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 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.
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 according to state law.
Property damage can also apply to premises liability incidents. For example, when landlords fail to protect the safety of residents 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 loss of property. In these cases, an Opelousas premises liability attorney might be able to demonstrate the failure of premises management to provide safe conditions.
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 Louisiana Civil Code Article 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.
Sometimes, defendants may object to a lawsuit when they believe the plaintiff, in fact, caused the damages. For example, the defense team and the jury try to shift blame onto a plaintiff who had been drinking at the time of 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 role of the plaintiff in causing the shock. If the individual was performing unauthorized electrical work, for instance, this could impact the jury’s decision.
Louisiana courts use a concept known as comparative fault, 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, the total damages award is reduced by their percentage of fault. An Opelousas premises liability attorney may be able to estimate the plaintiff’s share of liability.
After suffering personal injuries or property damage in a premises liability incident, it is important to make sure your interests are well represented. In many cases, hiring a strong legal team may be enough to reach a possible out-of-court settlement with the responsible party and their insurance company.
In other cases, litigation may be necessary. By contacting an Opelousas premises liability lawyer, you could rely on a legal team that is ready to fight on your behalf. Call today for a consultation.