What Elements Constitute A Viable Premises Liability Claim?
The elements would show evidence upfront about the nature of the premises, and the defect that caused your accident. Good evidence would consist typically of pictures that show the defect that caused your accident. The videotape of your actual accident would go a long way in proving your premises liability claim or lawsuit. Those are the two main elements if someone claims a premises injury, and they are established through photographs, videotapes, and how the accident occurred. The videotape verifies that it is the plaintiff who is involved in the accident or injury on the date in question.
Then your case is proven halfway. Obviously, the other element that we talk about above is the damages that arise from that. However, in order to have a good premises liability case, you really have to have the facts supporting what happened in the accident. The facts will show in the form of either videos or pictures that clearly shows that there was something defective about the premises that lead to your accident. Sometimes the pictures do not show the entire story. In some cases where an individual was injured, and it was as a result of poor maintenance of the facility, and the owner of the facility did not follow its own policy on how to maintain the facility.
You must prove that type of case with evidence, which you can get directly from the property owner who has published some rules about what they are going to do to maintain the premises, but then they did not follow those premises rules. I am thinking of the cases that involve grocery stores, department stores, or a variety of stores where they will often have their own policies for their employees’ safety, and for their customers’ safety.
Those policies will set forth how frequently the property owner is going to inspect, clean, and maintain the premises in a proper working order. Many of these businesses will set up procedures to make sure that the premises are safe, yet they will not follow through with their own procedures, henceforth, the premises become unsafe.
It reminds me of a case where someone slipped and fell at a hardware store, they fell on some fluid, and it turned out that that fluid came from a soft drink that was dropped there by a previous customer. Well, it turns out that drink was on the floor for two to three days before the incident in question, when the hardware store, who normally does not sell soft drinks, had a celebration for its customers and was serving free drinks. What this store was supposed to do was, and remember, they had a written procedure, that states every day they were supposed to have somebody sweep all of the aisles at the end of each shift after the store was closed and to pick up all of the trash, and make sure all of the aisles were safe and clean.
It was clear that no one was following procedures. Because of their failure to follow their own procedures, they failed to clean up a hazard that they should have known was on their aisles, because they had all these customers in their store drinking pop, and because of that, they were held legally responsible for my client’s injuries.
How Does Your Firm Determine Whether To File A Premises Liability Lawsuit?
We will determine to file a premises liability lawsuit based on how strong we believe the liability or the facts of liability are, combined with how serious the damages are in the accident. If liability is extremely clear and can be proven in the sense that we can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the property owner or maintainer was at fault. The damages need to show negligence, that you went to the emergency room, you were checked out, and you were okay. That is an extreme example of a case we would not file suit. If on the other hand, damages were severe from the accident, but it is clearly your fault based on the videotape, we would not file that type of lawsuit either.
We need acceptable facts supporting the negligence of someone who caused the condition of the premises, which caused your accident. We have to have significant damages to pursue these claims because the cost to pursue them, whether there is significant damage or not, can be rather expensive. You still need to have the same type of experts, whether it is small or very large damages. You have to be very careful that you do not end up with very small damages such that the damages are not worth more than the cost of the experts. You need to be able to prove your case.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations On Premises Liability Claims?
In Kansas, the premises liability statute is two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit, or you will give up your right to the claim that arises from any premises liability case. There are some exceptions to that, but you do not want to rely on those exceptions, and we always tell clients to assume that you need to get this done within two years.