Imagine shopping at your favorite boutique in downtown Denver. After perusing the second floor, you start to make your way back down the stairs to pay for your items. As you descend, the banister gives way and you fall down the rest of the stairs.
After a trip to the hospital so that a doctor could reset a few bones, you are wondering how you will afford thousands of dollars in medical bills. In addition, you will have to miss work, possibly for several weeks, and you cannot afford to forego that much of your paycheck. Fortunately, you do have options.
Premises liability often becomes an issue when a person suffers an injury on someone else’s property. In the above example, the accident would be a fall due to a faulty stairwell. Sometimes, proving fault in a premises liability case can be difficult, but the following information might be able to help you.
Was prevention possible?
Many premises liability cases rely on one major factor: Could the property owner have prevented the accident? There are certain situations that are impossible to anticipate or prevent, but there are reasonable precautions that many property owners should take. For example, if the banister that broke did so because the property owner failed to maintain it, then you might be able to win your claim. However, if the banister malfunctioned because of a manufacturer defect, then the court might not hold the property owner liable for your injuries.
Property owner’s duty
In general, property owners have the duty to maintain a reasonably safe premises. For example, if an employee left items on the stairs that you tripped over, then the store owner would probably be liable for the accident. However, if you were walking through an area that was off limits to customers and blocked off by caution tape, the court might rule that the owner performed his or her duty, but that you failed to exercise reasonable caution. In this situation, the court might rule that you were 100 percent at fault for your injuries.
If you suffered a serious injury due to an accident on someone else’s property, you might be able to pursue a personal injury claim. You should not have to pay expensive medical bills and suffer other losses because of another person’s negligence.