Accidents and injuries, whether while you are visiting the movies, a restaurant, a museum, or your friend’s home, may be covered under premise liability laws and may provide you with compensation for any injuries if those injuries occur through no fault of your own. Premise liability attaches to any such injury that you may suffer when you are lawfully on someone else’s property, if it can be shown that the owner of the property was negligent and that negligence resulted in your injury.
How and When Premise Liability Applies
If you are visiting an establishment or a friend’s home and you are injured because of the unsafe condition of their property, you must first be able to prove the following:
- That your presence at the property is lawful;
- That the owner of the property knew or should have known that the property was unsafe and failed to make the necessary repairs;
- That you were injured as a result of the property owner’s negligence.
If you are not legally on the property, you are a trespasser. Trespassers may recover under premise liability laws, but they must show that the owner of the property was aware that they were trespassing and failed to provide any warning that a dangerous condition existed on the property.
Premise Liability Cases in the News
In January 2016, 25-year-old Stephen Hewett-Brown was crushed to death when the elevator at the apartment building where he lived malfunctioned, pinning him between the ceiling of the elevator and the third floor. The residents of the 26-story building had made numerous complaints over the years to the management of the building about the condition of the elevator, to no avail. It is more than likely that all of the elements to establish a case for premise liability will be met in this case.
In 2006, a major premise liability case was brought against the New Jersey Transit Authority, on behalf of the then 16-year-old Alycia Byrne-Navarez, who was injured when she was struck by a train. As a result of the accident, Navarez broke her arm and leg, and had one of her thumbs amputated.
The accident occurred when Navarez was unable to see another train approaching on the tracks going in the opposite direction from where she was exiting because her vision was obscured and the approaching train was hidden from view. After the accident, the New Jersey Transit Authority decided to make safety upgrades at many of the stations in order to steer passengers exiting from the trains, away from the tracks. These upgrades were an indication that the area used for exiting passengers was unsafe at the time Navarez was injured. Navarez met all elements to establish a premise liability case against the Transit Authorities, and this case was eventually settled for the sum of $1.2 million.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of the negligent or intentional acts of another, it is important that you have someone on your side that is knowledgeable about your rights and any remedies you might be entitled to. You will need an experienced personal injury law attorney. Please contact us today, by phone at 1-877-363-7942, or take advantage of our online case evaluation form to schedule your initial case review.
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