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Premises liability and foreseeability

On Behalf of | May 18, 2017 | Firm News, Premises Liability |

When pursuing a premises liability lawsuit in Louisiana, like most other kinds of civil legal claims, a plaintiff must prove certain legal elements by a preponderance of the evidence before he or she can impose liability. Therefore, it is critical that these individuals fully understand the law that is being applied to their cases. In the premises liability context, this means understanding the legal classifications of those who enter a property, as well as the basic elements of premises liability. However, it also means understanding the applicable standard of care and how it is defined.

Typically speaking, a reasonableness standard is applied in premises liability cases. This means that property owners owe a duty of reasonable care to those who are visitors to their property. This does not, however, usually include trespassers. To determine whether reasonable care has been exercised, a court may look to several factors. Amongst these is the foreseeability that an accident or injury would have occurred due to the hazardous condition in question.

Foreseeability is defined as the ability to reasonably anticipate something. In the premises liability context, this means perceiving the possibility that a dangerous property condition could lead to injury. Again, the court will turn to a reasonableness standard to determine if the reasonable person would have taken additional action to correct the condition prior to having someone enter the premises.

Why is this important? It may be critical in premises liability cases where the defendant claims that the hazard couldn’t have been anticipated to cause harm, and then uses that excuse to claim that he or she is not responsible for the harm caused to the defendant. In these situations, victims need to be prepared to present compelling legal arguments that support their claims. An experienced Louisiana attorney well-versed in premises liability law may be able to help with this process.

Source: The Free Dictionary, “Foreseeability,” accessed on May 12, 2017