When visiting a store, restaurant, or any other establishment, you don’t usually expect to get injured. Unfortunately, serious accidents and injuries can occur if property owners do not uphold their legal duty of care toward their customers. If you are injured due to dangerous property conditions, you can file a premises liability claim against the business to seek monetary compensation for your damages. If you have suffered an injury due to the negligence of a business, contact a dedicated Middlesex County Slip and Fall Accident Attorney who can help you fight for the rightful compensation you deserve.
Can I file a premises liability lawsuit against a business if I was injured on their property?
Generally, when you are injured on someone else’s property, you are entitled to pursue legal action to seek monetary compensation for your losses. Homeowners and business owners owe everyone on their premises a standard duty of care. Essentially, they must maintain a safe environment for guests to prevent accidents and injuries. If they fail to remedy unsafe property conditions, they can be held liable for any damages caused by their negligence. It is critical to note that business owners are held to a higher standard of care than homeowners. Nevertheless, if you were injured while on a business’s property due to unsafe premises conditions, you must fulfill the burden of proof. To satisfy the burden of proof, you will have to demonstrate the following:
- The business owed you a legal duty of care.
- The business breached its standard duty of care.
- The business owner either knew about the dangerous property conditions or reasonably should have known about the unsafe conditions.
- The business owner failed to warn others of the unsafe property conditions and did not remedy the danger in a reasonable time frame.
- You suffered injuries that were directly caused by the business’s negligence.
Does it matter why I was on the property?
When filing a premises liability claim, it is vital to understand that the law will consider why you were on the property when determining a business liability for your injuries. Essentially, the law breaks individuals on a property down into three different categories:
- Invitee: An invitee is an individual that comes onto the property with an implied invitation from the property owner. Essentially, the property owner has expressed that they can enter the premises to conduct a business transaction.
- Licensee: A licensee is an individual that comes onto the property without an implied invitation from the property owner. However, they have permission to enter the premises for their benefit.
- Trespasser: A trespasser does not have permission from the property owner to enter the premises. Essentially, they are an unwanted visitor.
Property owners owe the highest level of care toward invitees and licensees. They do not owe an individual considered a trespasser a standard duty of care. Therefore, if you are a trespasser, you cannot sue a business for negligence if you are injured on their property. However, if a property owner intentionally harms a trespasser, they can be liable for damages.
If you have been injured due to a business’s negligence, contact a skilled attorney from Stathis & Leonardis today. Our firm is committed to helping our clients hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence.