Serving clients in Fayetteville and all of NW Arkansas
Being injured in an accident can be an awful experience. If you were hurt on someone else’s property, though, it might mean you do not have to simply live with the consequences of the injury. People are generally responsible for the condition of their land, stores, houses, or buildings, and must keep them safe for guests.
There are plenty of reasons why someone might be held responsible for injuries caused on their land, even if the injured person was partly responsible for their own injuries. If you have been injured due to someone’s dangerous property or negligence in keeping their store or home safe for guests, you might be entitled to compensation. To discuss your case in the Springdale area, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law at (479) 439- 1843.
Premises Can be Dangerous in Many Ways
In general, people do not have a duty to each other, other than to not intentionally harm them. It is very different when you have a guest on your property or in your house, apartment, store, or building. The general term for any of these lands and properties is “premises.”
Depending on why someone is on an owner’s premises, the owner owes them different levels of care under the law. For guests and invitees – especially someone who is there for a business customer – there is a duty to warn them of dangers and fix those dangers. Even for trespassers, land owners have a duty not to do them intentional harm, which means no setting traps. You also need to be careful of dangerous items that might be attractive to trespassing children.
Signs that say “Caution, wet floor” are a great example of the kinds of things that the owner of a premises must do to warn about dangers. Other signs warning of electrical hazards, flammable materials, or slippery surfaces are also attempts by land owners to prevent injury on their property.
If someone does not warn of or address these kinds of dangers, they may be liable for any injury. People who fail to clean up dangerous spills, clear ice and snow from sidewalks, or leave cables or tree roots that create a slipping or tripping hazard may be liable for injuries these cause.
Other injuries may include hanging, swinging, or falling objects that were not properly stabilized. Things like shelves, wall-mounted TVs, and anything hanging from the ceiling has a potential to fall and land on people is improperly installed.
Stairs are also a common hazard for guests. Handrails can become loose, steps may degrade and fall through, steps could be uneven, the stairs could be dangerously steep, or slipping and tripping hazards may cover the staircase. Depending on where the staircase leads, this could mean guests may fall quite some height or into a dangerous area.
Premises Liability Requires Negligence
In order for any of these situations to result in the premises owner’s liability, the owner must be negligent in their care of the premises. This means not only that it was something within their control, but that they knew (or should have known) about it, and failed to repair it.
Things like spills, snow, and ice are easy targets for homeowners and store owners to notice and make safer. There is really no excuse for not noticing wobbly hand rails, shelves, uneven stairs, or dangerous hanging objects. Since they are in control of these things, and it is their premises, they are responsible for repairing them.
In order to show that the premises owners are responsible for the injuries, thus liable for monetary reimbursement, there are four elements that must be met:
- The premises owner had a duty to the victim to keep the premises safe.
- The owner breached that duty by failing to make necessary warnings or repairs.
- The owner’s breach caused the victim’s injuries.
- The victim has suffered some harm which can be reimbursed in court (called “damages”).
This means that in court, you must prove you were injured because of the owner’s negligence. If it was a freak accident that no one could foresee or the owner had no clue that the danger existed, you might not be able to recover. In most situations, though, courts are willing to accept that a land owner should have been aware of dangers on their premises.
If you take an issue like this to court, you may be able to recover not only for your pain and suffering from you injuries themselves, but also for any lost wages and medical bills that resulted from the premises owner’s negligence.
Springdale Premises Liability Attorney Ken Kieklak Can Help with Your Case
If you have been injured on someone else’s property in Springdale, Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, can help you get reimbursed for your injuries, medical expenses, and lost wages due to injury. If someone else’s negligence in their house, store, building, or on their sidewalk or land has caused you injury, call right away – deadlines might be approaching to file your case. For a consultation, call (479) 251-7767.