Premises liability is a type of tort law that holds a property owner accountable for any injury or death that occurs on their property due to negligence or unsafe conditions. Both private and public property owners have a legal responsibility to provide a safe environment for any persons visiting their property whether it is a private residence, grocery store, or amusement park. Although there may be variance in laws state-by-state, Wyoming property owners are liable for accidents if their negligence contributed to resulting injuries.
Not every accident that occurs on another person’s property is entitled to compensation under a premises liability lawsuit. In order to determine if your case can be considered for a premises liability lawsuit there are five facts that must be established:
- The defendant owns, leases, or occupies the property
- The plaintiff was a lawful visitor
- The defendant acted with negligence or did not uphold their duty of care
- The plaintiff was injured
- The defendant’s negligence directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries
The Role of Foreseeability
In addition to the five facts above, a key factor in determining the validity of a premises liability case is foreseeability. The injured person must demonstrate that they could not have predicted the outcome of being in a particular location or scenario. For example, a wall or ceiling fixture that was out of a reasonable person’s line of sight falls and hits a visitor.
Likewise, a property owner cannot claim that they were unaware of dangerous conditions if a reasonable person could have discovered the concern. For example, unsecured wires on the floor that can cause someone to trip or liquid on the floor that can cause someone to slip are plainly visible to a reasonable person.
When there is foreseeable danger, a property owner is required to post adequate signage that warns visitors of potential dangers. For example, a hotel may post “no diving’ signage around an un-staffed swimming pool to eliminate their liability for accidents caused by diving. It is up to the visitor to abide by posted rules or notices.
Types of Premises Liability Accidents
Slip and falls are the most widely known form of premises liability cases but there are many different types of injuries and cases that are encompassed by premises liability.
- Snow and ice accidents
- Inadequate maintenance of the premises
- Defective conditions on the premises
- Inadequate building security that leads to injury or assault
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Amusement park accidents
- Water leaks or flooding
- Toxic fumes or chemical exposure
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations are laws that dictate the timeframe in which a plaintiff can file a claim. States govern these laws to maintain specific standards for filing and to protect defendants from wrongful claims. Premises liability cases can potentially fall under different statutes depending on several factors, but many of these accidents fall under the category of personal injury or wrongful death.
In the state of Wyoming, an injured person has four years to file a personal injury claim against the defendant. If the lawsuit involves a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff only has two years to file. Wyoming upholds a strict statute of limitations and cases that do not file within their deadline will be thrown out.
As with any personal injury case, there are exemptions and exceptions to these laws and statutes that can vary on a case-by-case basis and across jurisdictions. It is extremely important to review the details of your case with an experienced premises liability attorney who has an in-depth understanding of Wyoming liability laws as soon as possible following an accident to ensure all deadlines are met in accordance with the law. The Fitzgerald Law Firm has the experience and the resources to handle the challenging nature of premises liability cases in a range of contexts and we will do everything in our power to ensure that your case is in good hands.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Premises Liability Lawsuit?
Compensation for a premises liability lawsuit can vary greatly depending on the circumstances of each case. The Fitzgerald Law Firm understands the physical, emotional, and financial devastation that can affect a family when an individual is severely injured or killed in an accident. Our team of experienced attorneys will fight for justice on your behalf to help you receive the maximum economic and non-economic damages. Potential damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress experienced as a result of the injuries and those reasonably probable to be experienced in the future
- Disability and/or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life and any loss of enjoyment of life reasonably probable to be experienced in the future
- Loss of earnings and earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Caretaking expenses
A mother of four children volunteered for the “Queen Mine Halloween Tour” fundraiser event that was staged by the city of Bisbee, Arizona. During the event a rotted support bean gave way, wedging her between the mine train and the wall of the mine. She died from “positional asphyxia. The Fitzgerald Law Firm team found evidence that the mine was not properly lit and that there was no proper plan to deal with emergencies that might arise. This case was settled for $2.5 million.
How We Can Help
Serious premises liability cases are unfortunately all too common and arise from a lack of proper warning signage, defective designs in buildings, and from property owners’ failure to maintain dangerous areas, among many other scenarios. Each case is unique and requires an investigation of the property, a detailed exploration of evidence, and interviewing witnesses.
If you or a family member have been involved in a serious accident on public or private property you should contact our firm immediately. The experienced Wyoming premises liability lawyers at The Fitzgerald Law Firm can answer your questions during a free, confidential consultation. Contact us here and let us help you on your road towards justice.
JUSTICE IS HEALING.
The Fitzgerald Law Firm Wyoming personal injury attorneys hold the record for the largest verdicts ever upheld on appeal in Wyoming for injuries and wrongful death.
For over 40 years, our personal injury law firm, based in Cheyenne, has delivered extraordinary results for clients all over the United States with our cornerstone belief: finding the truth and justice.
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