Let’s consider that you get into an accident on another person’s property and wonder if you can file a claim and recover compensation for your injuries. To find out what damages you are able to recover as it pertains to premises liability, you must first determine who was liable in the claim. Liability just so happens to be determined by the laws and procedures of the state in which the injury took place. Here are four different labels that may apply to your case:
- Invitee: This is someone who was invited onto the property of another person, like a customer in a store. Because of the invitation, this means that the property owner has usually taken reasonable steps to assure the safety of the premises.
- Licensee: This person enters the property for their own purpose, and is present at the consent of the owner.
- Social Guest: This is a welcome visitor to the property.
- Trespasser: These people enter without any right whatsoever to do so. There is no implied promise that reasonable care has been made to assure the safety of the property.
Another Issue: Comparative Fault
Sometimes, comparative fault can come into play and pose some questions when both parties happen to be at fault. The argument that the injured person was partially at fault for what happens commonly asserts itself. Visitors do have a duty, in most cases, to exercise reasonable care for their own safety. Comparative fault means that an injured person’s legal damages will be reduced by a percentage that is equivalent to their fault for the accident.
Most Common Accident
In every state in the U.S., the most common premises liability accident just so happens to be a slip-and-fall case. These accidents can take place at shopping malls, apartment buildings, grocery stores, and more. The courts make it a requirement that the actual knowledge requirement be met, which includes the owner putting a foreign substance on the floor, knowing it was on the floor and negligently failing to remove it, or that the substance was on the floor for an extended amount of time but should have been discovered and removed. You would be able to recover damages in a case similar to this.
So, What Damages Should I Expect to Recover?
If you have been injured on another person’s property, you may be able to recover compensation for things like lost wages, medical bills, future medical bills, physical therapy costs, prescription costs, mental anguish, permanent disability, and more. A plaintiff may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages if a defendant is indeed found liable. Economic damages can even include criminal defense cost fees in certain prosecution orders. Non-economic damages can include reputation, humiliation, embarrassment, inconvenience, insult, and mental suffering. In some cases, punitive damages can also be recovered as a way to punish the defendant but these are pretty unlikely.
You should always speak to an attorney about your case, as premises liability can be particularly complex and an experienced attorney can help you in many ways. Call MDL for a free consultation today. They will work with you and get to understand your case, as well as answer any questions you have.