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What are the elements of a premises liability lawsuit?

Many of us don't realize it, but on a daily basis we enter onto the properties of other without much thought about our safety. We enter grocery stores, gas stations, and walk along sidewalks that are maintained by others. In some instances, though, individuals slip and fall while on another's premises. A slip and fall accident can leave a victim with serious injuries, which can render a significant physical and financial toll.

Fortunately, those who are harmed while on the premises of another may be able to file a premises liability lawsuit in hopes of recovering compensation for their damages. In order to succeed on such a claim, a victim must prove certain elements by a preponderance of the evidence. A victim must show that the defendant knew of the dangerous condition, and that condition must have presented an unreasonable risk. A property owner is deemed to have known of the dangerous condition if he created it, knew the condition existed and was negligent by failing to remedy the condition, or the dangerous condition was in existence for such a long period of time that he should have discovered it and remedied it prior to the accident.

It is important to note that the legal characteristics that come into play depend on the type of property in question. For example, a customer in a retail store will be deemed as an invitee, and the factors discussed above apply. But if an individual is trespassing upon private property at the time of the accident, then the legal threshold will be much different.

Those who own property and invite others on to it owe those individual a duty of care. When that duty is beached, serious harm can result. Those who have been harmed in these types of accidents may want to discuss the situation with a qualified attorney to learn what they can do to strengthen a claim for damages.

Source: FindLaw, "Slip and Fall Accidents Overview," accessed on May 22, 2016

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