What is Premises Liability?
Premises Liability is the legal idea that if someone is injured on your property due to unsafe structures, mismanagement, or other instances of dangerous conditions, you are liable for the injury. Property owners are expected to maintain safe conditions on their property, and if they fail to do so, are held responsible for any accidents that may occur due to their negligence. If you or a family member have been injured on someone else’s property, you may be eligible for financial compensation due to medical bills, lost income, distress, pain, and suffering, or wrongful death.
What are Indiana’s Laws on Premises Liability?
Indiana determines Premises Liability based on the nature of the injury and the nature of your presence on the property. The injuries could be from things such as a dog bite, a slip, and fall due to improper maintenance, falling objects, exposure to dangerous substances, or a variety of other hazardous scenarios.
In addition to the nature of your injury, Indiana considers the circumstances of your presence on the property when deciding the owner’s “duty of care.” This is divided into three categories:
- Invitees – Invitees are held in the highest regard in a Premises Liability case, as they are invited onto the property from the owners. It is the responsibility of the owner to suitably warn an invitee of any potential hazards or dangerous conditions. If the property owner has invited an individual onto their property and failed to properly warn the invitee of a hazard that resulted in injury, they are held liable.
- Licensees – A licensee is an individual who has permission to access a property, but for their own purposes. The property owner is still has a higher “duty of care” to a licensee than a trespasser, but only in that they must inform a licensee of a hazardous condition if the owner explicitly knows about the hazard, or that it is very likely the licensee would be unable to identify the hazard on their own.
- Trespassers – Trespassers have the lowest duty of care in an Indiana Premises Liability case, because they have entered the property on their own accord, and without permission from the property owner. This does not always mean that they are not entitled to compensation due to an injury, but the circumstances are generally more complicated. If the trespasser is a child, there is a higher duty of care than an adult who knowingly enters a property without the express permission of the property owner.
I’ve been injured, should I consider a Premises Liability suit?
Regardless of the circumstances of your injury, it is in your best interest to consult with a personal injury attorney in Carmel Indiana regarding your situation. Many law offices will provide a free consultation to explore the circumstances of your injuries, the hazardous conditions that led to your injury, and your rights. There is a statute of limitations for any Premises Liability suits in Indiana, so it is recommended that you pursue this case in a timely manner.
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