If you are injured on someone else’s property, you may be able to bring a claim to recover compensation for the injuries and financial expenses that you suffered as a direct and foreseeable result of the accident. Although some accidents on property can be relatively minor, resulting in injuries that heal in time, others can be devastating and leave the victim with life-altering disabilities. At McCroskey Law, our Grand Rapids premises liability lawyers have handled numerous accident cases on behalf of people throughout Michigan. As a result, we have seen firsthand how much a landowner’s carelessness can affect someone else’s life. From offices in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, and Battle Creek, we fight tirelessly for the rights of people across West Michigan.Premises Liability Law in Michigan
An accident on property can happen virtually anywhere, but common examples include slip and falls at supermarkets, uneven floorboards or cracks in cement surfaces, rickety staircases with untrustworthy railings, common areas where ice and snow accumulate in excessive amounts, and faulty electrical systems. If you are asserting a claim against a landowner for injuries that you sustained on their premises, there are a few considerations that you may want to understand.
First, facts and evidence are critical in cases like these. If you or someone with you at the scene or an injury are able, you may try to gather as much evidence as possible at the scene. This includes taking photographs of the hazard, both close up and far away. You should also make a report to management at the time of your injury. Try to obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses or responding staff members at the scene. Ask if the accident was caught on video.
Second, a premises liability action is based on showing that the landowner did not maintain their property in a reasonable manner based on their duty to the victim. The level of duty that the landowner owes is based on the victim’s status on the property. Business owners owe the highest level of care to patrons invited to the property for business reasons. They must conduct reasonable inspections of the property and make sufficient repairs, or warn against dangerous conditions that they discover or reasonably could have discovered through a diligent search. A premises liability attorney in Grand Rapids or elsewhere can help a victim prove that a landowner should have discovered a hazard.
Landowners who invite guests for social reasons owe a duty to warn about known dangers, while landowners do not owe a duty of care to trespassers, with an exception for instances in which the landowner is aware of frequent trespassing onto their property.Claim Compensation for Your Injuries
After showing that the defendant failed to act according to the duty that they owed to you, you must prove that this failure was the cause of your injuries and financial damages. One of the most common defenses that a landowner may attempt to assert in a premises liability action is that the plaintiff was responsible in some way for their own injuries. Michigan has recognized the “Open and Obvious” rule, which means if a hazard is visible upon casual inspection, or looking at the ground, one should know to avoid it. If hazard is not “open and obvious,” an injured person must then prove that the business or landowner had notice of the hazard. These cases are often difficult and complicated. Our knowledgeable and experienced Grand Rapids premises liability attorneys can explain further how this rule may apply in your case.
The “comparative negligence rule” may also apply to cases like these, meaning If the plaintiff is found to have been more than 50% at fault for their injuries, the plaintiff may not be allowed to recover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. If the dangerous condition was open and obvious, for example, or if the plaintiff was trespassing on a portion of the premises that was not open to visitors, the plaintiff may not be awarded any compensation. A skillful attorney can help you fight back and get the most compensation in your case.Schedule a Free Consultation with a Premises Liability Attorney
Injuries from sudden accidents can be stressful, especially if your accident happened at a friend or family member’s home, or at a business of which you are a regular patron. We offer a free consultation with a premises liability lawyer in Grand Rapids or one of our other offices to help you understand your options and decide whether you have a viable claim against the person or business that may have been responsible for your injuries. With offices in Muskegon, Grand Rapids, and Battle Creek, we are prepared to provide you with diligent and attentive legal representation. Call us in Muskegon at 231-726-4861, in Grand Rapids at 616-364-6607, or in Battle Creek at 269-968-2215.