Premises liability is often a misunderstood area of the law. The short explanation is that it is the right people have when visiting a location to expect to be safe there. If someone suffers an injury, then, when this right exists, it may be the responsibility of the property owner to cover their losses.
At BDIW Law, our premises liability attorneys provide comprehensive support and guidance to our clients in determining if they have a case, how much that case is worth, and what legal strategy is best suited to their future. Even if you are unsure if you have a case, we encourage you to contact an Oklahoma premises liability lawyer for a free case evaluation. There is no cost to you unless we win compensation for you.
What Is Premises Liability?
You may have a premises liability case if you were hurt because someone else’s property was dangerous in some way. This term is quite broad and covers a wide range of potential losses. Premise liability can be complex, though, because it requires proving that someone was negligent.
There are three key elements that must be met in order to win a premises liability case in most situations:
- There has to be some dangerous condition present on the other person’s property.
- The property owner, manager, or other responsible party must have been negligent in some way.
- You must have suffered injury or damaged property resulting in financial loss to file a claim.
That sounds pretty straightforward, but the complications come from proving negligence. To prove that, we need to show that you had the right to assume the property was safe, that the property owner or other responsible party knew there was a danger to you, and that the party had enough time but did not take action to rectify the situation.
There is a lot on the line. That is why we always encourage our clients to speak to a premise liability attorney before they file any claim. It is easy for the insurance company to refute your claims and cause you to lose the compensation you are rightfully owed.
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Examples of Premises Liability
Take a look at some of the most common premise liability cases that our team has helped clients through in the past. This is not an exhaustive list of the types of incidents that can fall in this area, but it will provide you with some core guidance on whether you have a case.
- Slips and falls due to wet floors
- Tripping hazards due to clutter
- Weather-related dangerous conditions such as ice or snow on a sidewalk
- Dangerous animal on the property that is unsecured
- Criminal or violent activity that could have been expected
- Property that is dangerous, such as faulty stairs or railings
- Presence of dangerous chemicals that create a health hazard
- Faulty design of structural components of a building or landscape
In these situations, the property owner could be held responsible if they know that there is a problem and do not do anything about it, and that problem directly causes the losses you have.
How Negligence Is Applied
To consider whether negligence applies in this situation, several factors are considered. Here are a few things to think about in your case:
- Did the property owner cause the problem that created your injury?
- Did the property owner see the problem, inspect it, or discover it?
- Did the property owner not fix the problem properly or remove it?
- Did the property owner warn that there was a risk present?
Most of the time, the property owner is not being intentional about creating a dangerous situation. They may know the problem is there but fail to take action to prevent loss. That does not mean they were out to get you.
However, there are some situations of premise liability where there are intentional or malicious implications. A person may try, for example, to establish a dangerous area of their property to stop someone from walking through it. They may create a dangerous situation like this but not warn others about the risk. That is an intentional incident that may also fall under premises liability.
Did You Have the Right to Be on the Property?
There are many instances in which a premise liability case comes down to this. Did the person suffering the injury have the right to be on the property in the first place? There are various situations to consider here, but they typically fall into one of three areas.
If a store is open for business, you are being invited in. In this case, you are welcomed into the property, and therefore, you should have the expectation that the property is going to be safe for you to be in.
Another category is a licensee or someone who has the owner’s permission to be on the property. This is often a social guest, such as your neighbor inviting you over for a drink. If the property owner does not warn of the risk, then they could be liable for losses.
The law does not require that every property has to be completely safe for anyone who steps foot on it, and trespassers who are warned not to enter the property typically cannot find the owner at fault. However, this typically does not apply to children.
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Let Us Help You Determine if You Have a Case
What is a premises liability case in your situation? If you are unsure or you are ready to take steps to get the compensation owed to you, contact BDIW Law. Our highly experienced premise liability attorneys will help you determine what evidence exists to support your claim.
We provide a free case evaluation. There is nothing to pay, but we can help you to learn if you may be able to pursue financial compensation for the losses you have after such an incident. Do not wait to contact us to take the next step. Call BDIW Law to schedule a free consultation.
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