Appleton, Wisconsin has a bustling downtown of shops, entertainment, and dining options. These make it a very attractive destination for individuals looking to visit the area as well as those looking to make a permanent move. But when a visitor to a public venue is injured on its premises, the owner of the building or business may be liable for the victim’s damages. This is known as premises liability. Homeowners have premises liability as well, meaning that if a visitor to a private home is injured while visiting the owner, the owner may be required to compensate the victim for his or her damages.
If you are injured as the result of an accident caused by a hazardous condition in a public or private venue, such as a wet floor, a broken step, a loose handrail, or an unsecured sign or shelf, you could be entitled to seek compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim.
Duty of care refers to the responsibility a property owner has to remove hazards from his or her property that could potentially injure visitors. This also includes the responsibility to warn visitors about hazards that the owner cannot remove right away.
The duty that a property owner has to protect another individual on his or her property from harm is determined by why the other individual is on the property. Social guests and those who enter to conduct business transactions are owed a greater duty of care than trespassers. This does not mean that a trespasser cannot recover compensation for his or her damages, though. Generally, property owners owe no duty to protect trespassers from harm, but this may be challenged if the injured trespasser is a child or if the property owner knew that trespassers often moved onto and through the property.
In your claim, you must demonstrate that your injury occurred because the property owner failed to remove a hazardous condition on the property that he or she should reasonably have known about. You must also prove that because of your injury, you suffered the specific damages for which you are seeking compensation.
After your accident, report it to the property owner and take as many photographs of the scene as you feel are necessary to document what occurred. These photographs, along with your medical bills, statements showing lost wages, and testimonies from witnesses of the accident, are evidence you can use to support your claim.
If you have been injured in an accident that could have been prevented if a property owner had simply taken more care to remove a hazard or alert you to dangerous conditions, you could have grounds for a premises liability claim. To learn more about your rights as an injured victim and how you can seek compensation for your damages, speak with one of the experienced Appleton premises liability lawyers at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC. Contact our firm today to schedule your complimentary legal consultation with us.