Whether enjoying a kid-friendly outing at Freedom Springs Aquatic Park, an excursion for grownups at Mallow Run Winery, or a scenic tour of the area’s many parks and nature trails, Greenwood locals have so much to do and see away from home. Exploring a new destination can be exciting, but the most idyllic day can become a nightmare when a serious accident occurs.
If you are reeling from an injury on somebody else’s property, you should know that compensation may be recoverable through a premises liability claim, but success is never guaranteed. To tip the odds in your favor, turn to the Greenwood premises liability attorneys at Hensley Legal Group, where we have been standing up for the everyday people of Indiana for over 25 years.
Schedule a free case review with a Greenwood premises liability lawyer by calling (317) 472-3333, chatting with us online, or completing our contact form.
What Is a Premises Liability Case?
Like any other type of personal injury claim, a premises liability case must demonstrate both negligence and damages.
Negligence is the failure to meet a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid causing harm, also known as damages. When a plaintiff suffers damages because of a defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff may pursue the defendant for compensation.
Premises liability cases allege that damages were sustained because of a dangerous feature on a defendant’s property. A valid claim must establish three elements:
- A duty of care existed – The defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff to exercise reasonable care to maintain safe conditions on the property.
- This duty was breached – The defendant breached this duty by not exercising care to keep the property safe.
- That breach caused injury – The defendant’s breach directly caused injury to the plaintiff.
A case will likely fail unless all three elements are proven, which can be harder in a premises liability case than one with a more obvious link between a defendant’s actions and a plaintiff’s damages, like a car accident claim.
Generally, property owners may be found liable if they allow an accident to occur by failing to:
- Inspect their premises for hazardous conditions;
- Repair hazardous conditions of which they had knowledge; or
- Alert others about known hazardous conditions.
Hensley’s premises liability attorneys have extensive experience identifying actionable breaches of duty by Indiana property owners.
Common Indiana Premises Liability Cases
A number of property defects could form the basis for a premises liability case in Indiana, including:
- Slip-and-fall hazards – Falls are the most common source of preventable injuries. They are particularly harmful to older Indiana residents, accounting for 571 deaths among the state’s seniors in 2021. Hazards that cause a fall could be grounds for a premises liability claim, such as loose floorboards, slippery floors, uneven or damaged stairs, inadequate lighting, or disintegrating walkways.
- Aggressive dogs – Indiana has the sixth highest rate of dog ownership and the ninth highest rate of dog bite claims. Property owners who neglect to control or warn others of aggressive dogs could be held liable for attacks on their premises.
- Negligent security – If there is a foreseeable risk of criminal activity on a property, the owner may have a duty to prevent it from occurring. Failure to implement adequate security measures could leave the owner liable if a crime inflicts harm on site.
Our Greenwood premises liability lawyers can evaluate the circumstances leading up to your injury to determine whether you have cause to file a claim.
Are You Owed a Duty of Care in Indiana?
To be compensated for your injuries on an Indiana property, you must prove that the owner breached a duty of care. But were you actually owed a duty of care? And what did that duty entail?
The answer depends on why you were on the premises. Indiana law classifies a visitor to a property as an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser, each of whom is owed a different duty of care.
- Invitees – An invitee is a visitor who is invited to enter a property primarily for the economic benefit of the owner. Customers at a store are considered invitees.
Invitees are owed the greatest duty of care by Indiana property owners, who must take active steps to make premises safe for them. To meet this duty, owners may need to inspect their premises for hazards and address or warn about any they uncover.
- Licensees – A licensee is someone who has permission to enter a property for his or her own benefit. Friends stopping by someone’s house would be regarded as licensees.
Indiana property owners owe licensees a lesser duty of care. Owners are required to make licensees aware of known defects on their premises, and they must avoid willfully injuring or increasing the possibility of harm to licensees. However, they do not have an obligation to inspect their properties to uncover hazards for a licensee’s sake.
- Trespassers – A trespasser is someone on a property without permission. Trespassing applies to a wide range of individuals, such as neighbors taking shortcuts or burglars stealing valuables.
Trespassers are owed the least duty of care in Indiana, though some obligations still apply. After discovering trespassers on their premises, property owners must not maliciously or wantonly harm them, but they do not need to alert them of or fix concealed dangers.
It is important to note that a greater duty may be owed to trespassers if they are young children. Indiana law does not expect child trespassers to completely understand the hazards on someone else’s property, especially if there are “attractive nuisances” that may be appealing to them, such as unfenced pools. In these situations, Indiana property owners “may be subject to liability for physical injury or death to a child trespasser” when they are aware of an attractive nuisance, expect children to trespass and suffer injury from that nuisance, and still do nothing about it.
As you can see, whether a duty of care was breached depends on the specific duty owed, which can impact the viability of a claim. Our Greenwood premises liability attorneys are adept at identifying a property owner’s obligations to injured visitors.
What Our Premises Liability Attorneys Can Do for You
No matter if it happened at a private home, a commercial establishment, or a public facility, an unexpected injury can put you and your family on shaky financial ground.
In the wake of a disaster, you need attorneys who can provide you with stability as they guide your case to a satisfying resolution, like the Greenwood premises liability attorneys at Hensley Legal Group. Since 1998, Hensley has fought to ensure that the average Hoosier enjoys equal access to justice. We won’t let anyone prevent us from serving our clients’ interests.
If you retain our firm, we will conduct a thorough investigation to uncover the causes of your accident and everyone responsible for it within the time allotted by law. This can be challenging in premises liability cases, which require deep understanding of all applicable laws and safety regulations to show that a duty of care was breached.
To that end, we will take swift legal action to secure any evidence of negligence, preventing defendants from remedying defective conditions before they can be documented. If there is proof of wrongdoing on the part of an Indiana property owner, our tenacious Greenwood premises liability lawyers have the skill to find it.
What Compensation Is Available for a Premises Liability Case?
Once we have constructed an airtight case against the liable parties, we will work to reach a settlement that takes into account all of your losses, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological and emotional anguish
- Diminished enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages
If we do not receive an offer that reflects your claim’s true worth, we are not afraid to go to trial to obtain a verdict that does, unlike many of our competitors, who rarely, if ever, step foot inside a courtroom.
No two premises liability cases are exactly alike, but we will always strive to get the maximum compensation for yours.
You Won’t Owe Us Anything If We Don’t Win
If you are concerned about additional expenditures right now, you may be pleased to learn that we work on a contingency basis. You won’t owe us anything if our Greenwood premises liability attorneys don’t win your case.
Hensley is committed to your well-being. Let us focus on building your premises liability case so you can focus on rebuilding your health.
Meet With a Greenwood Premises Liability Lawyer
Hensley Legal Group has been protecting the innocent victims of negligence for more than a quarter century. If you have been hurt on someone else’s property, meet with a Greenwood premises liability lawyer to discuss your next steps.
Call (317) 472-3333, chat with us online, or complete our contact form to arrange a no-cost consultation with one of our premises liability attorneys.
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