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What You Need to File a Premises Liability Claim in Louisiana

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When we enter someone’s private property or public property, we never do so thinking that the visit will end with a trip to the emergency room next. But that can happen. Such instances are the foundation for premises liability cases in Louisiana.

Premises liability law revolves around injuries sustained on someone else’s property. The underlying principle of premises liability law in Louisiana is that the property owners or those in control of the property should have taken reasonable steps to either correct dangerous conditions or alert visitors to the hazards of their property. Failing to provide such warnings or correcting hazardous conditions could reasonably lead to an accident, in which case the property owner may be held liable for damages.

To file a premises liability claim in Louisiana, the plaintiff (the injured party) has the burden of proving their allegations against the accused party. The plaintiff and their personal injury lawyers must establish negligence on the part of the accused in order to recover compensation for their case.

What are the standards that must be met for a valid premises liability claim? And what evidence could be valuable in your premises liability case?

What is the Louisiana Premises Liability Law?

Property owners in Louisiana have a duty of care to ensure that their environment, whether it is public or private, is safe for legal visitors. This specific duty of care extends to warning legal visitors of potential harm that could befall them because of dangers on the property. Landowners, property owners, landlords, property managers, and government entities may all be held liable in premises liability claims, depending upon the facts of each unique case.

According to premises liability law, the premises can include all areas of a person’s land, buildings, lawn, sidewalk, facilities, and interior of the buildings. This may include businesses, personal homes, porches, swimming pools, and, in some cases, boats.

Louisiana law separates visitors to a property into three different categories: invitees, licensees, and trespassers.

An invitee is an individual who has the express or implied permission of the property owner to be on the property. This may include relatives, friends, or neighbors visiting your family home or shoppers entering a retail store.

Licensees may enter a premises legally but without the express permission of the property owner. Business customers, hospital patients, and those using public restrooms may fit into this category.

A trespasser has no legal right to be on the property and is there for their own personal and often criminal gain. Trespassers are not owed the same duty of care that invitees and licensees receive in premises liability law.

What Are Examples of Premises Liability Cases?

Examples of premises liability cases include:

  • Ceiling collapses.
  • Construction site accidents.
  • Defective sidewalks.
  • Defective stairway accidents.
  • Dog bites and animal attacks.
  • Electrocution due to faulty or exposed wiring.
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals.
  • Falling objects striking an individual.
  • Falls from great heights.
  • Fires and explosions.
  • Inadequate lighting leading to falls.
  • Negligent security leading to assaults.
  • Negligent warning accidents.
  • Parking lot accidents.
  • Pool accidents and drownings.
  • Poor maintenance injuries.
  • Porch and railing collapses.
  • Safety and building code violations.
  • Slip and fall accidents or trip and fall accidents.
  • Smoke inhalation.
  • Wet floors.
  • Workplace accidents.

What Must Be Proven in a Premises Liability Case?

The burden of proof in premises liability claims falls on the claimant in Louisiana. The claimant and their personal injury attorneys must provide adequate evidence to establish negligence on the part of the property owner and show that that negligence directly led to your injury.

In most premises liability cases, the injured parties must prove that their accident was caused by an existing dangerous condition that the property owner or manager either knew about or should have known about. Additionally, this dangerous condition must have presented an unreasonable risk to any potential visitors to the property. The property owner or management staff must be provided reasonable time to respond to any dangerous conditions and correct them. In the meantime, they should have provided adequate warnings of the dangerous conditions existing. Failure to warn of a dangerous condition could be considered negligence itself.

Typically, to win a premises liability claim, you must prove one or more of the following: the property owner or management created the dangerous conditions, knew of the condition and failed to fix it, and that the dangerous condition lasted long enough that it reasonably should have been discovered and corrected prior to your accident.

What is Valuable Evidence in a Premises Liability Case?

Your personal injury attorneys will gather evidence to support your premises liability claim as you pursue compensation and justice for the harm brought upon you. Numerous pieces of evidence could prove useful to premises liability cases.

These include:

  • Accident reports.
  • Expert testimony from accident recreationists.
  • Eyewitness testimony.
  • Financial proof of the victim’s medical expenses and losses.
  • Medical records from before and after the accident.
  • Pictures of the accident scene.
  • Police reports.
  • Testimony from doctors and economists.
  • Video of the accident.

How Does Comparative Negligence Figure into Premises Liability Lawsuits?

Louisiana is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that multiple parties can hold liability for the cause of an accident. Liability could potentially extend to the accident victims themselves. Provided that a party is not 100% responsible for causing the accident, they may be eligible to recover a financial settlement for a premises liability case.

However, the amount of fault they share for the accident will diminish their maximum compensation. For example, if the accident victim was 40% to blame for causing the accident, under comparative fault laws, the maximum compensation would be reduced by 40%.

What Sort of Financial Recovery is Possible with a Premises Liability Lawsuit?

If your personal injury attorney is able to prove negligence in your premises liability case, it is possible to recover full compensation for your injuries and financial losses. This settlement may take the form of economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages can help compensate you for the following:

  • Past medical bills and future medical expenses.
  • Lost wages and lost income earning capacity.
  • Property damage.
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation expenses.
  • Funeral and burial expenses in the event of a fatal accident.

Non-economic damages may include the following:

  • Lost quality of life.
  • Loss of companionship.
  • Emotional distress.
  • Mental anguish.
  • Disability or disfigurement.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Wrongful death.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Experienced Premises Liability Lawyers Today

Landgrave Garcia Injury Attorneys is a personal injury law firm with extensive experience representing injured clients in and around the Lafayette area. We take pride in our work and approach every legal case with respect and compassion in mind. We understand that, for you, this is no mere legal matter; this is your life. We want to do everything within our legal power to help you get back to life and relieve yourself of the burden of these legal issues.

To schedule your free initial consultation, please contact our Lafayette, Louisiana, law office today at 337-242-7604.

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