents by requesting them during the discovery phase of the case. It is vital that you consult with an experienced attorney who can help you determine how best to acquire the evidence you need for your premises liability case.
How Alternative Dispute Resolution Can Benefit Your Case
It may be necessary for you to participate in alternative dispute resolution as part of your premises liability case. The three primary forms of alternative dispute resolution are settlement negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. Alternative dispute resolution makes it more likely that your case will be resolved before trial, and this will reduce the burden on judicial resources.
A lawyer will represent your interests during mediation. The mediator is generally a former judge or lawyer who has been trained to act as a mediator in civil lawsuits. Arbitration may be binding or non-binding. In binding arbitration, the arbitrator may issue a final decision regarding your premises liability case.
We Are Here to Enforce Your Legal Rights and Protect Your Interests
If you suffer injuries while on the property of another, you may not know which individuals or legal entities may be liable for your injuries. Hiring a premises liability lawyer will help you determine if multiple parties may be liable for your injuries. If you are seeking legal counsel, then contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
You may still be recovering from the injuries you suffered during the accident. If so, let our attorneys handle your premises liability case while you continue to heal so you can move on with your life. We can request medical records, conduct mediations, and protect your legal interests throughout the entirety of your premises liability case.
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