What is Premises Liability Law and Does it Matter in My Claim?
If you have heard an attorney mention “premises liability” and you’re finding yourself wondering what that really means or entails; we are here to unpack that for you. Before we take a more in-depth look at what premises liability law is, here is the general summary around it.
A business, government space or organization has a reasonable duty to provide a safe environment for people to come and go without expectation of harm. For example, the grounds or establishment you walk into each day should take care to ensure no one will get injured. This is their “duty.” The duty changes, however, if the person does something negligent or behaves in a way where that duty couldn’t possibly be anticipated or prevented.
When You Get Injured on Someone Else’s Property
Whether it’s at a business or at an event, if you get injured as a result of the defect on the property, you will fall into one of three categories.
- A Trespasser – A person who was not invited and is without permission to be on the premises. In this instance, the person trespassing took it upon themselves to place themselves in the way of harm. However, the property owner still has the responsibility (if the person is discovered) to alert the trespasser about the dangers of being on the property.
- A Licensees – This is a person who is an uninvited licensee who is privileged to be on the property as a means of convenience, benefit or pleasure. This person isn’t perhaps, “personally invited” but is given permission to be on the property, for example, at a restaurant.
- An Invitee – Is a person who is allowed onto a property and uses it as intended by the property owner. That owner will have taken reasonable care to provide a safe environment, so long as the property is used for that purpose.
Injured on a Property – Proving Negligence
The professionals at our Iowa premises liability law firm can help you establish negligence which is crucial to an injury case. If you are wondering who is responsible for your injury, maybe from a slip and fall, there are things that you will have to prove with your Iowa premise liability lawyer.
In order to pursue a legal matter, you’ll need to learn and prove who owns the property. That property owner will have had to take the required actions, maintenance, inspections, etc. to ensure that property was safe for you and others.
Next, you and your Iowa premises liability attorney will need to prove that the owner was negligent in taking care of their property and that they failed to use the “standard” level of care to provide an environment free from reasonable danger.
Injured on a Property – Proving Injury
Not only does the burden rest on you to prove that the property owner was negligent, but you must also show that you were injured as a result of that negligence. If you work with a slip and fall lawyer, they can advise you on your particular situation and the evidence that will be needed to prove your case. Here is what some of that evidence might look like.
- Photos and Video – If you were not taken by emergency personnel to a hospital, with any luck, you were able to take pictures or video of the grounds of your accident. This can be significant evidence to prove negligence.
- Injury Records – Your medical records will be another compelling argument that the property owner’s negligence resulted in your injuries. You should keep everything relating to your accident including medical paperwork, prescriptions, empty prescription bottles, braces, casts or crutches. You will also want to keep good records of all follow-up procedures or treatments you receive.
- Premises Data – Thanks to your Iowa premises liability law firm, our legal professionals have established a significant amount of resources and tools to help you get data about the property and property owner. They can reach out to that property for maintenance records, cleaning crew records and property policy records. Further, your premises liability attorney in Iowa can consult with experts if your case requires a different set of eyes or resources.
Preparing to Meet an Iowa Premises Liability Attorney
There is a misconception about these types of cases, in that they are an easy claim to win. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Since the burden resides totally with the victim, you will have your work cut out for you to prove your case. Your success rate will increase if you decide to work with an attorney. We thought it would be helpful to offer these tips if you choose to meet with our team and pursue a case, such as a slip and fall lawsuit.
Gather your Evidence – Before your first meeting with us, we suggest gathering as much of your evidence as possible. Get copies of your medical records and if you were unable to do so prior, get photos and video of the area you were injured at. If you haven’t already done so, report your injury to property management or the owner, and bring that correspondence with you.
Write Down Your Questions – We know that you will have a lot of questions for us and we welcome every one of them. Take a moment to write down any questions about your case, about how cases like this work, our how we handle these claims. We welcome questions as well, about our Iowa premises liability law firm including our fees and structure.
Your next step is to call the attorneys at Eells & Tronvold Law Offices so you can set up an appointment. We are ready to listen to all the details of your claim and give you the best possible legal guidance to move forward. You can give us a call or connect with us online.