Negligence Per Se in Premises Liability Lawsuits
When someone is involved in an accident at a business or private property, they may be able to hold property owners accountable for resulting damages. Premises liability laws state that property owners must exercise reasonable care in the maintenance and upkeep of their property.
Liability in a premises liability case is typically dependent on proving negligence. However, in some circumstances, a liability claim can be made under the concept of negligence per se. Here, the lawyers from Chanfrau & Chanfrau, which serves the Daytona Beach, FL, and Palm Coast, FL, areas, explain negligence per se in regards to premises liability lawsuits, and go over the factors that need to be established to hold property owners accountable for injury losses.
Proving Negligence for Premises Liability
Typically, when someone is filing a premises liability claim, they are doing so because a property owner was negligent in the care of their property, and that created a hazard that led to injuries. When making a premises liability claim on the basis of negligence, the plaintiff needs to establish a few key factors:
- The defendant was the property owner at the time of accident/injury
- The defendant was negligent in the care or upkeep of their property, or failed to address hazards that were known or should have reasonably been known
- The plaintiff suffered an injury and tangible losses
- The injury was caused by the defendant's negligence
Proving Liability Under the Concept of Negligence Per Se
Depending on the circumstance of an injury, a premises liability claim can be filed under the concept of negligence per se, rather than strict negligence. Under negligence per se, the plaintiff does not have to establish all the above factors of a premises liability claim based on negligence. Instead, the plaintiff just needs to show that a hazard or condition was present that was in violation of state or local law, and that condition was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
For example, if local law states that all stairways must have handrails and the stairway at the property is missing a handrail, that is enough to prove negligence per se for a slip or fall that occurs on those stairs. Similarly, if a property lacks sufficient lighting or security measures as required by local law, and an injury occurs, the property owner can be held accountable for losses related to the injury.
Premises Liability Damages
When a property owner is responsible for an injury under the concept of negligence per se, injury victims have the right to pursue compensation for all economic and non-economic losses related to the injury. Damages typically due to our Daytona Beach clients include:
- Medical expenses (including potential future medical expenses)
- Cost of rehabilitation or therapy
- Lost wages or diminished wage-earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
Contact Our Practice
If you have suffered injuries that you believe are related to premises liability, the lawyers at Chanfrau & Chanfrau can help you consider your legal options regarding compensation for injury damages. To discuss your case with our legal team, send us a message online or call (386) 258-7313 at your earliest convenience.