Billings Premises Liability Attorney for Accidents on Someone Else's Property
Property owners owe a legal duty to protect their visitors, guests, and customers from unnecessary harm or personal injury. When they fail to meet this duty, they can be held liable for the damages that result. If you or a loved one has been harmed because someone failed in their duty to keep their residential or commercial property safe, you may be able to collect premises liability damages. While the best way to determine whether and to what extent you are entitled to recovery is to discuss your case with a Ragain & Clark Billings premises liability attorney, the following provides useful background information for anyone who has been injured on another person’s property.
Our Billings Premises Liability Law Firm Explains When You May Have a Claim
There are dozens of ways a person can be injured on someone else’s property. In many instances the injuries suffered are the result of a property owner’s failure to do the right thing in keeping their property safe. Here are some common types of claims our Billings premises liability lawyers handle:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Trip and fall accidents
- Inadequate maintenance and/or defective condition of the premises
- Snow and ice accidents
- Failure of adequate security, which results in an assault or other injury
- Flooding or fires
- Swimming pool accidents
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Dog bites or other injuries caused by animals on the premises
- Toxic chemicals and/or fumes
- Electrocutions and other electrical accidents
- Construction-related accidents
- Playground accidents
- Falls from windows or balconies
- Faulty railing
Level of Duty Depends Upon What Type of Visitor in on the Premises
The duty owed a visitor to the property depends to an important degree on what sort of visitor is involved. For example, if you have been specifically invited to the owner’s property--a friend says, for example, “Come over for the Super Bowl,” then that the property owner owes you a duty to warn of hazards such as loose bricks on the front steps, rickety banisters, hidden dips or depressions in the property where one might reasonably be expected to walk. A property owner may be so used to the problem that he or she gives it no thought -- the lack of head room as one descends the steps into his “man-cave.” The owner is under an obligation to warn you, however.
If you are a “business invitee” -- someone who is on the property for some commercial or business purpose, the owner also has a strong duty to warn of any hazards and to take reasonable efforts to prevent you from being injured by one of those hazards.
While there is much less of a duty on the part of the property owner to warn a trespasser, if the property owner knows that trespassing is common (for example, if the owner knows that persons use a corner of the property as a short-cut), there is still a duty to warn of dangerous conditions.
What are Common Injuries in Premises Liability Claims?
Premises liability claims cover a wide variety of accidents, so the injuries will vary from case to case. Common injuries that our Billings premises liability attorneys see are:
- Sprains, strains, bumps, and bruises - Bracing for a fall or other accident can be an awkward reaction that puts unexpected strains on muscles and joints.
- Broken bones - If your body hits a hard surface, like a cement floor, or something hits you, the impact can cause bone fractures and breaks.
- Head, neck, back, and spine injuries - These more serious injuries can have lasting consequences, including brain damage, spinal cords injury, and paralysis.
- Extremity Injuries - Injuries to various parts of the leg and arms are common in slip and falls. Injuries include broken bones, muscle tears, ligament injury, and tendon ruptures all of which may lead to surgery.
- Death - The sad truth is that premises liability claims can be fatal and the victim's family will want to pursue a wrongful death claim.
Steps to Take If You Have Been Injured on Someone Else’s Property
As soon as possible after your accident, you should:
- Seek medical attention. Not all injuries — even serious ones — show up right away. It is always a good idea to have a doctor check you out.
- Document your surroundings. If you can, take pictures of the accident site. Was there a cracked sidewalk? Did something fall on you? Get the contact information of any witnesses. Document as much as you can about what happened, where it happened, and how it happened.
- Refer all insurance calls to your Billings premises liability attorney. You can expect the insurance companies to start calling you to try to settle your case. Keep in mind that insurance companies are in the business of making money and are always going to try to pay out as little as possible on claims. That is why it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced premises liability lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact Us to Speak With a Billings Premises Liability Attorney
To speak with a Ragain & Clark, PC premises liability lawyer about pursuing a claim in Montana or Wyoming, contact us online. Initial consultations are free. To call our offices directly, call:
- Billings Office: 406-651-8888
- Worland Office: 307-388-6400