If you are injured on someone else’s property, that person may be responsible for any damages that you incur and this could be premises liability. Those potential damages can include medical bills, pain and suffering, and even mental or emotional distress, depending upon the circumstances of the injury. Your ability to recover for the injury on the others’ premises depends upon whether it was their fault you got hurt, and whether a slip and fall attorney can determine if they owe you any damages.
The owner of property is not always responsible for injuries you incur on his land. He is only responsible if he owed you a duty to protect you from injury, and he failed in that duty. If your own negligence was the cause of the personal injury and the land owner didn’t contribute at all, you cannot recover money for your injuries.
However, if the owners of the property are even partially responsible for causing you to hurt yourself, they may be considered legally responsible and have to pay you some, or all, of your damages.
One major factor that determines whether they were responsible for your injury is your status on the property. There are three possible groups you could fall into. You could potentially be an invitee, a licensee or a trespasser on the property. Your legal rights vary dramatically depending on which of these groups you fall into.
Invitees are people who the land owner invited to come on to the land to do business with the land owner or for a purpose designed to benefit the land owner. If you were an invitee, the land owner has a duty to protect you from unreasonable known risks by eliminating the risks or warning you about them. If they did not protect you from risk and you hurt yourself, they can be liable.
Licensees are people invited onto the land for non-commercial reasons. If you go and visit a friend after being invited to their home, you are a licensee. If you are a licensee, you can only recover for injuries on the landowners’ premises if they knew about the dangerous condition that caused your injury, they knew it caused you harm, they didn’t exercise reasonable care in correcting the dangerous condition or warned you about it, and you had no reason to know about the dangerous condition.
Some courts question whether the distinction between licensees and invitees should exist, such as this case in Iowa in which the Supreme Court considered whether the distinction still had validity. Thus, this distinction is not used in all states, and in some jurisdictions the court instead questions whether the landowner exercised reasonable care to protect visitors in general.
Trespassers are the last category of people who enter the premises of another. Trespassers have no permission to enter and are going on to the land for their own purpose alone. Typically, the land owner has no duty to exercise any care to protect your well being and the land owner cannot be held liable for the injury you incurred on their land.
According to The Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management, Wal-mart experiences approximately 1,000 customer injuries a day from slip and fall injures to falling merchandise. The number of premise liability cases filed has risen over time, but a fall or injury on the premises of a business does not always ensure a recovery for the plaintiff.
If you fall and hurt yourself on someone else’s land, you should get both medical and legal help to determine the extent and cause of your injuries before taking any action. Contact The Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-405-4313 or complete our online form for a Free Initial Consultation.