A premises liability legal action is a lawsuit a party files after sustaining injuries in an accident on another individual’s (or company’s) property. Regardless of how the accident occurred, if a property owner’s negligence caused your injuries, you should consult an injury attorney to assist you in filing your claim.
These injuries can often be severe, leading to lost time at work and significant medical bills. However, a Walla Walla premises liability lawyer could investigate your case and fight on your behalf for the financial recovery you may be entitled to.
The eligibility and amount of damages for compensation an individual might be entitled to significantly depend on the reason for the party’s visit to the property. An attorney in Walla Walla could help determine under which premises liability category an individual may fall: an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
The law defines an invitee as a person who enters a property at the implied or express invitation of the property owner. Invitees generally enter the property as patrons, such as customers at a store.
Invitees make up the largest group of visitors that enter a premises, and property owners owe them the highest duty of care. Additionally, the owners must exercise reasonable care to prevent invitees from sustaining injuries due to hazards on the property. This group also has the best chance at recovering compensation for damages in an injury claim.
Property owners or managers allow licensees to be on their property, but they are not strictly invited. The owners owe a duty to exercise reasonable care and warn licensees of any harmful conditions present on the land. However, the owners do not owe as high of a duty of care as they do to invitees—for instance, they may not have to search property to find any potential hazards when a licensee enters their property.
Trespassers enter the property without the property owner’s authorization, so the owner generally does not owe them a duty of care to protect them from harm while they are on the property. There are exceptions to this rule, though, for example if a child enters the property and there is an attractive nuisance that might attract the child to the property, or if the landowner deliberately, willfully, or wantonly injures the trespasser.
If a child enters the property because the owner left the area unsecured, a court could hold the owner or manager responsible for the child’s injuries. For example, if the property owner left the gate unlocked and a child entered and drowned in a swimming pool, a court could hold them liable.
Generally, under the Revised Code of Washington 4.16.080, a plaintiff must file their legal action with the civil court within three years of the injury date for an injury that occurs in Washington state; however, there are exceptions that may shorten this timeline. So, it is important that you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer if you have been injured. A lawyer in Walla Walla could help the injured party file their property liability claim within the court-required time limits.
It is not advantageous to try taking the insurance companies or complex civil court system alone. Seasoned counsel could help you get the fair compensation you need and deserve so you can focus on rest and recovery.
If you suffered a severe injury on someone else’s property, an experienced Walla Walla premises liability lawyer could help you determine who the liable party is for your damages. Call soon to get started on your claim.