Anytime a person visits another person’s property, there is a chance that they could become injured. Depending upon the circumstances that led to the injury and the person’s reasons for visiting, the landowner may be found legally liable for providing compensation.
If you were injured on someone else’s property due to negligence or ill intent by the owner, a Marion County premises liability lawyer may be able to help. Work with a capable personal injury lawyer that can attempt to help you establish liability, and recover damages for your injuries.
What is Premises Liability?
A premises liability case is any allegation of personal injury that resulted from a defect or hazard on another person’s property. If a customer in a grocery store slips and falls on spilled milk in the aisle, for example, they may be able to sue the grocery store for their damages and a Marion County premises liability lawyer may be able to help.
Other examples of potential premises liability claims include:
- Poor security leading to a visitor being assaulted
- Poorly maintained elevators and escalators that injure a rider
- Open construction or renovation sites that create hazards
- Defective stairs or doors that injure the visitor upon use
In short, any injury due to the land or property itself containing a hazard can be brought to civil court using premises liability theory. The extent to which the landowner is responsible for the injury depends on a number of factors.
Determining Fault in a Premises Liability Case
Marion County law defines a trio of categories into which a visitor to a property may be classified. Each of these categories is provided with differing levels of protection under the law and require different evidence to prove that the landowner was negligent.
A trespasser is any person who enters onto private property without the landowner’s permission. Not only is this act illegal under criminal laws, but trespassers have almost no civil protections against injury. Landowners only need to refrain from intentionally harming trespassers.
However, the analysis changes somewhat if the trespasser is a child. Under these circumstances, the owner needs to take appropriate steps to protect them from attractive nuisances such as playground equipment or trampolines.
Any person who is expressly invited onto private property that is not generally open to the public is a licensee. This is because they are given a license to be on the land for a specific, non-economic purpose. Property owners must refrain from intentionally harming a licensee, but must also not place them under any increased level of harm.
Invitees are people who enter onto private land that is held open to the general public. Landowners here have an affirmative duty to warn visitors of hazards and to take reasonable steps to prevent injury. The issue of whether the steps taken were reasonable is the central theme of many lawsuits alleging premises liability injury.
Working With a Marion County Premises Liability Attorney
People may assume if they are injured on another’s land that they will have an open and shut case against the landowner. However, premises liability law is not that simple. In most cases, the court will consider both the conduct of the landowner and the visitor’s reasons for being on the land before making a conclusion on liability.
Marion County premises liability attorneys can help those injured on another’s property better understand their legal rights and pursue negligent landowners for compensation, when necessary.
Indiana law allows plaintiffs alleging personal injury only two years from the date of the accident to file a claim, so time may be of the essence in your case. Contact a Marion County premises liability lawyer today.