Premise Liability Accident Attorneys
Lake Charles Product Liability Lawyers
If you receive a serious injury while you are on another person or entity’s property, you may not initially think of pursuing a premise liability claim against the property owner. However, if your injuries are serious, you could be left paying medical expenses, perhaps even unable to work and make a living because of the negligence of another person. Owners of any type of business or facility in the state of Louisiana—such as a home, an apartment complex, a restaurant or a bar—have a responsibility to provide and maintain a safe environment for residents on the property or visitors to the property. Premise liability claims can result from a trip hazard, a slippery surface, a lack of reasonable cleanliness or an overall design flaw. In order to be able to file a premise liability claim, three conditions must be met:
- The owner or manager must be legally responsible for the property (in the event a company is renting a floor in a building, and poorly maintains the rented space, then that company would be responsible for the property, rather than the actual owner of the property).
- You must have been on the property legally. If the property is public property, then there is no dispute that you were on the property legally. Likewise, if you live on the property, such as in an apartment complex, then again, there could be no dispute that you were on the property legally. If you forced your way onto private property, then you would not be considered to be on the property legally.
- The defendant must have failed to properly maintain the property. The lack of proper maintenance must have been the direct cause of your accident and subsequent injury for you to file a valid premise liability claim.
In short, you were legally on the property, the responsible party failed to properly maintain the facility, the lack of proper maintenance caused your injury, and your injury requires financial compensation for the damage caused. Louisiana property owners have an obligation to keep premises safe and secure as well as to take care of any hazards which exist on the property. If there are hazards or dangers on the property, there must be an adequate warning to the public.
Different Types of Premise Liability Claims
- Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premise liability claim. People fall in grocery stores, retail stores, in restaurants and bars, in shopping malls, in airport terminals, on sidewalks, escalators and stairs and in parking lots—to name a few. Slip and falls are common, particularly among the elderly, although when negligence is present an individual of any age can take a tumble. A slip and fall can be the result of: a spilled substance which is not properly cleaned up, a freshly mopped or waxed floor surface without a sign warning of the slippery surface, uneven floor surfaces, torn or frayed carpeting, items in the walkway, narrow stairways, poorly lit stairwells, stairways with no handrail, oil spilled in a parking lot or snow and ice in the entryway of a store, restaurant, bar or other building. Slip and falls can cause broken bones, traumatic brain injuries and even spinal cord injuries.
- Dog bites are another type of premise liability claim. Dog owners have a legal obligation to ensure their dog does not cause harm or injury to others. The statutes of Louisiana state that the owner of a dog is liable for the injuries if the owner knew or should have known the animal’s behavior would cause damage, the damage could have been prevented if reasonable care had been taken, the owner of the dog failed to take the reasonable care necessary, and the injured person in no way provoked the dog. In the state of Louisiana, the statute does not only cover dog bites, but also covers injuries received when a dog leaps on a person, knocking him or her down, and causing injury. These types of injuries also fall under Louisiana’s dog bite statute and premises liability law. The owner of the dog, in response to a premise liability claim may claim the dog was provoked, or the injuries sustained by the victim were partially his or her fault. This could be true if a sign warning of the dangerous dog was posted and the victim ignored the sign.
- Swimming pool injuries are also common premise liability claims. Children are particularly vulnerable to swimming pool accidents when they wander into a pool which is not properly fenced. Tragically, many children drown each year from swimming pool accidents. Young children have no concept of potential dangers, and a swimming pool may be known as an attractive nuisance—if the owner is aware that children would be inclined to play in the pool, then the owner is responsible for injuries to a child. Some of the most common forms of negligence which can lead to a swimming pool accident include a swimmer being pulled under the water by suction from a faulty pool filter, lifeguard negligence at a public pool, unduly slippery surfaces around the pool which cause a person to slip and fall in, perhaps hitting their head in the process, and lack of proper fencing.
- Negligent security can lead to an act of violence and resulting injuries. Property owners have a specific level of care owed in the form of security, to their guests. If a person is attacked in a parking lot, a parking garage, or even in their own hotel or motel room, then negligent security could be at hand. The law imposes an obligation on business owners to be aware of what is going on around them in the community. In other words, if violent criminal activity such as robberies or shootings have become fairly common in the area, then the property owner has a duty to increase security measures. Those security measures could come in the form of security guards, video surveillance, better locks in a motel or hotel, or better lighting.
When a Louisiana property owner fails to maintain their property in a safe, secure manner and you are hurt as a result, the owner is liable for your injuries and you have the right to hold them responsible. A valid premise liability claim requires that the property had a danger or a hazard, that the owner knew of the danger or hazard (or should have known), that the owner failed to address the danger or hazard—or warn of its existence—and that the danger or hazard was the cause of your injuries.
How the Hoffoss Devall Attorneys Can Help You with Your Premise Liability Claim
The Hoffoss Devall premise liability attorneys are committed to helping those injured due to the negligence of a property owner receive compensation for those injuries. If you suffered an injury on another’s property, we will collect all the necessary evidence to prove negligence. The Hoffoss Devall attorneys have the necessary knowledge and experience to secure a settlement on your behalf. Perhaps you have mounting medical expenses, or you are unable to work because of your premise liability injuries, therefore are unable to pay your regular monthly expenses.
The Hoffoss Devall slip and fall accident attorneys can help you get the medical attention you need following your premise liability accident. We have access to highly experienced medical professionals in the area who will evaluate the extent of your injuries, then make a determination regarding how long your recovery can be expected to last. Our experienced swimming pool accident lawyers, dog bite lawyers and negligent security lawyers can gather the evidence necessary to ensure you receive a fair settlement. At Hoffoss Devall, we are both skilled negotiators and aggressive litigators, when warranted. We will work with the defendant’s insurance company to reach an equitable settlement, and, if the offer is not sufficient, we will not hesitate to go to trial. Contact Hoffoss Devall online today to speak to a highly experienced premise liability attorney or call (337) 433-2053.