Fishers has grown rapidly in recent years to become a popular residential and commercial center. Whether patronizing locally owned shops and national chain stores like IKEA or enjoying the scenic beauty of more than a dozen parks and nature reserves, Fishers offers so much to do and see away from the home. But while the lure of such stimulating places is a key part of the city’s appeal, it can also be a source of risk when hidden dangers are present.
If you have been hurt because of defective conditions on someone else’s property in the Fishers area, you may be eligible to pursue a premises liability claim. To increase your chances of a successful outcome, reach out to the Fishers premises liability attorneys at Hensley Legal Group, where we have been defending the rights of average Hoosiers for more than 25 years.
Schedule a free case review with a Fishers premises liability lawyer today by calling (317) 472-3333, chatting with us online, or completing our contact form.
Do You Have a Valid Premises Liability Case?
Any valid personal injury case must allege both negligence and damages.
Negligence is the failure of a party to satisfy the duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid causing harm, also known as damages. If a plaintiff suffers damages because of a defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff could hold the defendant liable for those damages.
In a personal injury case involving premises liability, the plaintiff is claiming that damages were incurred because of negligent conditions on a defendant’s property. For the case to be viable, the plaintiff must prove three separate elements:
- A duty of care existed – The property owner owed a duty to the plaintiff to exercise reasonable care to maintain safe conditions on the premises.
- That duty was breached – The property owner breached that duty by failing to exercise care to keep the premises safe.
- This breach caused injury – The property owner’s breach of that duty directly caused injury to the plaintiff.
To show that a duty of care was breached, a plaintiff will typically argue that a property owner neglected to prevent an injury by failing to:
- Regularly inspect the premises to uncover hazards;
- Fix known hazards; or
- Warn about the hazards present.
It can be more challenging to demonstrate premises liability than liability in a car accident, where the causal link between a defendant’s actions and the resultant damages may be more apparent. Fortunately, our Fishers premises liability attorneys have decades of experience establishing property owner negligence.
Does a Property Owner Owe You a Duty of Care?
A property owner’s breached duty of care is at the heart of premises liability claims. But to whom does an Indiana property owner actually owe a duty of care, and what does honoring that duty mean?
The duty of care owed on an Indiana property depends on a visitor’s status. State law divides visitors into three categories: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Property owners owe different duties to each of these groups:
- Invitees – Visitors who are invited to enter premises primarily for the financial benefit of the owner are classified as invitees. These may include customers at a store or restaurant, guests at a hotel, or patrons of some other commercial establishment.
Invitees are owed the highest duty of care by Indiana property owners, who must take active steps to make their property safe. This duty may require the owner to inspect the premises for hazards and either warn of or remedy any that are found.
- Licensees – Visitors who have permission to enter a property mostly for their own benefit are considered licensees. These may include a property owner’s friends or family members who stop by of their own accord.
Licensees are owed a lesser duty of care than invitees. Property owners are required to warn licensees of known dangers on the premises and avoid willfully harming or increasing the likelihood of harm to them, but they are not required to actively search the premises for dangers.
- Trespassers – Visitors who are on a property without permission are classified as trespassers. These may include individuals simply cutting across a premises to save time or those with more nefarious intent.
Trespassers are owed the lowest duty of care, but Indiana property owners do still have some obligations. After becoming aware of the presence of trespassers, owners must refrain from maliciously, wantonly, or willfully injuring them, though they do not have to warn trespassers of hidden dangers or take steps to repair them.
Minors represent one exception to the level of care owed to trespassers, particularly with regard to so-called “attractive nuisances,” such as unfenced pools, that are especially tempting to them. Under Indiana law, if a property owner is aware of the presence of an attractive nuisance and expects that children are likely to trespass and suffer injury from it, he or she “may be subject to liability for physical injury or death to a child trespasser.”
In light of how your reasons for being on a property can impact your case, it may be useful to discuss the facts leading up to your injury with Hensley’s knowledgeable premises liability lawyers.
Common Causes of Premises Liability Accidents
There are a number of causes of injury on someone else’s property that could provide grounds for a premises liability claim, such as:
- Slipping or tripping hazards – Falls are among the leading sources of accidental injuries in Indiana, particularly among senior citizens, who account for 72.4 percent of non-fatal fall hospitalizations and 81.2 percent of all fall deaths in the state. If a defect makes a visitor slip or trip, the owner may be found to be at fault. Overly slick surfaces, loose floorboards, damaged or uneven stairs, poor lighting, and crumbling sidewalks, parking lots, and roads could be considered slipping or tripping hazards.
- Vicious dogs – There is at least one dog in nearly half of Indiana households, and property owners who fail to control their dogs or warn about their presence may be financially liable if they attack.
- Insufficient security – Visitors who suffer injuries from criminal acts on a premises could take action against the property owner for not providing sufficient security to protect them.
Regardless of the cause of your accident, our Fishers premises liability attorneys can evaluate whether you have the basis to pursue a case.
What Our Premises Liability Lawyers Can Do
It can only take a minor defect to turn a pleasant outing on someone else’s property into a nightmare.
When you suffer a devastating injury through no fault of your own, you need attorneys with the compassion to support you through your struggles and the wisdom to get you the compensation to overcome them. You need the Fishers premises liability attorneys at Hensley Legal Group.
Hensley is committed to ensuring that the everyday people of Indiana enjoy the same access to justice as the rich and powerful. We won’t let anyone prevent us from serving our clients’ best interests.
Once you retain our firm, we will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the causes of your accident and everyone who may be responsible within the time permitted by law. Premises liability cases are some of the most difficult in personal injury litigation, requiring deep understanding of all applicable laws and regulations to show that a property owner breached the duty of care. We will act quickly to secure the necessary evidence and document any defective conditions before they are remedied or destroyed.
Once we have put together an airtight case against the at-fault parties, we will attempt to negotiate a settlement that considers all of your losses, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological and emotional anguish
- Punitive and wrongful death damages (if applicable)
If we do not receive an offer that is worthy of your case, we are more than willing to take it to trial for a verdict that is.
You may be concerned about additional expenditures right now, but you should know that it will cost you nothing up front to hire us because our Fishers premises liability lawyers work on a contingency basis. You will never pay us until we win your case.
That fall may have seemed like it would take you down for good, but Hensley will be in your corner until you get back on your feet.
Contact a Fishers Premises Liability Lawyer
Hensley Legal Group has been standing up for the hardworking men and women of Indiana for more than a quarter century. If you have been injured on someone else’s property, our Fishers premises liability lawyers are ready to advise you of the best course of action.
For a no-cost consultation with a premises liability attorney, call (317) 472-3333, chat with us online, or complete our contact form.