Premises liability is the legal term for the personal injury an individual sustains when they are on residential or commercial property owned by someone else. A common example of premises liability is when a person slips and falls in a public place, such as a sidewalk or a store entrance.
The law imposes various responsibilities on property owners, including the responsibility to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. If property owners breach this duty, they may be liable for damages. At Peterson & Associates, P.C., we help Kansas City residents who've been injured due to a property owner's negligence recover the compensation they deserve.
Understanding Premises Liability
The term premises liability does not mean the property owner caused the injury or incident. External factors, such as an animal trespassing on the premises or a defective stairway, cause some injuries. Others are caused by negligent actions of third parties, such as when someone causes an injury by careless driving in the parking lot next door.
In addition to causing injuries, premises liability can also cause property damage. This can happen when someone leaves equipment or personal items unattended, allowing them to get damaged or stolen. It can also occur if there is flooding, falling debris, or other damage due to stormy weather or other unforeseeable occurrences.
Several factors can contribute to a premises liability accident, including the following:
- Dangerous conditions on the property, such as slippery floors, uneven surfaces, or exposed wiring
- Lack of security or proper lighting
- Poor maintenance of the property
- Negligent supervision of guests or visitors
Types of Premises Liability Cases
Slip and falls are the most common type of premises liability case, but there are a number of different accidents that can fall under this category of personal injury law.
Slip and Falls
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere but are more common in busy public places. Slip and falls are often caused by the failure of a surface to meet a minimum safety requirement. This may include broken staircases, slippery flooring, uneven surfaces, or poorly maintained thresholds. In addition, it may be due to poor maintenance of the surface itself or poor lighting conditions, such as too much or too little light or darkness in a room that makes it difficult to see where one is going.
Dog bites can occur in the yard, in the street, at home, and at work. They can cause serious injuries to people's faces, hands, and arms. Dog bites often result in bruises and broken bones, so it is essential to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible if a dog has injured you.
Defective Conditions on the Premises
A defective condition on the premises causes a premises liability accident when it is responsible for causing an injury or property damage to a person who was on the premises. The most common reason for a premises liability accident is when a defect in the building, structure, or equipment poses a danger to visitors and occupants. Examples include faulty electrical wiring, unsafe stairs, broken glass in windows, and inadequate lighting.
Fire hazards include many types of fire hazards, including house and electrical fires. House fires are common in most homes throughout the United States because they can happen quickly with little warning. If you have been hurt by fire because someone failed to take proper precautions against a fire hazard, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about your legal options for recovery as soon as possible.
Assault charges and premises liability cases can be related because they both involve the safety of individuals on someone else's property. To prove premises liability in an assault case, it must be shown that the property owner or manager failed to provide adequate security measures, such as proper lighting or security personnel. Additionally, in certain circumstances, it must be established that prior incidents of criminal activity, such as assaults or robberies, had occurred on the same premises and the owner did not take reasonable steps to protect visitors from similar incidents.
Common Injuries Victims Suffer in a Premises Liability Accident
Premises liability accidents are the most common types of personal injury claims. Some of the injuries victims suffer in a premises liability accident include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Brain injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Broken bones
- Severe burns
- Loss of limb
- Loss of eyesight
Who Is Liable in a Premises Liability Accident?
Premises liability accidents can happen anywhere—at a business, a rental property, or someone's home. In most cases, the property owner is liable for injuries on their property. This includes businesses and homeowners. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, the owner may not be liable if you're injured in a car accident that occurred on someone's property.
If you're injured in a premises liability accident, it's important to speak with an experienced Kansas City personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your rights and file a claim. At Peterson & Associates, P.C., we have years of experience representing victims of premises liability accidents, and we're here to help you get the best results possible.
How Much Compensation Is Available to Premises Liability Accident Victims?
If you've been injured in a premises liability accident, you may wonder what kind of compensation you can expect. Some of the payments available to premises liability accident victims in Kansas City, Missouri, include lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.
If you cannot return to work due to your injury, you may be eligible for lost wages. Loss of future earning potential may be included if your injuries have left you permanently disabled.
If you're injured in a premises liability accident, you may be able to receive medical treatment. Medical expenses can include the costs of medical care and treatment, hospital stays, doctor visits, prescriptions, and more.
Pain and Suffering
If your injury caused you pain or suffering, you might be eligible for compensation. This could include anything from headaches to emotional trauma.
Punitive damages are not meant to compensate you for your medical bills or other financial losses. They are meant to punish the negligent party and serve as an act of revenge. Punitive damages can be awarded in a lawsuit regardless of the victim's financial situation and are not limited by a dollar amount.
Statute of Limitation of a Premises Liability Claim in Missouri
Missouri's statute of limitation for a premises liability claim is five years. This means that you have five years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you don't file within this time frame, you may lose your chance to receive compensation for your injuries.
How Can a Kansas City Premises Liability Lawyer Help?
Premises liability cases can be challenging to navigate, especially when they involve serious injuries or property damage. A premises liability lawyer can help you identify potential risks and prevent future accidents from occurring. Additionally, a premises liability lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and navigate the complex legal system. For these reasons, it is always important to hire an experienced attorney when dealing with premises liability cases.
If you've been injured in a premises liability accident, it's important to speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. At Peterson & Associates, P.C., our lawyers understand the complexities of premises liability law and know what it takes to help our clients get justice and maximum compensation.
Questions to Ask a Premises Liability Lawyer
With so many lawyers out there, how do you know which one is right for you? Here are a few questions to ask when choosing a premises liability lawyer:
- How much experience do you have with premises liability cases?
- What is your success rate?
- What are your fees?
- How will I be able to contact you?
- What is the timeline for my case?
- What kind of support will I receive throughout the process?