Premises Liability: Who is Responsible for an Accident and When

A slip and fall can occur outside a commercial building that has an appalling lack of maintenance. You might be injured at a private home where the owner caused a dangerous environment. Or you could be hurt at a public park. Any of these could result from a falling object or your falling due to someone's negligence. This could look like someone failing to remove dangerous obstacles, or being responsible for a defective building. So if someone else's negligence has put you on the hook for costly medical treatment and maybe even caused you to miss work, what can you do?

It is possible that you may be able to file a premises liability claim. First of all, it must be established that the property owner failed to uphold his or her duty to keep others safe from undue hazards. If there is a broken step in the stairway, for example, and the owner does nothing to remedy this, he or she could be responsible for a guest's injurious fall on the stairs. Yet this is only if the person who was hurt was not acting recklessly. The visitor must use the property correctly. If a person is leaping over a stair rail, and it breaks, then the owner is not liable for the accident.

When someone else is responsible for your accident, another tricky step involves who exactly is at fault. Fortunately, it is not up to you to decide. You can file a claim against the owner and the occupier of the building, and their respective insurance companies have the job of sorting everything out. Liability would be assigned based on the contract that, say, a department store has with the property owner.

If you are hurt in rented housing, then the landlord is liable for the immovable fixtures that cause accidents, such as floors and walls, and the landlord would be at fault for accidents that occur outside, such as on the stairs. A tenant is liable for accidents that involve moveable items around the dwelling. A tenant may be liable for something that is immovable when he or she knows of a hazard, and does nothing to take care of it. In a privately owned residence, the property owner would be at fault for any accident that his or her negligence caused.

If you have been hurt on someone else's property, then you might be owed compensation. Instead of facing a towering pile of medical bills alone, contact Simmons, Morris & Carroll. Our Shreveport personal injury lawyers have more than 70 years of experience, and we can help you determine whether or not you have grounds for filing a claim. If you do, then we can guide you through all the complex legal processes involved. We will do our utmost to ensure that our clients win the full compensation that they are entitled to.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.