When you are on someone else’s property, you generally expect that they have kept the property safe for guests and visitors. But what happens if you are injured while on the property?
Injuries in public places can come in many forms. You could slip on a puddle in a grocery store, trip over something left on a floor or slip on ice in a parking lot or your neighbor’s driveway.
The legal duty of property owners
Michigan law states that property or business owners have a legal duty to provide safe, hazard-free conditions to their guests. If conditions on their property are unsafe, and the conditions cause an injury, they could be held negligent through a premises liability claim.
Proving negligence in a premises liability case requires establishing the same elements as in any other negligence case. You must show that the place you were injured qualifies as a public place and that you had a legal right to be there.
For example, if you are injured while illegally trespassing on someone else’s property, you cannot try to recover compensation for your injury, since you were not supposed to be there in the first place.
The challenges of proving cause
You must also prove that the property owner’s failure to provide safe conditions caused your injury. This can be challenging, because the property owner can try to claim that you played a part in what caused the injury.
Michigan uses comparative negligence law, which means that if it established that you were also at fault, your total compensation will be reduced by that amount. You must show that you acted in a reasonable manner and did not contribute to your injury.
Injuries caused by negligence often seriously disrupt your life, causing you immense pain and suffering, as well as the cost of treating the injuries and potentially missing time from work. In some cases, you may not be able to return to work.
Attorneys experienced with proving negligence can evaluate your situation and advise you on your best strategies for obtaining compensation through a premises liability action.