Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Have You Been Injured on Another Person’s Premises?
Seek Free Legal Advice From a Personal Injury Attorney
A person can be injured virtually anywhere, whether it is at their apartment, a friend’s house, a hospital, a government building, or elsewhere. When an injury comes as a result of negligence by the property owner, the owner must be held responsible according to premises liability laws. Though these laws differ between states, premises liability lawyers can help you determine the owner’s liability and help you to seek compensation. These types of cases are particularly alarming when the owner is found to have known about the danger and failed to fix it; if this resulted in an injury, you need an attorney. Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability accidents, and they can result in serious injuries. Premises accidents can occur on any premises a person is visiting or living in that they do not own, where someone else is responsible for the upkeep or safety on a property. Any place of business or even home is subject to rules and regulations regarding its upkeep and the safety standards the property must meet. Public places and government properties also have building codes that must be followed, otherwise that entity could be held liable for any resulting damages to a visitor. Essentially, if something on someone’s premises could be potentially dangerous to others, the person responsible for that premises must rectify it immediately or provide an adequate warning for any visitor who may interact with it. If the person responsible fails to do so, they could be sued for any damages incurred as a result.
What are the Statistics on Premises Accidents?
Many of the most common premises liability injuries include slip, trip, or falls, head injuries, brain injuries, and broken bones; however, sometimes these accidents may even result in fatalities. Common premises liability accidents include structural design flaws, elevator accidents, negligent security, highway defects, animal attacks, window guard injuries, escalator accidents, slip, trip, and/or fall accidents, property defects or unsafe buildings, and environmental dangers. Let’s go over some important premises liability statistics from the CDC:
- On average, 17,000 people die each year as a result of slip, trip, and fall injuries, likely because falls often lead to brain injuries.
- Slip, trip, and fall injuries make up about 15% of job-related injuries, and 12%-15% of workers’ compensation expenses.
- In the United States, accidental falls account for 19,565 deaths yearly.
- Nursing home residents account for 20% of all deaths resulting from falls in people 65 years or older.
- It’s estimated that 20%-30% of accidents on another person’s premises may lead to injuries. However, it’s safe to assume this percentage might be higher since many people who are hurt fail to report the accident or even seek medical treatment.
- 1 in 10 lawsuits are related to premises liability accidents.
- Just over half of all falls occur in the retail industry, but the majority of deaths due to premises liability accidents occur in the home.
- Staircases, steps, ramps, escalators, and moving sidewalks are some of the most common places where injuries occur.
Who is Responsible for a Premises Liability Accident?
The litigation process for a premises liability accident is generally straightforward, but there could be multiple parties involved. Ultimately, the person responsible for allowing unsafe or defective conditions to persist on their premises is liable for damages, but when multiple parties share responsibility, this can be tricky. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, there are several parties who may be involved in your particular case. These may include:
- Property owner/landlord. Regardless of whether you work for the owner of a property or a landlord, or if you are a non-employee injured in an accident on the premises, it is the responsibility of the property owner/landlord to ensure their property is following safety guidelines and addressing potential dangers immediately through repair and adequate warning to their visitors and residents. Failing to do so could make them liable for any damages which occur as a result of an accident that could have been avoided with proper attention to risk.
- Property manager. If a property manager fails to repair a potential danger on the property they are responsible for, and an accident occurs resulting in a resident/visitor injury, they may be held liable for resulting damages.
- Employer. Employers are required to ensure safe working conditions and protocols for their employees. This includes adequate personal protective equipment as well as ensuring a reasonable degree of safeguards to ensure an employee is not injured by an accident on the job that could have been avoided. If an employer fails to do so, through intentional neglect or otherwise, they can be held liable for any resulting harm to their employees.
- Another tenant. Another tenant of the premises may be liable, especially if the accident occurred in a shared or common space.
- Maintenance provider. If a provider hired to perform maintenance on the element of a premises in question fails to properly repair the element inhibiting safety due to negligence or intention, they could be held partially or fully liable.
- Government entity. Government fault may exist when the premises on which the accident occurs belongs to a government entity, and even occasionally when the accident occurs on a public, government-owned and managed road. That government entity has a responsibility to ensure that conditions are safe, and they could be help liable if unsafe conditions cause death or injury.
- Private organization. When a private organization or commercial facility fails to attend to or provide proper maintenance to repair a dangerous condition on their premises, they can be held liable for any damages which occur as the result of an accident.
Do You Have a Claim for an Injury Sustained on Another Person’s Premises?
The CDC estimates that 20%-30% of people who experience a slip and fall will sustain moderate to severe injuries, which could range from minor bruising to head injuries. Injuries suffered in a slip, trip, or fall can impact a person’s mobility and make independent living difficult. Additionally, slip and fall accidents are thought to be the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries in victims, accounting for nearly half of the deaths due to falls in older citizens. Depending on the nature of you or your family member’s injuries, your personal injury lawyer may identify possible claims for:
- Medical expenses. Injuries resulting from a premises liability accident may include: incapacitation; broken bones and/or fractures; head, neck, or back trauma; spinal cord injury; brain injury; long-term medical complications; internal bleeding; paralysis; and, in the worst case scenario, death.
- Lost wages (or impairment of earning capacity) as a result of hospital stay-time, or, for the loved one of a premises accident victim, the necessity to temporarily or permanently extricate themselves from work in order to provide care. Workers’ compensation may also be claimed in these cases if the accident took place on company property.
- Lifecare expenses, such as life support or ongoing medical expenses for chronic injuries.
- Vocational rehabilitation.
- Pain and suffering, for both emotional and physical distress.
- Wrongful death.
- Funeral expenses.
If you were injured on another person’s premises or if a loved one was killed by a property owner’s negligence, you need a personal injury attorney that understands the emotional and physical toll these accidents can take. An experienced attorney will be aggressive in seeking the compensation that you deserve.