In a premises liability claim, an injured party is asserting that a property owner failed to keep the premises safe and they were injured as a result. Pursuing a premises liability claim means the injured party can seek compensation for the harm the suffered due to the property owner’s negligence. There are, however, several hurdles that need to be overcome in the pursuit of a successful premises liability claim. To help ensure that you conquer those hurdles, we are going to discuss several of the weaknesses a premises liability case may suffer from. Be mindful of these and avoid these in the pursuit of your claim.
Premises Liability Case Weaknesses
The number one weakness that many premises liability cases suffer from is a lack of evidence. This is not only a common weakness, but it can be fatal to the claim itself. The claimant, or plaintiff, in a premises liability claim, has the burden of proving that the defendant property owner was negligent in maintaining the property and keeping the property relatively free from hazards. The plaintiff must also prove that it was the defendant property owner’s negligence that caused them injury. Every element of the claim must be supported by credible evidence. Without this evidence, it is unlikely that the claim will be successful.
Another weakness a premises liability claim is founded in the theory of comparative negligence. You see, the court will weigh whether the actions of the plaintiff contributed to their injury. If the court finds that the plaintiff was more than 50% at fault for their own injury, it is unlikely that the plaintiff will be able to recover damages.
Actions of the plaintiff are, of course, relevant in many aspects to a premises liability case. Potential comparative negligence implications are one such way they could come into play. Another way the plaintiff’s actions could come into play is when assessing the assumption of risk on the plaintiff’s part. Was the plaintiff aware of the danger on the property and chose to go on the property anyway? If they knew of the danger and voluntarily entered the property anyways, the court may deem that they, therefore, assumed the risk of being on the property.
It should also be noted that a key element in a premises liability claim is that the property owner must have had notice or should have known about the dangerous property condition. Lack of such notice can seriously undermine a premises liability claim or make it downright unviable. If a defendant had no notice of the dangerous property condition, then they may not be held liable for the resulting damages sustained by the visitor to the property.
Waiting to bring your premises liability claim can also weaken your claim or kill it all together. Pennsylvania law has a statute of limitations in place that means an injury victim has two years from the date they were injured to file a personal injury lawsuit such as a premises liability case. Should you wait too long to bring your claim, it may be barred entirely.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys
Injured on someone else’s property? Do not delay! Get the team at Cooper, Schall & Levy by your side to fight for your right to full and fair compensation for your injuries. Contact us today.