Hancock County Premises Liability Lawyer
Hancock County laws require landowners to take appropriate steps to preserve the wellbeing of all guests and visitors on their property. However, the extent to which a landowner must act to provide protection varies based on the type of visitor. As a result, the injured party must prove the defendant had an obligation to provide protection that he or she failed to do.
A Hancock County premises liability lawyer could help prove the defendant’s negligence and help them seek compensation for damages. A skillful personal injury attorney could establish a plaintiff’s rights under the law, evaluate the evidence, and demand proper compensation in settlement discussions, and at trial.
What is a Premises Liability Claim?
A premises liability claim is a civil demand for compensation due to the failure of a landowner or business operator to keep a guest safe. Every landowner and business operator must take appropriate steps to protect visitors from harm. Whenever a person visits another person’s property, they are subject to that owner’s or operator’s choices concerning maintenance, preventative measures, and even the criminal actions of third parties.
These claims fall into one of three main categories. The first are injuries that result from temporary hazards. Standing water, black ice, or loose carpeting could cause unaware guests to slip and fall.
The second class of premises liability claims involves inherent defects in the land. Broken stairs, potholes, or poor lighting could all cause a visitor to suffer an injury. These are conditions that a landowner must take long-term care to prevent.
A landowner may even be liable for the criminal activities of third parties. If a bar owner fails to have proper security and an assault occurs, he or she could face liability for the attack. Similar situations require apartment buildings to have locks on common areas, gas stations to have proper lighting, and stores to have easily found fire exits. A knowledgeable Hancock County attorney could determine if a person has valid grounds for a premises liability claim.
The Duties of Landowners to Provide Protection
A landowner is required to provide different levels of protection depending on the type of visitor on his or her property. The law creates three classes of visitors including invitees, licensees, and trespassers. The law imposes different duties on the premises owner or operator for each class of visitor. A seasoned premises liability attorney can help determine the appropriate category and how to proceed with a claim accordingly.
Understanding Comparative Negligence
Even if a plaintiff can establish their right to be on the land, defendants may still argue that they are not liable for an injury. Courts must evaluate the actions of all parties when considering the question of liability for an accident. For instance, if a plaintiff claims negligence based on a landowner’s failure to fix a broken stair, a defendant may point to the presence of a warning sign to shift blame. Under Mississippi law, even if the injured party is found to be partially at fault, he or she can still make a recovery. Under the comparative fault standard, the injured party’s compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to that party. For example, if the compensation award at trial is $100,000, but the injured party is determined by the jury to be 40% at fault, the Defendant(s) will only have to pay compensation in the amount of $60,000.
A Hancock County Premises Liability Attorney Could Help Injured Visitors
Landowners in Hancock County must take appropriate steps to keep their guests safe from harm. However, the mere fact that an injury happened while on another’s property does not guarantee a right to recovery.
A Hancock County premises liability attorney could help establish your rights as a visitor and uncover evidence that proves landowner negligence. Call today for a free consultation to get started on your case.