Being a property owner means being responsible for maintaining your premises in a safe condition. When someone’s property has hazards or dangers, it can lead to slipping or tripping hazards, and it may leave the owner legally responsible for the victim’s injuries. If you were hurt while on somebody else’s property, our experienced Lousiana premises liability lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries. You can call our office at 888-912-4944 or visit our website to schedule your free consultation.
Who Is Responsible for Injuries on Property?
If someone falls on your property, are you liable? Generally, when someone slips or trips on a dangerous or hazardous condition, the property owner will be responsible for their injuries. This is true whether the property was a public place, like a grocery store, or a private place, like a friend’s home. However, this is not always the case. Whether a property owner is liable depends on many circumstances.
Property Owner’s Duty of Care
In Louisiana, a property owner is only liable if their conduct fell below the legal standard of care. This means that property owners, whether it is a residential or commercial property, must exercise reasonable care in the management of their property. Owners are legally required to keep the environment reasonably safe for guests and visitors, such as by ensuring that it is clean, free of spills or tripping hazards, structurally sound, and otherwise safe for people to visit.
According to Louisiana Revised Statutes Chapter 9 Sec. 2800.6, shop owners owe their guests a duty of care to keep their premises free of hazardous conditions that could reasonably cause injuries. According to the National Association of Income Property Owners, the owner remains liable even if they hire a property manager to handle the property for them.
What Is Considered Reasonable?
The landowner’s duty to guests is not absolute. This means that there are some instances where the owner will not be liable for the victim’s injuries, even if they occurred on their property. For instance, if the defective or dangerous condition was caused by the guest, and their injury was caused by their own carelessness, it will be difficult to hold the property owner responsible for their injuries. A classic example is if a shopper in a grocery store spilled a drink on the floor and then slipped on it. If the grocery store management did not know about the spill, did not have time to clean it up, or did not cause the spill in the first place, then the visitor will most likely not be able to recover compensation from the grocer.
What If I Was Not Lawfully on the Property?
Another example of when a property owner will not be liable is when the injured party did not have permission to enter the property. This category of visitors is called “trespassers,” and generally, property owners do not owe trespassers a duty to keep them safe on their property. However, keep in mind that you do not need to be explicitly invited into a commercial property to have permission to be there. If a store is open to the public for business, you will not be considered a trespasser if you are visiting the store during regular business hours. On the other hand, if you are on private property without permission when you are injured, the property owner is most likely not going to be held liable.
What If the Person Possessing the Property Is a Renter?
Even if the person possessing the property does not literally “own” the property, they are still responsible for maintaining it. For example, if you are visiting your friend’s apartment for a party, and they have a puddle on their kitchen floor that causes a slip and fall, the renter is still liable for those types of injuries. Generally, whoever is responsible for maintaining the property is the one on the hook for injuries that occur there. However, in some cases, the landlord of the building will be the one who is actually responsible, such as for injuries occurring in common areas of the building or for portions of the property that the landlord is contractually obligated to maintain. These distinctions can be a bit confusing, so consider speaking with an attorney to determine if you have a strong case.
How Much Is a Slip and Fall Case Worth?
Slip and fall and trip and fall accidents sometimes lead to minor bumps and bruises, but they can also cause severe injuries. Many of these accidents can be avoided by property owners taking care to make their property safe for others. Victims should not underestimate the value of their claim. After an injury from a fall, keep in mind that you can seek compensation for the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Incidental costs, like transportation
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
An experienced attorney can help you calculate all of the damages associated with your injury. It is important to have a number in mind when you negotiate with insurance companies. Property owners will typically have insurance policies covering bodily injury, so an attorney can help you identify all of the applicable parties and their insurance policies. It is important to note that when you accept an insurance settlement, this means that you are waiving any future claims based on the accident. If the amount you accept is too low to cover all of your expenses, then you may lose out on a portion of the compensation you were entitled to.
Consider Speaking to a Trusted Louisiana Lawyer if Someone Falls on Your Property
If you are wondering “If someone falls on your property, are you liable?” consider speaking to an experienced Louisiana personal injury attorney to answer your questions. Many injury victims do not realize that they may be entitled to compensation for their medical bills and much more after experiencing an accident. At Wright & Gray, we work closely with our clients to understand the circumstances of their accident and help them identify any parties who may have been responsible for their injuries. If you are interested in setting up a free consultation, call our office at 888-912-4944 or visit our website. We look forward to fighting by your side as we pursue compensation for your injuries.