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Mainstage v10 img 1 if you’re hurt on someone else’s property, it can be easy to shrug it off as clumsiness or your own mistake. Whenever you visit a residential or commercial property—whether it’s your neighbor's home, the grocery store, or an office building—getting hurt, let alone pursuing a premises liability claim, is the last thing on your mind. After all, you expect that the property owner or occupier has taken a certain level of care to keep the property reasonably safe.  

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If you’re hurt on someone else’s property, it can be easy to shrug it off as clumsiness or your own mistake. Whenever you visit a residential or commercial property—whether it’s your neighbor’s home, the grocery store, or an office building—getting hurt, let alone pursuing a premises liability claim, is the last thing on your mind. After all, you expect that the property owner or occupier has taken a certain level of care to keep the property reasonably safe. 

Getting injured is never fun. It can be even more frustrating to deal with the aftermath of the injury if the accident could have been avoided if it weren’t for the careless actions or omissions of a property owner. If you suffered injuries on someone else’s property, you shouldn’t have to face the aftermath alone. Pursuing a premises liability lawsuit with the help of the skilled attorneys at Morris & Dewett can help you get compensation for your premises liability accident.

What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability is an area of law that outlines a property owner’s or occupier’s—such as a merchant or a lessee in an office space—responsibility to take reasonable measures to maintain their property and minimize the risk of injury to others. This pertains to anything from conducting regular cleaning and maintenance to fixing damaged or dangerous conditions to warning visitors about hazards that could cause injuries.

Property owners in Shreveport and throughout Louisiana are legally obligated to ensure that their property is reasonably safe for visitors, contractors, customers, employees, or anyone else who enters their property. When property owners fail to take the necessary precautions or fix dangerous conditions and a person suffers an injury, the owner may be held liable for damages.

Common Places Where Premises Liability Injuries Occur in Shreveport, LA

Under Louisiana law, a premise is any part of a party’s property, including the buildings, land, and other structures, such as sidewalks, pools, or sheds. Regardless of the location—whether on someone’s private property, on private property open to the public, or on public property—when a person suffers injuries because of dangerous conditions on another person’s property, there’s a possibility of a premises liability claim.

Some common examples of places where premises liability injuries occur include:

  • Restaurants
  • Stores
  • Theaters
  • Shopping malls
  • Amusement parks
  • Bars and music venues
  • Sports stadiums
  • Swimming pools

Common Types of Premises Liability Cases in Shreveport 

Premises liability cases in Louisiana can take many forms. Whenever a property owner, occupier, or manager fails to take reasonable precautions to protect visitors and guests from getting hurt while on their premises, the injured person may be able to pursue a premises liability claim in Shreveport. Some of the most common incidents that give rise to premises liability claims include:

Slip and Fall Accidents

These accidents are among the most common types of accidents in premises liability claims. Slip and fall accidents can happen fast and in any scenario but the injuries victims sustain can last a long time.

A slip and fall incident can result in debilitating injuries, such as a spinal cord injury that causes paralysis or even a traumatic brain injury. Suddenly, because of a seemingly minor fall, you might be unable to work for days, weeks, or possibly ever again. After being hurt in a slip-and-fall accident, talk to a Shreveport premises liability lawyer to help you stand up for your rights and demand the justice you deserve.

Swimming Pool Accidents

There’s no shortage of public and private swimming pools in Shreveport. You may enjoy using a family member’s or friend’s pool or pay to use a private club’s facilities or a public pool. Whichever option you choose, you expect the pool area to be safe. You should not have to deal with uncovered filters, sharp edges, or slippery floors.

The stakes are pretty high when it comes to swimming pools. In a split second, someone can drown, particularly children. Having an unfenced pool on a property can be a magnet for curious children who might not be skilled swimmers. According to the latest Louisiana Child Death Review Report provided by the Louisiana Department of Health’s (LDH) Bureau of Family Health, drowning ranked as the third leading cause of injury-related death among children aged 0–14 during the 2017–2019 period in Louisiana.

Tragically, the outcome of most pool accidents is often devastating, and most victims do not survive the ordeal. Even those who do get lucky and survive often suffer catastrophic, lasting injuries that profoundly impact their lives. If you get hurt or a loved one is killed at a private or public pool because of dangerous conditions on the property, consult a Shreveport premises liability lawyer to discuss your legal options.

