5 Factors that Can Hurt Your Premises Liability Claim
Property owners are not necessarily responsible for every accident that happens on their property, especially when some of these 5 factors apply.
Property owners have a responsibility to maintain their properties in a reasonably safe condition and warn guests of any hazardous conditions that may exist. When this responsibility is not met, accidents and injuries may result. Depending on the circumstances of the accident and the severity of the injury, you may want to bring a personal injury claim against the property owner. While the best way to determine if you have a case is to contact an experienced premises accident attorney, you may want to be aware of these 5 factors that can hurt your claim before you call for your free legal consultation.
First and foremost, the presence of any warning signs advising of the dangerous condition will seriously hurt your claim. In most situations, property owners have fulfilled their responsibility simply by placing signage. For example, a slip and fall claim would probably not be valid if the fall occurred right next to a “wet floor” sign, unless there was some other extenuating circumstance, such as the sign was illegible or turned the wrong way.
If you were engaged in any distracting activity at the time of the accident, such as checking your phone or sending a text, this could also hurt your claim. Your attorney would have to prove that you would have had the accident even if you were not distracted, and that any reasonable person could have failed to notice the danger and had a similar accident.
If you already have an injury that becomes aggravated by a premise accident, you may have more trouble proving that the property owner should cover your medical bills. For example, in one recent case involving a fall from a stopped Splash Mountain car, the court found that although Disney was negligent in causing the accident, they were not liable for the victim’s medical costs because the fall was not a “substantial cause” of his injuries, but only an aggravating factor for a previous injury.
Failure to Exercise Reasonable Care
If you have an accident due to a failure to exercise reasonable care around an open and obvious danger, you will probably not be able to bring a successful personal injury claim. There are many examples in case law of claims getting struck down because the victim should have known better, including a man falling down a defect-free flight of stairs in broad daylight, a man who was injured when a ditch collapsed as he stepped over it, and a man who was trapped between a train and a building.
Brand New Dangerous Conditions
In order to prove that a property owner should be liable for an injury caused by a dangerous condition, you have to prove that they either knew about the condition or should have known about it and yet did nothing to correct the situation. This means that accidents caused by brand new hazards can be difficult to prove liability for. For instance, if, all within minutes, a pipe suddenly springs a leak, creates a slippery spot, and you slip and fall, the property owner may not have had any reasonable opportunity to prevent the accident. Just because one of these factors is at play in your case does not necessarily mean you should give up on securing compensation! Contac the Law Office of Fernando D. Vargas now to schedule a free consultation and get his expert opinion on your premise accident claim.