Premises Liability Attorney
When you go to a store, restaurant, park or a friend’s home, you have the right to expect that the property is safe. Property owners have obligations to maintain their buildings and land. This is true for businesses, for government agencies and for private individuals who invite guests over.
If a property owner or renter is negligent or careless about property maintenance and you get hurt, you can file a lawsuit. An experienced Louisiana premises liability lawyer will help you to make a claim for compensation. Broussard & Hart L.L.C. attorneys have three decades of experience representing people injured by slip and falls or other injuries on property. Call today to learn how we can use our legal knowledge to help with your case.
Your Rights After an Injury on Property
Injuries on properties happen for many different reasons. Common causes of injury include:
- Slip and Falls
- Food Poisoning
- Assault or Violence
- Falling Objects
Property owners and renters are not responsible every time something goes wrong on their land. However, they are responsible if their negligence or carelessness causes an injury. For example, a store that lacks reasonable security could be responsible if a customer is attacked in the parking lot.
If you or a loved one got hurt on someone else’s property, you need to prove that the property owner is responsible in order to recover compensation. Premises liability laws establish a property owner’s responsibility to you. Broussard & Hart L.L.C. will evaluate your case at a free consultation to help you to decide if you may be able to pursue a claim for damages under these laws.
When a property is rented, you may also need to decide whether to sue the landlord or the tenant. Choosing who to pursue legal action against depends upon where on the property the injury happened, the terms of the lease, and other relevant factors. An attorney can help you to identify all possible defendants who may owe you compensation for your injuries.
Getting Legal Help After an Injury on Property
Victims of injuries can recover compensation for:
- Medical Expenses
- Time Off Work and Reduced Earning Potential
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Loss of Companionship and Other Damages Due to Wrongful Death
If the injury happened at a friend’s home, you may be worried about taking legal action. Don’t be. Most homeowners and renters are covered by rental insurance policies and it is the insurer’s responsibility to pay for your losses and damages. Slip and falls and other accidents on property are among the leading causes of spinal cord damage, brain injuries and fatalities. The damage from an injury on property can change your life and cause significant financial hardship. You deserve to try to recover compensation for your losses.
Many premises liability cases resolve outside of court through a negotiated settlement. A Louisiana property injury lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Broussard & Hart L.L.C. will also represent you if your case goes to trial. Our attorneys have helped many clients to get the compensation they deserve. Call today to learn more about how we can help you in your property injury case.
What are the different classifications of property entrants?
If you are injured while on the property of another person or business you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries through a premises liability lawsuit. Whether or not the property owner (or occupier in some cases) is liable for your injuries will depend on several factors, including which entrant classification you fall into. To be certain which category you fall into you should consult with an experienced Lake Charles premises liability attorney; however, a basic understanding of the different classifications of property entrants may be beneficial as well.
Entrants onto the property of another fall into one of three categories – invitee, licensee, or trespasser. The duty of care a property owner or occupier has to you while you are on the property will depend on your classification with the greatest duty of care owed to invitees and the lowest duty of care owed to trespassers.
An invitee is someone who is on the property legally, by invitation of the owner, and from whom the owner stands to gain something, usually a monetary reward. Examples of an invitee include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A diner at a restaurant
- A guest at a hotel
- A shopper at a retail store
As you can see, an owner/occupier will gain something from the presence of the diner, guest and shopper. Each of these entrants are there to purchase something or spend money. A property owner/occupier encourages invitees to enter onto the property. For this reason, the highest duty of care is owed to an invitee.
A licensee is also on the property legally, by invitation of the owner/occupier. The difference between an invitee and a licensee is that the owner/occupier does not stand to gain anything from the presence of a licensee on the property. Examples of a licensee include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A plumber who is on the property to fix a leak
- A friend who is visiting
- An appraiser who is there to appraise the property for sale
With an licensee, the property owner/occupier allows the entrant to come into the property; however, it is often for mutual gain, not exclusive gain of the property owner. Therefore, a duty of care is owed to the licensee but that duty is slightly less than what is owed to an invitee.
A trespasser is someone who is not legally on the property. Although an owner/occupier is not required to go to great lengths to protect a trespasser on the property, the owner/occupier still owes a slight duty of care to a trespasser. Typically, the duty of care owed to a trespasser only requires an owner/occupier to not intentionally harm the trespasser.
A person is subject to liability for trespass, irrespective of whether he causes harm, if they intentionally:
- Enters the land or causes another to do so
- Remains on the land when asked to leave
- Fails to remove from the land a thing he is under a duty to remove
If you have been injured while you were on the property of another party you may be entitled to compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. Contact the Louisiana premises liability attorneys at Broussard & Hart, LLC by calling 337-439-2450 to schedule your appointment today to discuss your legal options.
Property Owner’s Duty
A property owner has varying degrees of responsibility for the safety of individuals who enter his or her property depending upon the purpose of the visit. There are three categories of visitors that the law recognizes to determine the extent of the property owner’s duty: invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
An invitee is an individual who enters another person’s property for business purposes. In this instance, the property owner has the highest degree of responsibility for the visitor’s well-being. The owner is expected to correct known hazards and to inspect for unknown hazards.
In contrast, a licensee is an individual who enters another person’s property for social purposes. A property owner’s degree of duty is less to such a social guest than in the case of a business visitor and only requires that the property is free of dangerous elements and shows reasonable care and maintenance. There is no duty to look for unknown hazards.
The least degree of duty required of a property owner, known as “zero duty”, occurs when a trespasser enters his or her property. Trespassers are unauthorized visitors and are not subject to any safety consideration by the landowner. Although a property owner cannot purposely cause harm to a trespasser, they have little or no responsibility for the well-being of someone who enters the property without permission. It is important to note that there is a different level of consideration required when the trespassers are children. In this situation, the property owner is indeed responsible for the safety of these unauthorized visitors due to the fact that children often unknowingly cross property boundaries or are curiously exploring an “attractive nuisance” (such as a swimming pool).
If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance, call Broussard & Hart at 337-439-2450 or Toll Free at 866-281-4474 or submit an online form. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.
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Our attorneys will review your case and represent you throughout your property injury claim. Contact Broussard & Hart L.L.C. today for help pursuing a property injury settlement. Your first consultation is free and we won’t charge fees unless money is recovered.
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