Proving Negligence in a Premises Liability Case
The nation’s #1 personal injury lawyers explain how you can prove negligence and win your premises liability case
If you suffered serious injuries at another’s business or property, then you deserve compensation for your pain and expenses. However, to do so, you will need to demonstrate the business or property owner’s responsibility for your injuries. As a result, the nation’s leading personal injury law firm is here to explain what you will need to show and how you can show it. If you are ready to win big, then follow these tips for proving negligence in a premises liability case. When you’re ready to find out how much compensation you could get, discuss your case with an award-winning premises liability lawyer from Munley Law. Call, text, message, or chat us. Today and every day, the consultation is always free.
Tips for proving negligence in your premises liability accident case
Tip #1 – Understand what a premises liability case is
In order to negotiate a favorable settlement or win at trial, you must first understand the definition of a premises liability case. Premises liability cases are a type of personal injury case. In essence, premises liability plaintiffs (injury victims) must show that a property-owner negligently used, stored, treated, or maintained his or her property. In addition, the plaintiff must show that that negligence caused the alleged injuries.
For example, you may recognize these common categories of premises liabilities cases:
- Slip and fall
- Dog bites
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Water leaks and flooding
- Inadequate building security
- Improper snow and ice removal
- Defective property conditions
- Burns and chemical injuries
- Lack of warning signs
Tip #2 – Know the 4 elements for proving negligence in a premises liability case
Secondly, you should know the required elements for proving negligence. In premises liability cases, there are generally 4. Some are more complicated and likely to cause disputes than others.
In the law, the word “duty” has a very specific and very special meaning. A “duty” refers to the kind of care that a land or property owner must show to someone who enters onto the property in order to keep that person safe. In premises liability cases, the duty that the defendant owes depends in large part on why the plaintiff was on the property at the time of the injury. In general, Pennsylvania law recognizes 3 categories of visitors: trespassers, licensees, and invitees.
- Trespasser – A trespasser lacks any permission to be on the property. Landowners’ duty for trespassers is minimal.
- Licensee – Licensees have permission to be on the property for a personal or social activity. For example, a dinner party. Landowners must warn licensees about known, non-obvious dangers.
- Invitee – Invitees are people with permission to be on the property for business reasons. For example, a customer at a store. Invitees get the highest level of care. Landowners must regularly inspect their premises and warn against reasonably knowable dangers. Alternatively, they can simply correct those dangers to make them safe.
Secondly, you must establish breach. Legally speaking, a breach is a violation of a duty. Thus, you will need to show not only that the defendant had a duty, but that he or she failed to uphold it.
- 3. Causation
Thirdly, you will have to show that the defendant’s breach is what caused your injuries. While this sounds simple, this is frequently a point of contention in all personal injury cases. Proving causation may require the use of expert witnesses or other advanced legal techniques.
Finally, the last element you will need to prove is damages. In other words, you will need to show that you actually suffered harm because of the defendant’s breach.
In premises liability cases (and in all civil cases), plaintiffs must prove each of these elements “by a preponderance.” This means more than 50%.
Tip #3 – Gather the evidence you need to prove the defendant’s negligence
You’ll need a lot of evidence to win at trial or negotiate a favorable settlement. To do so, make sure you save all of your medical records, including medical testing, bills, diagnostic forms, treatment plans, and discharge papers. In addition, if you had to miss, delay, or adjust your work because of your accident, save all communications and paperwork from your employer. Finally, save all receipts and documentation about any other ways that your life changed because of your accident. For example, if you need to go to physical therapy or modify your home to make it accessible, make sure you have documents discussing these modifications.
Tip #4 – Recruit your premises liability case team, and STAT
Understanding the legal requirements to win your case is only the beginning. You’ll need a team that is ready to win big for you. While every case is different, most winning teams include:
- Experienced lawyers – Remember, at the beginning you won’t know how your case will shake out. As a result, you want lawyers who can win your case in the negotiation room and in the courtroom. To learn more about the major settlements we negotiate and jury verdicts we win, schedule your free consultation today.
- Paralegals – Premises liability law is complex and always changing. Your team should include seasoned paralegals who can parse through all of the nuances and help organize your case.
- Expert witnesses and consultants – What kind of experts you should hire will depend on the unique issues in your case. An experienced premises liability attorney will be in the best position to know who your case needs.
Remember, putting together a team and building a winning case takes expertise and experience. At Munley Law, we have both. See the difference a Munley Law premises liability lawyer in your corner makes. You have nothing to lose. The consultation is always free and if you don’t get paid, neither we will. Call us today.
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