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If you are injured on another’s property due to unsafe conditions, you may have a premises liability case. Property owners are expected to keep their premises safe for all patrons. When you bring this type of personal injury claim against a property owner, it must be proven that they were negligent in their failure to keep you safe from injury. To establish negligence on behalf of the property owner, a personal injury attorney must prove the following:
Your personal injury attorney must prove that a dangerous or unsafe condition on the property led to your accident. Taking photos of the dangerous or unsafe condition, such as a broken step, and gathering any witnesses’ names and phone numbers will help your attorney in proving this. Here is exactly what you should do in a slip, trip, or fall case to assist your personal injury attorney in building you a strong case.
Your personal injury attorney must also prove that the property owner had prior knowledge of the unsafe condition. This prior knowledge can either be what’s known as “actual” or “constructive” prior knowledge. When a property owner is told about the unsafe condition, this is considered “actual” prior knowledge. There is clear proof that the property owner knew of the unsafe condition and neglected to remedy it nonetheless. When it’s likely that the property owner should have known about the unsafe condition, this is known as “constructive” prior knowledge. For example, if a property owner takes the same staircase every day and it is clear that it needs to be fixed, this would be considered “constructive” prior knowledge. If the unsafe condition had existed long enough and was visible, a personal injury attorney can make the claim that the property owner had “constructive” knowledge of the unsafe condition.
The property owner had sufficient time and opportunity to fix the unsafe or dangerous condition but did not. For example, a property may be covered in ice after a snowstorm. If the storm is still going on, this could be considered an insufficient amount of time and the property owner may not be found negligent. However, if your accident occurred weeks after the snowstorm, this is considered sufficient time for the property owner to deice the premises and make it safe.