Premises liability involves cases where a visitor is hurt due to a dangerous condition on land owned or rented by another. Examples of common premises liability cases include:
Foley & Small has handled premises liability cases falling into all of these categories. Foley & Small is well acquainted the law applicable to such claims and is experienced and able to identify and obtain the information necessary to obtain the best outcome for our clients.
If a person is injured on the property of another, a court will impose liability on the property owner or possessor if (1) the property owner or possessor owed the injured person a duty of reasonable care and (2) the property owner or possessor acted negligently in maintaining or otherwise using the property. Whether the property owner or possessor owed the injured person a duty of care, as well as the extent of care owed, depends on the relationship between the person owning or holding the property and the injured person.
An invitee is a person who is invited upon the property to conduct business with the possessor or is invited for another purpose, such as to attend a social gathering. Typically, possessors of property owe invitees the highest duty of care. Under Indiana law, an owner owes a business or social invitee the duty to exercise reasonable care to ensure they are exposed to an unreasonable risk of injury.
A licensee is a person who has the consent of the owner to be on the property, but is not on the property for a purpose that benefits the owner financially or socially. For example, if a landowner is asked and consents to another hunting on the property, the hunter would be a licensee. The owner of the land is not liable for any defects in the condition of the land and he or she does not have the duty to maintain his premises in a safe condition. The only affirmative duty a landowner owes to a licensee is to refrain from willfully or wantonly injuring licensee or acting in a way that would increase the licensee's peril.
Property owners owe the lowest duty of care to trespassers. A landowner owes a trespasser the duty to refrain from willfully or wantonly injuring him or her. However, with regard to children, Indiana courts long have recognized that landowners may sometimes owe a higher duty of care, even when the children are trespassers. The attractive nuisance doctrine recognizes that a child may be incapable of understanding and appreciating all of the possible dangers that may be encountered in trespassing.
Foley & Small has handled many premises liability cases. Foley & Small will retain engineering and other experts to testify on standard of care issues. Foley & Small is also experienced with applicable building and city code requirements that can apply to property owners and with national safety standards that apply to various situations involving a premises liability claim.
If Foley & Small can be of help to your or your family, click on the link at the top right of this page for a live chat with a member of our staff or email us from our Contact page. You can also call us at 800-276-2525.