New Orleans Premises Liability Lawyer
In New Orleans, property owners have a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition for members of the public and others lawfully on their property, including customers, people they have invited onto the property, or others lawfully on the premises for business purposes, such as delivering mail or packages or accessing utilities. Property owners should take the time to inspect their property at reasonable intervals, and if a dangerous condition is noted, they should promptly fix the hazard or post a warning in a timely fashion so no one gets hurt. If somebody does get hurt on the property, owners and managers can be held liable for damages caused by their negligence or unreasonable behavior.
The New Orleans premises liability lawyers at the Palazzo Law Firm help injury victims hold property owners liable for the full range of damages caused, including medical expenses and rehabilitation, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. Our comprehensive New Orleans premises liability practice includes slip and fall accidents, assaults due to negligent security, and injuries caused by dog bites and other animal attacks.
What to Know About Premises Liability
Whether you are a property owner or have been injured on someone else’s property, here are some things you should know about premises liability:
- Property owners have a duty to maintain safe premises. Under the law, property owners have a duty to ensure that their premises are safe for others who are lawfully on the property. This means that they must take reasonable steps to fix potential hazards, such as wet floors, broken stairs, or insufficient lighting. If they fail to do so and someone is injured as a result, they may be liable for the victim’s damages.
- The type of visitor matters. In premises liability cases, the type of visitor matters. The law distinguishes between three types of visitors: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Invitees are those who are invited onto the property for a business purpose, such as customers in a store. Licensees are those who are on the property for a social purpose, such as guests at a party. Trespassers are those who are on the property without permission. Property owners and occupiers owe the highest duty of care to invitees, a lower duty of care to licensees, and no duty of care to trespassers. However, even trespassers may be able to recover damages if the property owner intentionally or recklessly caused their injuries.
- You must prove negligence. To win a premises liability case, you must prove that the property owner was negligent in maintaining safe premises. This means showing that they knew or should have known about the hazard that caused your injuries and failed to take reasonable steps to fix it.
Slip and Fall Injuries
A slip and fall or trip and fall can cause serious injuries, including bruises and facial lacerations, muscle tears and sprains, fractures, head injuries, and neck and back injuries. Some of these injuries are very hard to recover from, and some people never completely heal as they were before the fall. For the elderly, a hip fracture caused by a fall can require extensive hip replacement surgery and may be the onset of a swift decline in health. The slip and fall lawyers at the Palazzo Law Firm hold New Orleans grocery stores, restaurants and department stores liable for dangerous conditions on their premises that cause a slip and fall or trip and fall, such as:
- Food or drink spills that are not cleaned up promptly
- Merchandise and boxes falling from shelves or cluttering up the aisles
- Torn carpeting
- Unmarked steps
- Broken or missing handrails
- Malfunctioning elevators and escalators
Assaults from Negligent Security
Property managers and owners have a duty to take reasonable security measures for the safety of their tenants and guests. Spaces such as parking garages, stairwells, hallways and parking lots should be adequately lit, and burned out light bulbs should be promptly replaced. Other measures such as keyed or gated entries, alarm systems, and security guards may be reasonable depending on the location and type of premises and whether the area has been the site of recent criminal activity or not. Property owners can be liable for robbery, mugging or sexual assault that occurs in part because the premises were not made reasonably safe.
Dog owners can be liable for injuries caused by their animals if the owners knew or had reason to know that their dogs might be vicious or bite or attack another person. Evidence that shows an owner knew the dog was dangerous could include if the dog had bitten before or was prone to growling or acting aggressively toward others. These owners can be held liable for dog bites that occurred because the owners were negligent in keeping or handling the animals, such as by letting them roam freely in an unfenced yard or keeping them off-leash in public. Dog owners may challenge this liability by claiming the victim provoked their animal to attack or that the victim was somehow negligent in relation to the attack. It takes an experienced premises liability and dog bite attorney to prove the owner’s knowledge, negligence and lack of applicable defenses.
Call the New Orleans Premises Liability Attorneys at the Palazzo Law Firm for Help
Accidents can happen on other people’s property. You may be bitten by a dog. Maybe you slipped and fell in a grocery store. Perhaps you were assaulted outside of a bar. These are examples of premises liability cases. Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility that property owners and occupiers have to ensure the safety of others who are on their property. If they fail to do so and someone is injured as a result, they may be liable for the victim’s damages.
If you have been injured on someone else’s property, Palazzo Law Firm can help you understand your rights and navigate the legal process. Contact an experienced New Orleans premises liability lawyer today to schedule a consultation.