Injuries that occur on someone else’s property due to a dangerous condition frequently lead to premises liability claims. Property owners and occupiers owe a duty of care to guests and visitors, which means that dangerous, unexpected conditions should be remediated as soon as possible upon discovery. Premises liability attorneys know that often dangerous conditions are overlooked by owners and much needed maintenance is sometimes put off until a later day and these are the circumstances which often lead to injuries and claims.
Proving premises liability cases
Generally speaking, in order to prove a premises liability case, the following elements need to be satisfied. There are, of course, some exceptions in certain types of premises liability cases such as those involving dog bites or injured trespassers.
- Duty of care – The defendant was an owner or occupier of land and thus owed his or her guests and visitors a duty of care. The duty of care includes keeping guests and visitors safe from dangerous conditions located on the property.
- Breach of duty – The defendant breached his or her duty of care. This can be proven by showing that there was a dangerous condition on the property that the owner knew about or should have known about, yet he or she failed to remediate the dangerous condition or warn guests about it.
- Injuries and damages caused by the breach – Finally, it will need to be proved that the plaintiff sustained injuries and damages as a result of the dangerous condition. Injuries may be established with photographs and medical records. Damages may include medical bills, lost wages, lost future earnings, and pain and suffering.
Common types of premises liability claims
Premises liability claims can arise in a number of ways, including the following common types of claims:
- Slip or trip and fall due to dangerous conditions such as slippery floors or cluttered walkways
- Poor security such as lack of lighting in dark parking lots and stairwells
- Dog bites or dog attacks
- Swimming pool accidents
- Poorly maintained floors and stairwells including lack of railings
- Poorly lit walkways
- Broken elevators and escalators
- Fire risks
If you have been injured due to a dangerous condition on public property, a place of business, or someone else’s property, contact a Somerset County premises liability attorney at SMT Legal to discuss your claim and recovery options. Insurance companies for the property owner are almost always involved in these types of cases and our attorneys are expert negotiators. When a plaintiff has a strong case, the only thing insurance companies are more afraid of than agreeing to a large settlement amount is facing a jury trial.