One of the most important questions that must be answered when a person suffers a serious injury on the property of another is who is legally responsible for the injury. Premises liability law can help the victim of an accident determine whether a property owner should be held liable for their injuries. If you or a family member was injured due to the negligence of a property owner, consult with an experienced Fayetteville premises liability lawyer today. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, can help the victim of a serious accident hold a negligent property owner accountable for their actions. Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak is here to explain who can be held liable for an accident under premises liability laws in Arkansas.
An Overview of Arkansas Premises Liability Laws
Premises liability is a form of personal injury law in Arkansas that deals with accidents that occur on property owned by an individual or a legal entity. Generally, property owners have a duty of care to avoid injuring individuals present on their property. However, this duty of care can vary depending on the status of the person on the property.
When discussing premises liability law, there are three categories of people that can alter a property owner’s duty of care: licensees, invitees, and trespassers. Understanding your status when you were injured on a property can help if you wish to file an injury lawsuit against a negligent property owner.
Duties Toward a Licensee
A licensee is a person that enters the land of a property owner with their specific or implied consent and usually with no intention of bestowing a benefit or service to the property owner. For example, a licensee is usually a friend of the property owner invited over for a social event.
A property owner does not owe a licensee a duty of care until they are aware or should know of the licensee’s presence on the property. However, once a property owner is aware of a licensee, they must refrain from acting wantonly negligent regarding the safety of the licensee.
Additionally, the property owner has a duty to warn a licensee of any property defects that would not be obvious to a licensee. For example, if a property owner is aware that a licensee may use an unstable handrail, they should warn them before they possibly suffer a slip and fall injury.
An invitee is an individual that enters the land of a property owner for the purpose of bestowing some mutual benefit upon them. For example, a customer at a shopping mall will be considered an invitee. A property owner has a duty to exercise reasonable care in handling any property defects that could cause an injury to an invitee.
However, if an invitee is aware of a dangerous condition on the landowner’s property or the dangerous condition is obvious, the landowner does not have a duty of care towards the invitee. For example, if an invitee is aware that there is a large amount of ice or snow in the landowner’s parking lot, they cannot claim they were caught off guard if they suffer a slip and fall accident.
A trespasser is an individual present on a landowner’s property without their express or implied consent. Even though a trespasser enters land without permission, a landowner still has a duty of care towards the trespasser. Specifically, the landowner must refrain from acting with gross negligence or avoid displaying wanton conduct. For example, setting traps on a property for trespassers could make a property owner liable for the trespasser’s injuries.
Is a Property Owner Always Liable for Premises Liability Injuries in Arkansas?
When determining liability in a premises liability claim in Arkansas, it is also important to understand who owns the property or is responsible for maintaining the property. In some cases, the party that owns the property may not be liable for an accident because the party that is renting the land agreed to maintain it. Alternatively, the owner of the property and the person or entity that is leasing the property could both be held liable for their actions.
Understanding who owns the property can help a claimant when determining who is the appropriate party to file a lawsuit against. Ken Kieklak is ready to help you with the next steps of a premises liability claim.
Work with an Experienced Fayetteville Premises Liability Attorney for Your Arkansas Injury
If you or a family member was injured in a serious accident on the property of another, you should contact an experienced Arkansas personal injury attorney today. With over 20 years of experience litigating a variety of legal claims, Ken Kieklak is prepared to use his legal knowledge to fight for you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438, or contact us online.