In many situations, owners and managers of property open to the public can be held financially liable for any injury to a visitor stemming from an unreasonably dangerous condition on the property in question. However, just because an accident occurs on private property does not mean the landowner will be automatically liable, nor is it a simple matter to achieve fair financial recovery in a case like this even if a property owner’s negligence is seemingly obvious.
Working with a Gary premises liability lawyer could give you the best chances of a positive case result. With a knowledgeable personal injury attorney’s support, you could more completely understand how state law governs cases of this nature, more efficiently collect evidence of fault for your injuries, and more proactively seek the restitution you deserve through settlement negotiations or—if necessary—a lawsuit in civil court.
How Long You Have to File a Premises Liability Lawsuit in Indiana
From the day your injury accident happens, the clock begins ticking on your legal right to file a civil lawsuit. I.C. §34-11-2-4 sets a two-year statutory filing deadline on just about every form of personal injury litigation, including cases governed by premises liability law.
Failure to file a claim within this time limit will almost always lead to that case being time-barred and the plaintiff being denied any form of civil restitution for those particular injuries.
The sooner you reach out to our team, the sooner we can begin working to protect your rights.
Insurance Companies and Premises Liability Claims
Insurance companies will use many tactics to try to get you to agree to a quick settlement that will leave you without enough money to make a full recovery. They will count on the fact that you are in pain, possibly missing work, and you just want to put the accident behind you.
This is why it is important to seek legal representation when you are filing a premises liability claim. We stand up to the bullies at the insurance companies, and they know we aren’t afraid to fight.
Once you have a premises liability attorney in Gary, IN, representing you, advise the insurance company that you will have your lawyer communicate with them directly.
What to Keep in Mind When Talking to Insurance Agents
The most important thing to remember when the at-fault insurance company’s representatives want to talk to you is that you should let your premises liability attorneys do the talking. However, if you do end up speaking to a claims adjuster, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- DO NOT sign a release of medical information.
- DO NOT agree to make any recorded statements.
- DO NOT say you are “fine” or make any statements about your health.
- DO NOT apologize or admit to any degree of fault.
The insurance claims agent may be friendly, and they may seem concerned about your health. The truth is, they are only interested in getting evidence they can use against you to deny or devalue your settlement.
What Duties Do Property Owners Owe to Visitors?
Like most other types of personal injury litigation, civil claims pursued under premises liability law are generally based on the legal principle of negligence. In other words, the argument that the defendant property owner’s breach of a duty owed to the plaintiff was the direct and primary cause of that plaintiff’s injuries. As a Gary personal injury attorney with experience in property liability claims could explain, the “duty” that a landowner owes to a particular visitor can change significantly depending on why that visitor is on the landowner’s property to begin with.
First and foremost, landowners generally owe no duty whatsoever to people who are trespassing on their land without authorization or permission. There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule, most notably in situations where a property owner deliberately causes injury to a trespasser by knowingly creating a hazardous condition that the trespasser was unlikely to notice themselves.
Conversely, landowners do have a duty to protect “licensees”—people visiting with the landowner’s permission for their own personal benefit—from harm. Specifically, landowners must make licensees aware of all hazards they know about but which the visitor would likely not notice themselves, as well as take prompt action to fix non-obvious hazards once they become aware of them.
Finally, property owners owe the most substantial duty to “invitees” who are visiting with the owner’s express invitation or implicit permission in order to directly benefit the owner. In addition to warning invitees of known hazards, property owners also must regularly inspect their property to discover unknown hazards and then take corrective action against any hazards they discover.
Indiana Premises Liability Lawyer FAQS
The legal team at Yosha Law is happy to answer any questions you have regarding your potential claim. Here are some answers to some of the most common questions our Gary premises liability attorneys are asked.
What is premises liability in Indiana?
To qualify as premises liability, the injury must have happened on someone else’s property as a direct result of their failure to uphold their duty of care toward you according to Indiana law. Whether or not your injury would count as premises liability would depend on your status on the property. This includes being on the property as an invitee, a licensee, or an employee.
What is the difference between premises liability and personal liability?
Premises liability specifically deals with claims that are filed as a result of injury accidents that happen as a result of a property’s managers or owners failing to maintain safe conditions. General liability, however, applies to claims that are filed after an injury accident that has happened on someone’s property, but not as a result of the owner’s actions or inactions.
What are common types of premises liability accidents?
The most common type of injury from a premises liability accident is a slip and fall, followed by dog bites, and workplace accidents. Accidents in hotels and swimming pools also often lead to premises liability claims. Any premises in which you are legally owed a duty of care and end up with an injury due to a failure to uphold that duty, the accident would fall under this umbrella.
Overcoming Obstacles to Comprehensive Recovery
Through a successful premises liability claim and with help from a knowledgeable premises liability attorney, an injured Gary resident could potentially recover compensation not only for economic losses like personal property damage and medical bills, but also various non-economic damages such as physical pain, lost enjoyment of life, and lingering effects of permanent disfigurement or disability.
Unfortunately, there are numerous legal roadblocks to maximizing the value of a claim that unprepared plaintiffs may have trouble overcoming, especially without support from seasoned legal counsel.
For example, Indiana Code §34-51-2-6 prohibits any financial recovery whatsoever by a plaintiff who is more to blame for causing their own injuries than all named defendants in their claim combined. A plaintiff who bears any lesser percentage of fault may be subject to a proportional reduction in the value of their final damage award.
Get in Touch with a Gary Premises Liability Attorney Today
Premises liability claims work like other personal injury cases to some extent, but they are very different in several other key ways. Making the most of a lawsuit or settlement demand of this nature often requires guidance from a legal professional familiar with property liability law through extensive practical experience.
After getting hurt on property owned and/or operated by someone else, contacting a Gary premises liability lawyer should be your top priority. We have a proven track record of getting results for the victims of injury accidents. Schedule a consultation by calling today.