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St. Helena Parish Premises Liability Lawyer

In Louisiana, property owners owe a duty to maintain their premises so they are safe for people on the property. This duty of care applies to both private property owners and businesses open to the public. Any property owner who fails to reasonably protect their visitors from hazards may be civilly liable for any injuries that occur.

If you find yourself harmed under such circumstances, a seasoned personal injury attorney can help pursue monetary compensation on your behalf. To learn if you may be entitled to damages for an injury that occurred on someone else’s property, contact a St. Helena Parish premises liability lawyer.

Duty of Care for Property Owners

Premises liability law exists to hold property owners accountable for dangerous conditions on their property. There are certain conditions, however, that must be met to hold a proprietor liable for injuries that may occur on their property. For instance, only when a property owner knew or should have known about a dangerous condition can they be responsible for eliminating the hazard or notifying visitors of the danger.

A landowner owes a duty of care according to the degree of danger and the foreseeability on the premises of those who might be harmed. There are special rules regarding ultrahazardous activities such as pile driving or the use of explosives. All other activity or works are governed by the explicit rule of negligence requiring knowledge that their works could cause damage, that the damage could have been prevented by the exercise of reasonable care, and that the landowner failed to exercise such reasonable care. For damage caused by an ultrahazardous activity, the requirements of foreseeability of risk and exercise of reasonable care can be eliminated. An experienced St. Helena Parish premises liability attorney could assess an injured party’s case to determine what duty of care the defendant owed to them if any.

Immunities

The owner of premises used by persons for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and the like owes no duty to such persons to keep the premises safe, not even to warn of hazardous conditions. The immunity does not extend to willful or malicious injury. Nor does the immunity apply when the premises are used principally for a commercial recreational enterprise for profit. The limitation of liability is applicable even if the owner has leased the right to use for recreational purposes to others than the entire public. A similar limitation statute applies to property owned by public entities.

Tripping Accidents on Business Property

There is a special law concerning trip and falls in stores. LSA R.S. 9:2800.6, the merchant’s statute, provides that a person injured by a tripping accident in a store has the burden to prove that the condition causing the fall presented an unreasonable and foreseeable risk of harm to the customer; that the merchant either created or had constructive notice of the condition; and that the merchant failed to exercise reasonable care. The law defines constructive notice in the statute as meaning that the condition existed for such a period of time that it would have been discovered if the merchant had exercised reasonable care.

If a claimant has carried their burden, the store then has to come forward with proof of reasonable care.  The definition of merchant in the statute excludes certain claims from the strict provisions of the statute, such as stepping on a tomato in the parking lot outside the store; or a puddle of transmission fluid at an automobile auction lot; and the shopping center landowner was not a merchant as to plaintiff who slipped on the ice in the shopping center parking lot.

Proving Premises Liability

The strength of a claim and the likelihood of recovery in a property liability lawsuit vary depending on the facts of each case. To obtain compensation on behalf of an injured party, a St. Helena Parish lawyer with experience in premises liability law must prove three elements:

  • There is an unreasonably dangerous condition located on the premises
  • The landowner knew or should have known about the hazardous condition
  • The damages sought in a lawsuit stemmed from the dangerous condition

In cases where visitors of a property are exposed to a dangerous situation, a St. Helena Parish premises liability might be able to provide guidance on proving liability.

How a St. Helena Parish Premises Liability Attorney Can Help

Proprietors should be held responsible if they do not adequately maintain their property so that it is safe for visitors. If you have suffered a severe injury due to a hazard on the premises of another person, you may be entitled to pursue damages from the landowner. To get your case started, contact a St. Helena Parish premises liability lawyer today.