People who suffer injuries on a property that is not their own could be entitled to seek compensation under the legal theory of premises liability. This theory states that owners or managers of property must use reasonable efforts to keep their premises safe for others, repair any hazards promptly, and warn visitors about any existing conditions that may pose a danger to them while visiting.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury on another’s premises, determining whether a property owner or manager could be held liable for a visitor’s injuries depends on the type of property and the behavior of the injured person. Bringing a claim can be complex, so it could benefit potential claimants to speak with a Kenosha premises liability lawyer to determine whether there could be legitimate grounds for a lawsuit. An experienced personal injury attorney can work to help you file a claim within the deadlines and prove that there was negligence on behalf of the property owner.
What is the Safe Place Statute in Kenosha?
A state law, Wis. Stat. §101.11, called the Safe Space Statute, requires all workplaces and spaces open to the public to adhere to a duty of care in which the land must be reasonably safe for employees and others who enter. The premises need not be indoors for this standard to apply. Employees and visitors to outdoor places of employment are entitled to reasonably safe premises under this law. The owners or managers do not need to keep the space completely hazard-free. They only need to keep it in as safe a condition as the circumstances allow.
If a claimant can demonstrate that an unreasonably hazardous condition existed and that the employer, property owner, or manager had knowledge of it and failed to give adequate warning, the claimant could have a viable claim for damages. To prove the knowledge of the owner, the claimant must show that the defendant either created the hazard or, if they did not create it, knew of it or would have known of it if they had exercised reasonable care.
Many variables affect the determination of whether a condition was unreasonably hazardous. A local property mismanagement attorney could investigate a particular accident’s circumstances to ascertain whether a defendant potentially violated the Safe Place Statute.
Proving Premises Liability Under the Negligence Theory
When a Kenosha resident has been injured on property that is not a place of employment or open to the public, the plaintiff must prove the defendant’s negligence led to their accident to receive any compensation for their damages. To demonstrate negligence, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached their specific duty of care. The reason for the plaintiff’s presence on the premises determines the extent of the defendant’s duty to them.
Invitees have either expressed or implied permission to enter a property. Some examples of an invite include customers of a business and guests in a private home. Property owners and managers owe invitees a duty of reasonable care to keep the premises safe for their anticipated use.
A licensed person has permission to enter a property for their own purpose. For example, a salesperson or someone who enters a property to read a meter is a licensee. The owner or operator has an obligation to warn licensees about any dangerous conditions they know of or that the licensee might not anticipate.
The owner or manager owes no duty of care to a person who enters property without permission. However, if there is a man-made feature on the premises that might be attractive to a child, such as a swimming pool, the owner or manager must take reasonable steps to keep them from harm.
How Does Comparative Negligence Work in Premises Liability?
A plaintiff may be blamed for some of the responsibility for the accident that caused their injuries. An accomplished legal representative in the area could persuade a court that a defendant was primarily responsible for the accident that injured them. The law in Wisconsin allows negligent plaintiffs to collect damages if the plaintiff was less than 51 percent at fault.
When a premises liability lawsuit goes to trial, the judge will allocate responsibility between the parties. The judge will then reduce any award the plaintiff receives by an amount that reflects the plaintiff’s apportioned fault.
Improve Your Chances of Receiving Compensation with a Kenosha Premises Liability Attorney
Premises liability cases have many moving parts and the deck may be stacked against the injured person. Aggressive insurance company attorneys could use the law’s complications to deny an injured person their rightful compensation. You may have a hard time successfully advocating for yourself.
Hire an experienced Kenosha premises liability lawyer to get a committed legal professional working for your best interests. Contact the Law Offices of R. F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. to schedule a free consultation and case review today.