If you own property, whether residential or a business, you are responsible for maintaining the premises and keeping it safe for visitors. If a visitor gets injured on the premises because hazardous conditions were not removed or visitors were not adequately warned, you could be liable for any resulting injuries.
The odds of being held liable increase greatly if it is found that a property or business owner knew there were hazardous conditions on the premises but did not correct the situation. Failing to eliminate potential harm can leave the owner financially responsible for any damage that occurs due to an injury.
A hazardous condition case is a specialized type of premises liability, and if you or a loved one were injured in this type of case, it is best handled by an experienced lawyer who understands Oklahoma law. Instead of negotiating a claim with insurance companies, let a skilled Oklahoma premises liability attorney at BDIW Law fight for the compensation you deserve.
Common Hazardous Conditions on Premises Liability Cases
Hazardous conditions on premises are often referred to as open and obvious hazards. Open and obvious means a property owner should be aware of the problem, or they knew about the problem but did nothing to solve the problem. Under Oklahoma law, visitors injured on premises with open and obvious hazards are protected.
If a property does not receive proper maintenance, there are innumerable dangers that can arise. Any given mismanaged property can have a lengthy list of hazardous conditions that may lead to injuries on a property. Some of the most common hazards seen in premises liability cases include:
- Slick floors or walkways because of weather conditions or spilled liquid
- Uneven floors
- Obstructions on floors or walkways
- Damaged stairs
- Improper lighting
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Legal Conditions of a Hazardous Conditions on Premises Case
For any case that involves someone getting injured on someone else’s property, finding the property owner liable generally comes down to four questions:
- Was there a hazardous condition on the property?
- Did the property owner know about the danger, or did they have a reasonable enough time to know about the hazard?
- Did the property owner fail to warn visitors or fail to fix or remove the hazard?
- Did a visitor sustain an injury on the premises due to the hazard?
In these cases, it often hinges on the word “obvious.” Was the hazardous condition obviously dangerous? The idea of liability can get muddled in the answer. Both residential property and business owners often try to shirk responsibility by denying they were aware of any hazards. In some cases, visitors have been injured due to their own actions, but the property owners are blamed for the incident.
A skilled Oklahoma premises liability lawyer can simplify a case and gather the evidence to prove the hazardous condition on the premises caused the injury and see the case through to its conclusion and the recovery of compensation for expenses stemming from the injury.
Other Factors of Hazardous Conditions on Premises Case
Under the civil codes of Oklahoma, there are specific terms that identify a premises liability case. A few of these include:
- The owner’s duty to invitees: When visitors are invited to a property, they expect the property owner to ensure their safety and reasonable care. This duty includes properly warning visitors of any dangerous hazards that may cause injury.
- Defining hidden dangers: Sometimes, an object in clear view becomes a hidden danger. Black ice on a sidewalk can be unseen and cause a fall. A case with hidden dangers should be examined individually to determine where the blame lies.
- Distracting from hidden dangers: Dangers can be hidden because of distractions on the property. If an owner places something that distracts visitors from seeing a hazard and an injury occurs, the source of the distraction should be examined to determine if the owner allowed a known distraction to take a victim’s attention from potential danger.
- Maintaining safe environments: Business owners should ensure customers can safely shop or enter and leave a business without becoming a victim of crime. A business’ ingress and egress should be maintained and evaluated for safety concerns. The business owner should provide proper security or well-lit environments.
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Steps to Take if You Are Injured on the Premises of a Property Owner
If you have been injured due to a property owner’s actions or inaction, there are several steps you can take to ensure the real story is told so you can make sure the responsible party is accountable. These five steps include:
- Seek medical treatment: No matter if the injuries appear severe or minor, seek medical attention. Being examined by a doctor is essential in catching overlooked injuries and provides medical records that you may need to use as evidence later.
- Contact the property owner: Always alert the property owner about the accident so they can alert their insurance company. If the accident occurred in a business, the owner should fill out a detailed incident concerning the accident.
- Take pictures at the scene: Make sure to take photos of the scene, including any hazardous conditions.
- Provide information for insurance claims: Once a property owner files a claim, their insurance should pay for any damages related to the injury. Insurance companies usually reach out to victims within days of the accident to collect details concerning claims.
- Consult with a lawyer: Hazardous conditions on premises cases can be resolved with a few phone calls. Unfortunately, many cases are made overly complicated and inconvenient for claimants. A skilled attorney will fight for your rights.
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If you were injured on another person’s property, do not feel embarrassed or leave the scene in shame. You need to alert the property owner of your injuries because you may need to file a liability claim against the owner’s insurance. If the owner was never told about the accident, the supporting evidence for your claim dwindles.
A premises liability attorney in Oklahoma can help you navigate your case and get the compensation necessary to recover from your injuries. An experienced Oklahoma premises liability lawyer at BDIW Law is here when you are in need. Contact us for a free consultation.
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