After acquiring real property, it may be easy for homeowners or landowners to overlook the duty they owe to other people on their premises. If a property owner fails to make their grounds reasonably safe, and an accident occurs which results in injury, they may be held liable for the resulting damages.
Obtaining the counsel of a Fort Wayne premises liability lawyer may be beneficial to your case if you have suffered an injury due to a negligent landowner. A seasoned civil attorney could review your case and help you put together a strong claim to damages.
What Duty Does a Landowner Owe to Visitors?
The duty of a property owner changes based on how they use their land and the facilities located therein. Regardless, any person invited or encouraged onto the property is owed a basic duty of care. Under Indiana Code §34-31-11-1, visitors or patrons are owed reasonably safe premises, which does not lead to foreseeable and preventable injury.
Slip and fall incidents are common accidents leading to premises liability claims. Missing railing, wet and slippery surfaces, uneven flooring, and poor carpeting are common conditions that can lead to foreseeable and preventable injuries. Homeowners with unsecured swimming pools are also considered negligent if a child wanders into the water and drowns.
Furthermore, businesses such as stores, restaurants, and hotels can be held liable for crimes that occur on their property as well. Foreseeable criminal activity combined with a lack of security or preventative measures is considered a failure to protect their patrons and, therefore, negligent. An experienced Fort Wayne attorney could help ascertain when the proper conditions are present for a potentially successful premises liability claim.
Proving Property Owner Liability
In order to recover damages a plaintiff must prove that the landowner is negligent. Furthermore, it must be shown that there was a dangerous condition present on the property. The landowner must have either known or had reason to know of the dangerous condition, and they must have had a reasonable amount of time to fix the condition. For instance, someone spilling oil directly in front of another patron probably would not result in the property owner being held liable.
Furthermore, suppose the property owner is aware of a dangerous condition but cannot sufficiently repair it prior to a patron or visitor entering the premises. In that case, they may also warn of the danger present. For example, a store owner placing wet floor signs is considered a sufficient warning to patrons. If someone walks past a conspicuously placed yellow wet floor sign and slips, they choose to assume the risk or were negligent by ignoring the sign.
Recoverable Damages in Dangerous Property Claims
Parties who sustain injury and can prove that the landowner was both negligent and the cause of the injury may seek financial compensation for the resulting harm. A dangerous property attorney in Fort Wayne could help injured parties recover damages for their medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of income both present and future.
Call a Fort Wayne Premises Liability Attorney Today
If you or a loved one suffered an injury on someone else’s property due to their negligence, you may be eligible for financial compensation. A Fort Wayne premises liability lawyer could provide essential guidance and help you build a strong claim for compensation. Call our office today to discuss your claim.