Premises Liability Explained.

Georgia B. Day

Injuries can occur in any number of ways. One common way people get injured—at work, at a friend’s home, at the store, while walking down the sidewalk—is by tripping and falling.

In law, “premises liability” is the legal theory that makes property owners responsible for accidents and injuries that occur on their premises. The law requires all property owners to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition so that people entering the property will not get hurt.

Sounds simple enough.

But it’s not.

Not only can the injuries sustained by the victim in a trip and fall (or “slip and fall”) case be devastating and long-lasting, these types of cases can be quite difficult to prove. This is why, if you have experienced a slip and fall, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Different Standards for Different Property Owners.

One of the things that makes slip and fall cases challenging is the fact that there are a number of elements that have to be proven in each case, and that those elements change depending on where the accident occurred.

In premises liability cases there are different legal standards that apply to different classes of property owners. The classes of property owners are merchants, publicly-owned property, and non-merchant privately owned property.

Depending on who owns the property, what must be proven in each case will be different.

So, for example, in Louisiana, the Merchant Liability Statute specifically defines who is a “merchant” under the law, and what a plaintiff (i.e., the injured person) must prove in order to prevail in a slip and fall case against a merchant.

Briefly, to win a slip and fall case against a merchant, the injured person must prove that:

  • a condition existed on the premises that created an unreasonable risk of harm to the plaintiff that was foreseeable;
  • the merchant either created the condition or had actual or constructive notice of it;
  • the merchant failed to exercise reasonable care; and
  • plaintiff was harmed as a result.

For falls that occur on public sidewalks, the plaintiff must prove an entirely different set of elements. In addition, the injured person must prove that in tripping and falling, he did not breach his own duty of care as a pedestrian.

Pedestrians, while not required to look for hidden dangers, have the duty to exercise reasonable care when walking and to be aware of their surroundings. That means that they are expected to see (and go around or not trip over) any obvious obstacles. Which means, for example, that a pedestrian who slips and falls because he was texting or looking at his phone instead of where he was going, will be apportioned some fault for his injuries.

Because these cases can be challenging and complicated to prove, it is best to enlist the assistance of experienced and knowledgeable counsel.

Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney ToDay.   

At the Day Law Group, we are experienced, personal injury attorneys. We work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. If you have been injured, call us.  We offer free consultations, and in most cases, we don’t get paid unless you win. Contact us ToDay or call 225-200-0000.

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Justin A. Day

A proud graduate of Southern University Law Center and former president of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, Justin is best known for providing his clients with the personal attention they need while fighting hard to get them the compensation they deserve. Justin and his team are not afraid to take on the tough cases or fight the good fight. Dedicated and tenacious, for over 18 years, Justin has consistently achieved superior results for the clients he serves.

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Georgia B. Day

Georgia B. Day

Georgia B. Day is an experienced personal injury and worker’s compensation attorney. A former Administrative Law Judge for the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Georgia is driven by a desire to obtain justice for individuals injured in the workplace and those who have been injured due to the carelessness of others. Georgia takes pride in providing her clients with the best possible representation. Polished and professional, Georgia is best known for her excellent work ethic, obtaining superior results, and her responsiveness to clients.

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