Injury from Property
If you are injured on the property of a person or business and something on that
property contributed to your injury, you may be entitled to monetary
compensation for your injury. Do not delay in contacting an attorney to
protect your right to recover following such an injury. It may become
difficult to prove the property was at fault after the owner starts making
Expectations of Safety
In general an owner must keep his property safe for those persons lawfully on the property.
However, just because you suffered an injury on someone's property does not mean that the owner is liable.
First, you must establish that the condition that caused your fall or injured you was in fact dangerous.
The obligation to make a property safe depends to some extent on your purpose
for being on the property. The law defines your status as 1) a business invitee,
2) a licensee, or 3) a trespasser.
A business invitee is someone who goes to a property for a business purpose.
However, you do not need to buy anything or enter an agreement to be considered
an invitee. Therefore, if you are looking at a product, you would be a business
visitor even though you did not purchase anything that day. A business invitee
is owed the highest standard of care, which means the owner has an obligation to
inspect their property and correct any dangerous conditions. Ice in an entryway
or low trip hazards in an aisle are examples of conditions the property owner is
obliged to correct.
If you are visiting a friend or attending a party at a residence, you would be a
licensee because you are not entering the property to transact business. In
order to be considered a licensee you must have the owner's implicit permission
to be on the property. The duty owed a licensee is to correct or warn about a
known dangerous condition, but there is no duty to inspect the property.
A trespasser is owed the least obligation. Going onto a property without
permission with no indication that the property owner wants you to be on their
property, nor has he given you a reason to think it is acceptable to enter his
property, makes one a trespasser. Under these circumstances the owner is
responsible only if he intentionally or recklessly injures you.
IMPORTANT: If an insurance claims agent for the person at
fault calls to "interview" you, you should decline -- at least until you have spoken with
an attorney. Despite what the insurance agent might tell you, they are probably NOT "just
trying to help you."
Talk to Us
If you feel you have been injured because someone has failed to adequately
maintain their property, give us a call. Our fees are often contingent on our
success at getting your compensation.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal
advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual
situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and
electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Please do not send any confidential or time-sensitive information to us until such time as an
attorney-client relationship has been established.