What is a Dangerous Property Claim?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Gregory H. Herrman with Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C..
A dangerous property claim is a premises liability claim in which unsafe conditions on someone’s property led to harm for someone else. Dangerous property claims may arise from dangerous conditions on private property or public property. Private properties are owned and operated by private citizens, while public properties such as sidewalks, roads, and public stairways are owned by government entities. Depending on if the dangerous property claim is for an injury on private or public property, the liable parties may differ.
In general, to prove a dangerous property claim, the injured party must be able to prove that they had a right to be on the premises where they were injured, and that the property owner had a duty of care or a legal responsibility to their safety. It will also be necessary to prove that the property owner’s failure to recognize and/or correct the dangerous condition on their property was unreasonable, and that another property owner in the same position would not have allowed it to reach the point of causing another person injury. To learn more about dangerous property claims or to discuss your eligibility to file, reach out to a premises liability attorney.
There are a variety of common situations which may spark a dangerous property claim, including but not limited to:
- Cracks in pavement
- Broken or rotting stairways
- Broken or absent railings
- Tree roots or other overgrowth into walkways
- Failing to clean up spills
- Failing to treat icy walkways
- Unsecured objects falling from heights
- Unsecured aggressive animals
- Broken fences or barriers
- Inadequate lighting
- Poor security
- Lack of signage
Damages which can be sought in a dangerous property claim include the following:
- Medical expenses. Injuries resulting from a premises accident may include: incapacitation; broken bones and/or fractures; head, neck, or back trauma; spinal cord injury; brain injury; long-term medical complications; internal bleeding; paralysis; and, in the worst case scenario, death.
- Lost wages (or impairment of earning capacity) as a result of hospital stay-time, or, for the loved one of a premises accident victim, the necessity to temporarily or permanently extricate themselves from work in order to provide care. Workers’ compensation may also be claimed in these cases if the injury occurred at work.
- Life care expenses, such as life support or ongoing medical expenses for chronic injuries.
- Vocational rehabilitation.
- Pain and suffering, for both emotional and physical distress.
- Loss of consortium (the services of a close family member) and loss of care and companionship.
- Wrongful death.
- Funeral expenses.
If you have been injured on a dangerous property, there are a series of steps you can take to explore your options for recovery.
Immediately after suffering an injury on a dangerous property, it’s important to seek medical attention. Waiting to seek medical attention can actually have a negative effect on your case in the future; additionally, this ensures that an official medical record exists to support the legitimacy of your claim.
It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the elements of a property which make it dangerous; whether it’s missing signage, cracked pavement, or a broken railing, take a picture of any element which might have contributed to the accident. If there were any witnesses to the incident, don’t be afraid to ask for their contact information and even record a testimony from them if they agree.
At this point consider contacting a premises liability attorney. It may help to note that most of these attorneys offer free consultations and even work on contingency. An experienced premises liability attorney can evaluate your situation with the evidence at hand to help work toward your best physical and financial recovery.