Premises liability claims are often filed as a result of an injury that is sustained due to a property owner’s carelessness or negligence. These types of cases can be initiated in response to a slip and fall, an animal attack, a dangerous construction site, a fire, a swimming pool accident, inadequate security, and more. If you believe you have a premises liability claim, it’s essential to contact a lawyer right away.
Why File a Premises Liability Claim?
If you’ve been injured and it’s someone else’s fault, you should consider filing a premises liability claim. If you have substantial medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from your injuries, filing a premises liability claim allows you to collect that money from the responsible party.
Proving Premises Liability
Premises liability law states that property owners must keep visitors reasonably safe from harm. If they are lax in preserving property safety, they could be held responsible for your injuries and any related expenses. In order to recover this compensation, you must prove the following:
- The defendant owned, leased, or occupied the property;
- The defendant was negligent regarding the use of the property;
- You were injured; and
- The defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in your injuries
What does negligence mean in this context?
In premises liability cases, negligence means that the defendant failed to maintain a safe environment on their property. There could be improperly stored hazardous materials on the property, or there might be broken steps or a dangerous sidewalk that others weren’t warned of.
Comparative Negligence in Premises Liability Cases
In Mississippi, you can recover compensation in a lawsuit you file even if you’re partially responsible for your injuries. This rule is known as comparative negligence. Regardless of how dangerous the defendant’s property was or how negligent they were, if you were partially responsible, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage you are deemed responsible.
For example, you slip and fall on someone else’s property because of dangerous conditions. You were on the phone while you got injured, which contributed to you not noticing the danger. You are awarded $100,000 in your premises liability claim. The court determines that you were 30 percent responsible for your injuries, and the defendant was 70 percent responsible. Because of comparative negligence, you will receive $70,000.
Standard of Care
In a Mississippi premises liability claim, the duty of care varies depending on whether the injured party was invited onto your property, licensed to be on your property, or trespassing.
An invitee is a visitor who has an express or implied invitation to be on the defendant’s property. This could include hotel guests, customers at a business, or friends visiting someone’s house. Invitees are owed the highest standard of care. Property owners must provide reasonably safe premises, and they must warn invitees about any dangerous conditions that aren’t obvious or in plain view.
A licensee is a social guest who enters the defendant’s property with their implied consent but for their own benefit. This could include a door-to-door salesperson who enters someone’s property to try to sell them something. In this case, property owners are only liable if the licensee’s injuries resulted from the defendant’s wanton or willful behavior.
A trespasser is defined as an individual who enters the defendant’s property for their own purpose without any express or implied invitation. In this case, a defendant would only be liable for a trespasser’s injuries if the defendant’s behavior was willful or wanton.
Contact A Premises Liability Lawyer
If you were injured on someone else’s property and believe you might have a premises liability claim, it’s essential to talk to a Gulfport premises liability lawyer as soon as possible. You must file your claim within a certain amount of time, so it’s important not to miss this deadline. Each moment counts, and the longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to file a successful claim.