Dog Bites/Animal Attacks

Property owners have a legal duty to restrain their pets or animals to ensure they don’t pose a danger to others. They must take appropriate measures, including fencing the property and putting the animal on a leash.

Dog bites or animal attacks can lead to severe injuries that are expensive to treat, which can be grounds for a premises liability lawsuit. Seeking legal advice is essential to understanding your rights and pursuing fair compensation for medical expenses, emotional distress, and other damages caused by such incidents. It’s crucial to consult with experienced injury attorneys in Shreveport to guide you through the legal process and help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Negligent Security

All establishments are responsible for providing reasonable security to protect people from potential harm. For example, you expect to be protected from theft and assault if you go to a nightclub or check into a hotel.

Facilitating proper security includes installing proper lighting, alarms, and security cameras and hiring trained security personnel. If the owner fails to implement such measures and a crime or accident happens on the premises, they can be held liable for any injuries or damages.

Construction Site Accidents

Construction sites inherently harbor hazards, from falling objects and heavy machinery to unstable structures and exposed electrical wires. The responsibility falls on contractors, subcontractors, and property owners to enforce strict safety protocols to mitigate these risks. This could involve implementing the use of safety equipment, barricades, and clear signage to create a secure construction site.

In instances where these safety measures are neglected or inadequately implemented, people can suffer serious injuries, such as spinal cord injuries and broken bones. Such incidents can result in premises liability lawsuits, where the injured party, with the help of skilled personal injury attorneys, may hold the property owner or contractor accountable for their carelessness or negligence.

Falling Merchandise Accidents

These accidents mostly happen in retail stores where goods aren’t properly secured on shelves. Owners are expected to secure the shelves properly, address unstable or overloaded storage, and use appropriate display units. When goods fall, they can hit anyone close by, causing harm. If the sustained injury is substantial, it can be the basis for a Shreveport premises liability claim.

Injuries That Can Occur in Shreveport Premises Liability Incidents

When looking at the various ways an individual can be harmed due to dangerous conditions on a property, we can see that a range of injuries can occur. The most common ones include:

Regardless of the premises liability injuries you sustain, it’s crucial not to underestimate their impact on your quality of life. Soft tissue injuries, whether minor or catastrophic, can affect mobility, result in chronic pain, and generate significant recovery costs.

Louisiana Premises Liability Laws

In Louisiana, there are a number of statutes and rules that govern premises liability laws with the goal of preventing harm to people from unsafe conditions on another party’s property. Duty of care is one imperative aspect when it comes to premises liability. The concept stipulates that property owners have a duty to provide reasonable care for their premises, including the land around them, in order to keep visitors safe. The property should also be regularly inspected and the necessary repairs done to avoid situations that could result in accidents. In addition, property owners are expected to provide warnings of dangers on the premises that might not be easily seen.

When a property owner does not practice reasonable duty of care and an accident happens, they can be held liable. However, the victim must show that:

  1. The premises owner failed in their duty of care and was negligent in taking precautions to prevent accidents and injuries. An example would be a wet floor without a sign in the supermarket or poor lighting in a parking lot.
  2. They suffered harm as a direct result of the property owner’s negligence. An example would be a fractured arm from a fall on broken stairs in a residential building.
  3. The sustained injuries led to damages, such as medical expenses and lost income.

The type of visitor is also a major factor in determining the legitimacy of a premises liability claim. Louisiana law classifies visitors into three categories:

  1. Invitee: This is a person who has been permitted to be on the property, either expressly or generally, for the benefit of one or both parties. Examples include retail shoppers and library guests.
  2. Licensee: This refers to a person who has been invited and given consent by the property owner to be on the premises. The primary purpose for entering the property can be socialization, recreation, or visiting someone who resides there.
  3. Trespasser: This refers to an individual who enters a property without consent from the owner or without any right to do so. In most cases, trespassers don’t have the legal grounds to make a claim for injuries sustained while trespassing. However, there are exceptions, especially when the trespasser is a child. Property owners are required to put measures in place that protect children, as they are not likely to know the dangers presented by trespassing.

