If you get into an accident while you are at home, your homeowner’s policy or your landlord’s policy probably will cover your injury-related expenses. However, if you become injured on someone else’s property, the situation becomes more complicated.
If negligence caused the property condition that led to your injury, you might be able to hold the landowner liable in civil court with the help of a local personal injury attorney. However, your reason for being on the property may impact the owner’s degree of responsibility for your injuries. Let a Houma and Terrebonne Parish premises liability lawyer with Damon J. Baldone & Associates review your case and explain your rights and legal options.
Types of Premises Liability Accidents
A party that owns or occupies property is responsible for keeping visitors safe. This area of law is called premises liability.
Virtually any kind of property accident that causes a visitor to suffer undue injuries could fall under the umbrella of premises liability law, including:
- Drownings and near-drownings
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Falling tree limbs, store inventory, or debris
- Animal attacks
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Fires, explosions, and chemical releases
- Industrial accidents
If negligence caused a property accident that led to injury, the injured person could sue the party who owned or controlled access to the premises.
Liability Depends on the Reason for the Plaintiff’s Visit
The proof that must be presented in a Houma and Terrebonne Parish premises liability claim depends on why the injured person entered the property in the first place. A party operating a business or public space has the greatest responsibility under the law to ensure that customers and other business invitees with an implied invitation are safe. They must warn these visitors of known dangers on the premises that cannot be remedied in a timely manner and perform regular property inspections to discover unknown hazards.
Otherwise, guests who are considered licensees may enter a premises for their own benefits. For them, property owners must only warn them of known hazards and are not required to post warnings of open and obvious hazards. A guest who sustains an injury due to an open and obvious may not be able to hold the landowner liable for their own failure to apply a certain degree of reasonability.
Property owners and operators do not owe any protections to someone who enters their land without permission, and an injured trespasser has no basis for a claim under premises liability law. However, there is an exception for children who enter a property because it contains a feature that could be enticing to a child who does not know better. An attorney in Houma and Terrebonne Parish could evaluate a premises liability case to determine whether a property owner could be held liable.
Do Not Delay in Filing a Premises Liability Claim
Even when it is clear that a property owner’s lack of care led to an accident, an injured person could lose their chance to pursue compensation if they do not act quickly. Louisiana Civil Code §3492 gives an injured person only one year to file a lawsuit claiming damages for negligence. A potential plaintiff who misses this statutory deadline will likely see their case dismissed by the court.
When an accident occurs on government property, the injured person must file a notice of their intent to sue prior to filing a lawsuit. The time limits vary, but some municipalities require a notice within 60 days of the incident. A property accident attorney in the parish seat of Terrebonne would be aware of the various time restrictions and could ensure that documents get filed on time.
Trust a Houma and Terrebonne Parish Attorney to Handle Your Premises Liability Claim
If you suffered an injury while away from home, you might already be fielding calls from the property owner’s insurance company. They could offer you a quick settlement hoping that you will let the matter go. Usually, the offer is less than you are legally entitled to receive.
The wisest response is to refer the caller to your attorney. A Houma and Terrebonne Parish premises liability lawyer understands the strength and weaknesses of your claim and can negotiate accordingly to get you an appropriate settlement. Call today.