Premises liability lawsuits could involve an array of accident claims on another person’s property. A skilled injury attorney could help you pursue a claim and get you the compensation that you deserve.
If you were hurt on another person’s land, you have the right to pursue legal action against the owner. Allow a Cleveland premises liability lawyer to serve as your advocate if you pursue your claim.
Proving a premises liability case is no different from any other personal injury claim because they are based on a theory of negligence. If the plaintiff establishes that another person breached their duty of care and caused the injury, it could result in successful legal action.
Claims like this differ from standard negligence cases because the burden of proof is not as simply determined. For example, every motorist owes each other a duty to drive carefully. This issue is more complicated for premises accident cases because the duty of care depends on the relationship between the plaintiff and the property. Some visitors are owed different duties than others. A Cleveland premises liability attorney could explain which burden might apply in a specific case.
The highest duty is owed to individuals who come to another person’s land with the owner’s permission and benefits them in some way. These people are known as invitees and a store customer is a prime example of one. Under state law, a landowner must exercise care when it comes to an invitee’s safety. This includes removing hazards if possible and notifying the invitee of any danger if they cannot be removed.
A licensee is also an invited guest to the land but they are different from invitees because them being on the land does not benefit the owner. A common example is a social guest because they are on the premises, but they do not perform a service for the owner. Landowners owe this category of visitor a lower burden and under the law, they still must refrain from wantonly or recklessly causing injury to a licensee and warn any licensees of any hazards on the premises.
The protections for trespassers under the law are slim. While property owners rarely hold a duty of care to a trespasser, there is an exception for children in certain situations known as the attractive nuisance doctrine. A property owner could also face liability if they intentionally harm a trespasser.
Not all premises liability cases are treated the same. While the general rules regarding the various duties of care apply, there are certain exceptions that could protect a property owner. An accomplished premises accident attorney in Cleveland could advise whether these exceptions apply.
The most common defense in these types of cases is a claim of open and obvious dangers. While a property owner has a duty to warn people of hidden hazards, some dangers are obvious enough that just about anyone should see them, such as a sidewalk curb. In these cases, a landowner could avoid liability for not warning the plaintiff of these obvious risks.
State law also carves out an important exception for recreational users of a property. Certain owners of non-residential property will not face responsibility for the injuries sustained by recreational users. This includes activities like swimming, operating a snowmobile, or fishing. This exception does not apply to injuries on residential land.
If you have suffered bodily harm on another person’s property, you might be entitled to monetary compensation. These cases could be complex, particularly without the guidance of a dedicated attorney.
Before you move forward with legal action, consider discussing your accident with a Cleveland premises liability lawyer. Call today to learn more about your options.