Owning a business or property has countless advantages. At the same time, owners or managers of properties have a legal obligation to provide safe premises for all residents, patrons, and guests. To this end, property owners must take certain steps to ensure safety for all individuals legally present on the grounds.
If you suffered injuries due to a hazard on someone else’s property, you might be entitled to damages. A personal injury attorney from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers could help you investigate the causes of your accident and demonstrate that the property owner owed you a duty of care. If the landowner was negligent, an Opelousas premises liability lawyer could help you file a claim for damages.
Premises Liability Cases in Opelousas
Typically, premises liability cases involve personal injury. Individuals who experience a fall at a business or domicile, for example, may suffer fractures, head trauma, or severe back injuries. The medical expenses incurred as a result of the fall constitute economic damages.
Property damage can also apply to premises liability incidents. For example, when landlords fail to protect residents’ safety by taking adequate security measures, they may be liable for damages. Residential management companies might be responsible for financial losses due to theft or vandalism if they failed to install lights or locks.
In Opelousas, the risk of flooding should be a major consideration for all property owners. When property owners fail to manage rainwater, residents and guests may be injured or suffer property loss. In these cases, an Opelousas premises liability attorney might be able to demonstrate the failure of premises management to provide safe conditions.
For a free legal consultation with a premises liabilities lawyer serving Opelousas, call (337) 777-7777
The Statute of Limitations in Opelousas Premises Liability Cases
Complainants in Louisiana civil lawsuits have an added challenge when pursuing financial damages. While most states allow claimants two or more years to file claims, individuals in the Bayou State have a fraction of that time.
Per CC Art. 3492, the statute of limitations in premises liability cases is generally one year from the date of the incident. This period applies to both personal injury and property damage claims.
The short statute of limitations can be a major barrier for potential plaintiffs. For this reason, it is wise for individuals who believe they have a premises liability case to contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Opelousas Premises Liabilities Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Types of Premises Liability Claims
Premises liability claims in Opelousas can take many forms. If you have been injured in any of the following accidents, we can help you explore your legal options:
- Dog bites
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Trampoline accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Negligent security
- Inadequate maintenance
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Stair and ladder accidents
If you were involved in another type of accident on someone else’s property not listed above, you may still have grounds for legal action. We can discuss your case with you during a free consultation.
Fault in Opelousas Premises Liability Claims
If you hope to win your Opelousas premises liability claim, you will need to prove that another party’s negligence caused your injuries. In most premises liability cases, the property owner will be found liable.
Property owners owe their guests and patrons a duty of care. If they breach that duty of care by failing to maintain the safety of their property, they could be held accountable for any injuries victims may sustain.
However, property owners may not be the only party who shares liability for your injuries. Equipment manufacturers, government agencies, municipalities, and other third parties could all have played a part in your premises liability injuries, depending on the details of your case.
The best way to find out who is responsible for causing your injuries is to work with a premises liability attorney who can begin an investigation into your accident.
Comparative Fault in Louisiana
Sometimes, defendants may object to a lawsuit when they believe the plaintiff caused the damages. For example, the defense team may try to shift blame onto a plaintiff who had been drinking before a fall.
The jury may consider other contributing factors, too. In a premises liability case where the plaintiff falls, the jury may consider the victim’s footwear. In an incident involving electric shock, the court may examine the plaintiff’s role in causing the shock. For instance, if the individual was performing unauthorized electrical work, this could impact the jury’s decision.
Louisiana courts use a concept known as comparative fault (CC Art. 2323), meaning the role a plaintiff plays in causing an incident will impact any financial awards. However, a claimant with partial responsibility may still have their case heard.
If the jury decides the defendant shares some of the blame, their total award is reduced by their percentage of fault. An Opelousas premises liability attorney can help you estimate your share of liability.
Property Owner Liability Exclusions
While property owners are generally found liable for the injuries that occur on their property, there are circumstances in which property owners may avoid culpability. The first is if the victim was trespassing or committing a crime at the time of their injury. Property owners only owe a duty of care to individuals they invite onto their property. Trespassers may find it difficult to recover compensation from property owners.
Property owners may also avoid liability by arguing that the hazard in question may be considered open and obvious. If a dangerous situation has or would have been obvious to another reasonable person, the property owner may not be held accountable for the victim’s injuries.
For example, if you were in a restaurant and slipped due to a spilled beverage, but the restaurant had placed a bright yellow “wet floor” sign near the spill, you may not have grounds for a claim against the restaurant or the restaurant owner.
If you have questions or concerns surrounding how property owner exclusions could impact your ability to recover compensation in your premises liability case, we can discuss your concerns further during your free consultation.
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How an Opelousas Premises Liability Attorney Could Help You
After suffering personal injuries or property damage in a premises liability incident, it is important to protect your interests. In many cases, hiring a legal team may be enough to reach an out-of-court settlement with the responsible party and their insurance company.
In other cases, litigation may be necessary. By working with an Opelousas premises liability lawyer, you could rely on a legal team that is ready to fight on your behalf.
Get Help From a Premises Liability Lawyer in Opelousas Today
The premises liability claims process can be daunting. An Opelousas premises liability lawyer at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help you seek fair compensation for your damages while recovering from your injuries. Schedule your no-cost, risk-free consultation today when you call our office at (337) 777-7777.