Recovering Compensation for Injuries on Property
Many personal injury cases that stem from car accidents are based upon negligence, where one motorist has a duty to drive responsibly so as to not cause an unreasonable risk of harm to others on the road. Premises liability is founded in the same principles, but these cases aren’t as visible as auto collisions. Many people don’t understand how the law works, and aren’t sure if they have a case when they suffer injuries as a result of unsafe conditions that are present at the location. A Biloxi premises liability lawyer can tell you more about the specifics of your matter, but some general information may be useful.
Cause of Action in Premises Liability Cases
Because these cases are commonly based upon negligence, a victim must prove four elements to recover damages:
- Duty: An owner of property has a legal duty to maintain it in a reasonably safe manner.
- Breach: A property owner that fails to maintain the premises in a safe manner breaches the legal duty. The breach is often due to carelessness, failure to inspect, or failure to make repairs to reasonably ascertainable hazards that cause risk of injury.
- Causation: If the dangerous condition on the premises caused the victim’s injuries, there is a causal connection.
- Damages: A victim experiences losses due to his or her injuries.
Victim’s Presence on the Premises
In Mississippi, the general duty of a property owner in premises liability cases depends on the status of the victim: Invitee, Licensee, or Trespasser. A property owner clearly has a duty to properly maintain the premises for those legally present because they were invited. When a licensee comes onto the property for his or her own convenience or benefit – with the implied consent of the owner – the duty to maintain is the same.
When a victim is present on the premises as a trespasser, with no legal right to be there, that person may not be able to recover compensation. For example, a person who breaks into a closed store is injured by a falling object and suffers injuries. That victim is barred from recovering compensation. The law won’t reward an individual for injuries suffered while committing the offense of trespassing.
A Biloxi Premises Liability Attorney Can Help
Dangerous conditions on property can put anyone at risk of injury, especially where the owner knew or should have known that the hazard could cause harm to those entering the premises. The duty to maintain a safe area is similar to drivers on Mississippi’s roadways: A victim may be able to recover if there is negligence involved with maintenance at an apartment complex, shopping center, casino, gas station, restaurant, theater, or other location where members of the public frequent. If you’ve been injured, talk to a premises liability lawyer about your options to recover compensation for your losses. For more information on these types of cases, please contact the Biloxi Law Offices of Judy Guice. We’re happy to answer your questions or consult with you about your circumstances.