Muncie Premises Liability Lawyer
Indiana law imposes a duty of reasonable care on drivers. Motorists must avoid accidents when possible and drive defensively. Indiana law imposes a similar duty on property owners. As outlined below, these individuals normally have a duty to keep visitors safe, whether they are there for commercial or social reasons. If property owners do not live up to this duty, they must face the consequences, just like the rest of us.
At the office of Indianapolis Injury Lawyers, our compassionate Muncie premises liability lawyers understand the pain and suffering these victims must endure. So, we work hard to obtain fair compensation, so they and their families can move on with their lives. Throughout the process, we proactively communicate with our clients, so they are never in the dark and they gain additional peace of mind.
In The Hoosier State and most other jurisdictions, the nature of the property owner’s legal duty varies, largely depending on the relationship between the owner and victim. The closer the relationship, the higher the duty.
- Invitee: Most fall, dog bite, and other premises liability victims are invitees. These individuals have the owner’s permission to be on the land, and their presence benefits the owners, either economically or noneconomically. If the victim was an invitee, the owner usually has a duty of reasonable care.
- Licensee: These individuals have permission to be on the land, but there is no direct benefit. Children who cut across parking lots on their way home from school are usually licensees. In these situations, owners must normally warn about latent (hidden) defects, such as an unsteady staircase.
- Trespasser: This pejorative term simply describes party crashes and other people who have no permission to be on the land and do not benefit the owner. Since there is no permission and no benefit, there is normally no duty. Tales of injured burglars who successfully sue homeowners are normally urban legends.
The presiding judge usually determines the victim’s legal status after a pretrial hearing. Then, the judge instructs the jury accordingly.
Theoretical responsibility is not enough. A Muncie premises liability lawyer must also establish practical responsibility, which is knowledge of the hazard in this case, by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). That’s the lowest burden of proof in Indiana law.
Direct evidence of actual knowledge includes things like restroom cleaning reports and property inspection reports. Attorneys usually find these smoking guns during the discovery process.
Circumstantial evidence of constructive knowledge (should have known) usually revolves around the time-notice rule. Think of a banana peel slip and fall. If the peel was yellow, it probably just fell on the floor, so there usually is no constructive knowledge. However, if the peel was black, it had probably been on the floor for awhile, and an employee should have picked it up.
Damages in a swimming pool drowning, dog bite, or other premises liability claim usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Contact a Hard-Working Lawyer
Personal injury victims have important rights. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Muncie, contact the office of Indianapolis Injury Lawyers. Our attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no money or insurance.