Slip and fall injuries are quite common, unfortunately. They can occur at a wide variety of locations. One of the most important questions that comes up after a slip and fall injury is who can and should be held responsible for those injuries? That question can be a little complicated for slip and fall injuries on rental property. The answer depends on many factors and your Joplin personal injury lawyer can help you figure that out.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident of some type, accident attorneys can help you obtain recovery for your claims. Knowing which type of accident attorney you need will depend on the type of case you have. Here are some of the common types of claims handled by a Joplin personal injury lawyer.
What is a Slip and Fall Case?
This type of case is based on what is referred to as “premises liability.” The success of the claim depends on whether there was a legal duty the property owner had to keep the premises safe, and whether that duty was breached. In many cases, a property owner has a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe and free of hazards. Not all injuries that occur on someone else’s property result in liability. The exact nature of a property owner’s legal duty depends on many factors. A Joplin personal injury lawyer will know which laws apply in your particular case, depending on which state you were in when the injury occurred.
Property owner’s liability for negligence
Property owners are generally not expected to protect individuals from every conceivable danger. However, if there is evidence of negligence, there may be liability. The concept of negligence is centered around the standard of care the property owner was expected to meet, based on what a reasonable person in the same situation would have done. To prove negligence, as your Joplin personal injury lawyer can explain, you must first establish that a legal duty to exercise reasonable care existed. That duty is based who was injured and why that person was on the property at the time of the injury. Next, it must be shown that the property owner failed to exercise that duty, which resulted in the injuries being claimed.
What happens when the owner and occupier of the property are not the same
In many cases, the owner of the property is not the same person or entity as the occupier of the property. For instance, the owner of a building may be different from the business renting the building to operate a store. Perhaps the most common example is rental property. The landlord owns the property, but the person renting the apartment or home is the actual occupier. How do you determine liability in that case? This can be a very tricky situation. The answer will depend on several factors, including the type of property in question, and the type of negligence involved.
Who is responsible for injuries on rental property?
The rules of legal responsibility for injuries sustained on private residences differ from those occurring on commercial property. With a residence, the rules are fairly simple. Whether you are a guest at a rented apartment, or the tenant, the party responsible for your injuries is the person responsible for maintaining the area or condition that caused your injuries.
As such, the landlord is generally responsible for everything outside of the apartment and all immovable objects in the apartment. This would include hallways, stairways and entrances, as well as floors, walls, fixtures and appliances in the apartment, as long as those appliances originally came with the apartment. Therefore, the tenant would be responsible for anything movable inside the apartment.
Of course, there is an exception when the tenant is aware of a dangerous condition in the apartment, such as a broken floorboard, but does nothing about it and fails to warn the guest. In that situation, both the tenant and the landlord may be liable for any injury to a guest caused by that dangerous condition.
Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Cases
In most personal injury cases, the injured party will seek compensation for medical expenses incurred as a result of their injuries. This is the primary component of damages in a personal injury case. Reimbursement for medical treatment typically includes compensation for treatment already received, as well as the estimated costs of any medical care that may be required in the future. Additionally, the injuries suffered can have a substantial impact on the victim’s ability to return to work, either temporarily or permanently. In that case, damages may include future income. Your Joplin personal injury lawyer can help you determine the extent of compensation to which you may be entitled.
If you have questions regarding premises liability cases, or any other personal injury issues in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a consultation, either online or by calling us as (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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