An unfortunate fact of life is that accidents happen all the time. Whether a local restaurant failed to mop up a spilled drink or a homeowner failed to shovel their sidewalk, many of these injuries can happen in public, and typically on property that another person owns. In these instances, victims who suffered injuries due to the carelessness of a business or property owner may be able to recover compensation.
In general, the owner or operator of the premises owes a duty to exercise reasonable care in protecting individuals who may come on the property. This does not mean that the owner or operator of the property is responsible for the safety of all visitors. In fact, the property owner is only liable for foreseeable dangers. Sills v. Massey-Ferguson, Inc., 296 F. Supp. 776 (N.D. Ind. 1969).
When a property owner fails to exercise reasonable care, they are legally negligent. There are several situation-specific examples of when a property owner may be negligent, including:
There are certain conditions where an injured individual may be at least partially responsible for their injury, such as if they were running and ended up in a slip and fall. Their negligence may affect the compensation they are able to receive.
The assumption of risk may affect how much a victim may be able to recover. As a Chesterton premises liability accident lawyer might explain, the legal doctrine is fairly straightforward. A visitor to a property assumed the risk of injury and therefore, any potential damage if they knowingly and voluntarily engaged in the potentially dangerous activity. Spar v. Cha, 907 N.E.2d 974, 980 (Ind. 2009).
Under Section 34-51-2-1 of the Indiana Code, the legal doctrine of comparative negligence applies to apportioning the damages in negligence actions. Under this doctrine, the jury decides the fault of the injured party and then reduces their award proportionately.
If the jury were to conclude that the injured party was more than 50 percent at fault, then tort law may prevent the injured party from seeking any legal recovery.
Premises liability law treats the nature of the visitor differently when judging if a property owner was negligent. For example, a private landowner owes a trespasser a much lesser duty than a store owes its shoppers. Likewise, premises liability law also treats children differently.
Individuals should be able to feel safe on another person’s property. When the owner or operator fails to maintain their property and a person suffers an injury as a result, they may be able to seek compensation. Typically, victims receive compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, and emotional trauma.
Indiana law protects those who suffer harm due to the carelessness of a property law. Indiana Premises Law holds property owners accountable for the damages caused by preventable dangerous conditions. If you suffered an injury because of the carelessness of local business or property owner, contact a Chesterton premises liability accident lawyer that can advocate for you.