Whether you are shopping at the mall or swimming in the community pool, you may expect the property owner to maintain safe conditions. This might not always be the case. Each year, thousands of people suffer injuries and other damages due to the negligence of property owners.
If you were injured in an accident on someone else’s property, a Marksville premises liability lawyer could help you explore your options for seeking compensation. You may be eligible for compensation even if you were partially at fault, so consulting an experienced personal injury attorney could help you clarify your legal standing. Learn more during a free consultation today.
Premises Liability Laws in Louisiana and How They can Affect Your Case
In the state of Louisiana, premises liability law is based on negligence and equity. A premise owner, which could be a landlord, a store owner, or even a homeowner, may be liable for damages if a plaintiff can bring evidence proving that:
- An unreasonably dangerous condition was present on the property
- The property owner knew or should have been aware of the condition based on actual or constructive knowledge
- Damages to the plaintiff occurred as a result of that condition
Depending on the facts of the case, the second point could be interpreted in several different ways. If someone slipped and fell at a store, the plaintiff may be required to prove that the area was prone to spills or being slick or that there was someone on duty to survey the area but did not take the appropriate steps to clear the hazard. This may help prove actual or constructive knowledge.
Cases involving toxic exposure on a property, for example, may not require the plaintiff to bring as much evidence. In such cases, Louisiana law sees premise owners as strictly liable for injuries of the plaintiff. A Marksville premises liability lawyer could help a plaintiff understand how premises liability laws may affect their case.
How do You Seek Compensation for Partial Fault?
When pursuing compensation for premises liability in Marksville, potential plaintiffs could discuss comparative negligence laws with a premises liability lawyer in Marksville. According to Louisiana Civil Code (CC) §2323, plaintiffs could be found partially responsible for their own injuries or damages. Even if they are found to be somewhat liable, they may still recover damages from the defendant.
In these cases, the jury will first decide the amount of damages the plaintiff may be entitled to. If it is found that a plaintiff is partially liable for their own damages, the jury will assign a percentage of fault to both the plaintiff and the defendant. The percentage of fault attributed to the plaintiff will be deducted from their total award amount. Even if you are partially at fault in your premises liability accident, we encourage you to review your legal options. Our lawyer serving Marksville may be able to help you recover some of your losses.
Do You Really Need to Hire a Premises Liability Lawyer?
Here are some of the things a lawyer from our firm can help you with:
Burden of Proof
Property owners have a responsibility to keep their homes or businesses safe for visitors. Like other personal injury actions, premises liability cases are often based on the legal concept of negligence. Property owners have a duty of care to maintain the property such that visitors are not exposed to an unreasonable risk of injury or harm.
In order to bring a successful premises liability claim in Avoyelles Parish against a defendant, an injured plaintiff must prove the following conditions:
- They were exposed to an unreasonably dangerous condition on the property.
- The defendant (property owner) had prior knowledge of the condition.
- The defendant failed to remedy the dangerous condition; and
- The dangerous condition on the property caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
In civil cases, such as premises liability, plaintiffs must bring a prima facie case with sufficient evidence to support their position that the dangerous condition on the defendant’s property caused their injuries. This evidence can include photos, video footage, witness testimony, or even a police report about the incident.
Because premises liability is a civil cause of action, plaintiffs are only required to prove their case by the preponderance of the evidence or 51 percent probability that their assertions occurred.
Pure Comparative Fault
In personal injury cases, Louisiana courts use the concept of pure comparative fault. Under the pure comparative fault rule, codified under CC §2323, plaintiffs may recover damages no matter the degree of fault that they contributed to the accident. If they were somewhat responsible for causing their own injuries, the total damages award would be reduced by their percentage of fault.
For example, if a plaintiff was 60 percent at fault for a premises liability accident in Avoyelles Parish, they could still sue the defendant. However, they could only receive 40 percent of the total value of their damages.
Your Case has a Deadline
If you are considering taking legal action in a premises liability case, you may want to seek legal counsel as soon as you can. Louisiana’s prescriptive period for injury cases is generally one year for most civil actions, as outlined in CC §3492. If you are bringing a lawsuit for wrongful death, you also have a year, as explained in CC §2315.2. Your lawyer will need time to build a strong case for compensation on your behalf, and negotiations for a settlement can also take time.
If you miss this important statute of limitations deadline, you risk losing your chance at compensation for your losses. You can ask our lawyer any questions you have about how the laws apply to your case. It is possible that exceptions to the deadline could apply. Your attorney can review those options with you.
Explore Your Options Today with a Marksville Premises Liability Attorney
You may explore your legal options today by contacting a Marksville premises liability lawyer. Our attorneys could help you evaluate the types and extent of your damages, negotiate with the defendant and their attorney, and establish evidence of negligence in pursuit of your fair compensation.