Episode 4 - Premises Liability Claims
Premises Liability involves the duty property owners owe to the people they invite onto their property. This often involves the liability of business or store owners when a customer or visitor to your property sustains an injury.Parking Lot Injuries
Claims might arise if a foreign substance, such as an oil slick, is present in the parking lot causing someone to slip or fall. They could also arise from damage sustained due to an unmarked pothole. Snow and ice are often problematic. A business owner should take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of its patrons. The exact standards can vary, especially during an on-going snowstorm. Property owners are expected to take care of issues/conditions they knew or should have known were going to be dangerous to others.
Indiana is a comparative-fault state. Under this system, if the person injured is more than 50% at fault for the accident and/or injury, he/she is unable to recover damages. Both parties have a duty of reasonable care to avoid dangerous situations. In premises liability cases, the burden is on the plaintiff (injured person) to prove the business is 50% or more at fault for the damages incurred.
Insurance companies covering businesses still understand there is risk when an injury attorney, such as Todd Barsumian, files a lawsuit against the business. Experienced trial attorneys understand how to present the evidence and counter arguments made by the insurance companies and their attorneys. If they determine the risk is too high they may lose the case, a settlement offer may be made in an effort to avoid risking an adverse jury verdict.Injuries Inside the Store
If it’s raining or snowing, customers could slip on standing water or fall due to a mat that flipped over. This often happens at an entrance or exit. Again, this comes back to the duty a store-manager or business owner has to maintain the safe condition of the premises.
The store or business may have internal standards or policies for inclement weather conditions. If it can be proven the employees or managers failed to comply with the policies, the injured individual may have a stronger case.“Cleanup in Aisle 6”
Customers may be at risk of slipping on liquids or fluids in store aisles. It’s often a question of where the substance came from, how long it hand been there, and whether the employees complied with their duty to warn patrons and/or clean up the substance. Dishwashing liquid falling off a shelf is one example.
Often the attorneys will request security camera footage to try to prove the spilled liquid was left unaddressed. An incident report may also exist. It’s important to determine multiple factors. How did the spill happen? Were there signs or cones marking off the area?
From a legal standpoint, claimants must prove the following in a negligence case:
- Duty (the nature of the parties’ relationship to each other and the property)
- Breach (the owner knew or should have known a danger existed and the owner/manager/employees failed to act to resolve the danger)
- Causation (the injuries were directly related to the fall)
- Damage (pain and suffering, physical injuries, medical bills, lost wages, etc.)
This situation can occur if merchandise isn’t properly secured. Heavy items shouldn’t be placed on high shelves. Stores should have policies on how merchandise is stored. Unfortunately, an employee may decide to violate the policy and ignore the risk.
Falling items may cause a direct impact when falling and may also cause falls if the items are not timely picked up. If the victim is elderly, these injuries can result in serious trauma. In the worst cases, that trauma may lead to the death of the individual. This is when a wrongful death claim would be made.
Premises liability cases can be very complex. The attorneys at Barsumian Armiger have experience with these cases and are available to speak with you.How Much Does It Cost to Hire Barsumian Armiger?
Barsumian Armiger offers free consultations and works on a contingency-fee basis, which means there are no attorney’s fees or expenses unless there’s a recovery in a case. There are no upfront costs. The firm advances case expenses and charges a percentage of the recovery. The firm only gets paid an attorney’s fee and only gets reimbursed its expenses if at the conclusion of a case the client obtains a recovery. However, if there is no recovery, clients will not owe any attorney’s fees or expenses.
Barsumian Armiger has offices in Newburgh, Evansville, and Fishers, Indiana. Todd Barsumian represents clients in both Indiana and Kentucky. Jonathan Armiger represents clients throughout Indiana.Want More Information?
You can visit www.BarsumianLaw.com or call the attorneys of Barsumian Armiger to see if they can help you or your family. Principal office located at 5455 Old Indiana 261, Newburgh, IN 47630. Co-host Jim Ray is a non-attorney spokesperson. Services may be performed by another attorney in the firm. This podcast is for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to establish standards of legal practice, and does not establish an attorney-client relationship with the listener. This is an advertisement (i.e. marketing material). If you were injured in Indiana or Kentucky, you can contact the firm at (844) 268-7775