Compensation for Injuries on Dangerous Property

In a successful premises liability claim in Shreveport, you may recover several damages, including but not limited to the following:

  • Medical bills and ongoing treatment
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages and earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

When property owners fail in their duty of care, innocent people suffer injuries due to their negligence. Suffering serious injuries because of another’s negligence seems doubly unfair when considering the physical, emotional, and financial hardships that ensue. Fight back with a skilled Shreveport Premises liability lawyer.

When a Property Owner Argues That You’re To Blame for the Accident and Your Injuries

Louisiana follows the comparative negligence principle. As stipulated in Louisiana Civil Code Article 2323, if a plaintiff is found to be partly at fault in a premises liability case, they can still receive compensation, but the compensation amount will be reduced to match their percentage of fault.

For example, let’s say you were strolling through a mall where a section of the floor was uneven. While you were texting, you tripped and broke your arm. While the mall is responsible for not repairing the uneven floor, you also share some blame for not paying attention to your surroundings. If the mall owner is found to be 70% at fault for not fixing the floor and you are found to be 30% at fault for not paying attention, you can still pursue compensation. If the total damages add up to $10,000, the mall owner could recover $3,000, which is 30% of the total damages, while you could recover $7,000, or 70% of the damages.

It’s important to note that property owners will almost always deny premises liability claims and shift the blame to the victim. Some of their common defense arguments include:

  • The plaintiff was distracted, causing them not to notice the danger
  • The plaintiff was trespassing
  • The plaintiff ignored warning signs
  • The injuries were pre-existing and not directly caused by the accident

Skilled premises liability lawyers have experience dealing with these arguments and can help you gather evidence to successfully disprove these accusations. 

How a Premises Liability Lawyer Can Help Victims Injured on Someone Else’s Property

When you get hurt because of dangerous conditions at someone else’s bar, construction site, or store, you must prove that the property owner or the one managing it was responsible. Sometimes, proving liability in a premises liability case is straightforward, but it can be quite complicated in most cases. 

Your Shreveport premises liability lawyer will have many roles during your case, many of which will significantly impact your chances of achieving a favorable outcome. When you work with the right premises liability attorney in Shreveport:

  • They will thoroughly investigate your accident, gathering evidence such as security footage, accident scene photos, and medical records. Having sufficient evidence is crucial to your premises liability case.
  • They have in-depth legal knowledge of premises liability laws in Louisiana and will be able to advise you on how they apply to your claim.
  • They can determine the property owner’s duty of care and spot potential violations to help you build a strong case.
  • They are aware of the statute of limitations in these cases and will help file the right paperwork within the given timeframes.
  • They can assess your damages to come up with a desirable compensation figure.
  • They understand the intricacies of dealing with insurance companies and the language and tactics required to demand a fair settlement. They will negotiate on your behalf and fight for a recovery that represents your losses.

Getting into an accident on someone else’s property or at a business can result in life-altering injuries. That means piling medical bills, extended periods of missed work, and more. To seek the fair compensation you deserve, it’s best to work with a Shreveport premises liability lawyer who wins.

Take Action for Your Unwarranted Premises Liability Injury Today

Premises liability cases are complex, and handling them without tactical legal representation rarely gives the desired results. It’s important to use a lawyer with a history of success in premises liability claims.

With a track record of winning high-profile personal injury cases in Shreveport, our personal injury attorneys at Morris & Dewett have secured millions in settlements and verdicts. If you or someone you love were injured in a Shreveport premises liability accident, count on Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers to fight for your maximum financial reward. Get top-notch representation in Louisiana from a law firm that fearlessly confronts negligent property owners on your behalf. Our Shreveport premises liability lawyers regularly win verdicts throughout Louisiana, and we never resolve a case for less than full value.

Call us today at (318) 379-4496 to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about your legal options. Put our collective talent, experience, knowledge, and dedication to work for you.

Sources:

  1. https://partnersforfamilyhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/CDR_Report_2017-2019_FINAL.pdf
  2. https://legis.la.gov/legis/Law.aspx?d=109385
  3. https://www.legis.la.gov/legis/law.aspx?d=109387
  4. https://legis.la.gov/legis/Law.aspx?d=110515

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