Holding Negligent Property Owners Accountable
When you visit someone else’s home, business, or you rent, you do not expect to sustain a life-changing injury. That’s because property owners and landlords have a responsibility to keep their premises safe and usually, they do. Sometimes, however, a lapse in judgement or care can create hazardous conditions and cause an unfortunate accident.
When this is the case, you have a right to hold the person who made the mistake accountable for their actions or lack thereof.
This principle of accountability is the heart of premises liability claims, which our team at Ashcraft & Gerel has been handling successfully for over 65 years.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises Liability is a subsection of personal injury law based on negligence and other theories of ownership and/or maintenance of a property. Under premises liability laws, owners and operators of public and private properties are required to keep their premises reasonably safe. By doing so, they fulfill their duty of care towards visitors. There may be laws and/or regulations that require a landlord or property owner to do something. For example, smoke or carbon monoxide detector.
Negligence can only be established in accidents where a property owner knew or should have known about unsafe conditions on their property and failed to take remedial action, or when they create the unsafe conditions themselves.
For example, if a restaurant owner knew their employees had just mopped, failing to warn customers of the wet floor would be negligent in the case of a slip and fall accident.
If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property and aren’t sure if your accident constitutes negligence, discuss your case with our attorneys at (800) 674-9725 and get the answers you need.
What Are the Types of Premises Liability Cases?
All kinds of situations can lead to unsafe conditions at other people’s properties. The most common accidents we see at our firm involve:
- Slips and falls
- Assault, including sexual assault or other injury
- Toxic fumes and chemicals
- Carbon Monoxide
- Mold exposure
- Lead poisoning
- Snow and ice accidents
- Inadequate security
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Swimming pool incidents
- Faulty maintenance
- Hazardous on-site conditions (like defective staircases or unsecured carpets)
- Exposed nails or construction equipment
- Dog bites
If any of these scenarios apply to you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced attorneys in Washington D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. We provide a free initial consultation.
Invitees, Licensees, and Trespassers
Many states apply premises liability laws to all persons who enter a property. Some states, however, make a distinction between invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
An invitee is someone who has permission to enter another person’s property. Typically, invitees are friends, family members, or neighbors. In the states of Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia, customers at a place of business are also considered invitees.
A licensee is an individual who is visiting a property for their own purposes. In many states, door-to-door salesmen are considered licensees. Sometimes, workers who rent office space are also categorized as licensees. Because their visitation is usually restricted, premises liability laws only apply to licensees if the landowner knows about a hazardous condition and fails to disclose it.
Trespassers are those who enter a property without permission. Most of the time, premises liability laws do not apply to them. If the trespasser is a child and the accident happens in a pool or other “artificial condition on the land,” property owners may still face civil liability.
Even in neighboring Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, these rules differ state-by-state.
If you need clarification or want to explore the terms of your case, recruiting our firm can help you achieve your goals. Sometimes the law gets complicated, but Ashcraft & Gerel doesn’t back down!
What Can You Recover from a Premises Liability Lawsuit?
Filing a premises liability lawsuit can be complex, but it can also be incredibly worthwhile. If you were injured at someone’s house, apartment, or business due to their negligence, you can recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitative costs
- Pain and suffering
- Missed wages
- Lost future wages
- Diminished quality of life
At our firm, we will help you pursue all relevant damages in your case and fight for a maximum settlement or verdict.
Why Hire Our Firm?
At Ashcraft & Gerel, we have spent decades fighting for the injured in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. We have recovered more than a billion dollars for our clients and have garnered many positive reviews over the years.
Each of our attorneys is compassionate, fearless, and committed to you. Our firm is respected within the legal field and active within our community.
We work exclusively with plaintiffs like you and are passionate about fighting legal battles against wrongdoers, including major corporations, insurers, and institutions.