Ponchatoula Premises Liability Lawyer

When a property owner is negligent or careless, accidents and serious harm can befall guests on their property. Louisiana law provides for various legal standards of care depending on the person who was injured and the type of person who owns or manages the property. Specific elements must be proven in order for a claim to succeed against a property owner. A Ponchatoula premises liability lawyer could study your case and help you determine the best path forward. Due to the different levels of visitors that exist, it is best to work with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who knows the intricacies of the law.

Standards of Care in Premises Liability Cases

State law requires different standards of care for different types of defendants and sets forth specialized requirements that must be met in order for a claim to be successful. If a plaintiff fails to follow these requirements, their claim cannot be successful. Property owners must create a safe premises for invitees (usually business customers or people specifically invited) and warn of hazards for any licensee (a person who was not specifically invited but can be reasonably assumed to enter a property). Owners do not have a duty of care to protect trespassers, unless it is a child. A Ponchatoula premises liability attorney understands these requirements and could investigate whether or not proper action was taken.

Claims Against Merchants

Civil Code § 9:2800.6 sets special rules and requirements of proof for those businesses and individuals defined as “merchants.” A merchant sells foods, goods, wares, or other types of merchandise in a fixed place of business. Restaurants, hotels, inns, and many other businesses fall in this category. Proving a negligence claim against a merchant requires the plaintiff to demonstrate:

  • That a foreseeable risk of harm to the plaintiff existed due to a dangerous condition on the premises
  • The merchant had either constructive knowledge or actual knowledge of the hazard
  • The merchant failed to exercise reasonable care in their conduct or omissions
  • The plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the merchant’s actions or inactions

This standard must be met for a claim to be successful. A qualified attorney could use their varied resources to help determine the extent of the merchant’s knowledge and actions.

Constructive Notice vs. Actual Notice

To understand constructive notice, it is helpful to understand how it differs from actual notice. Actual notice means that the merchant actually knew about the hazard in some way., whether it was told to a supervisor, an employee, or they saw the hazard.

Constructive notice is when the condition existed for such an extent of time that the hazard would have been discovered if the merchant was exercising reasonable care. The merchant might have no actual knowledge of the hazard, but if they were responsible, they would have discovered it. Case law is especially instructive on how to prove constructive notice and apply it to a plaintiff’s case, so it is a good idea to work with a hazardous property lawyer in Ponchatoula who knows how to apply the law correctly.

Public Sidewalk Standards

Another common situation for premises liability is injuries that occur on public sidewalks. These are subject to their own legal standard. Civil Code § 9:2800 sets forth the following test for holding a public entity responsible for these injuries:

  • The public entity had ownership or custody of the hazard
  • The hazard caused an unreasonable risk of harm
  • The public entity had constructive or actual notice of the hazard
  • The hazard was not corrected in a reasonable time
  • The hazard caused injury and damages to the plaintiff

While sidewalk injuries are most common, especially in slip and fall claims, this standard may apply to many other claims against public entities such as a city or state government.

Speak to a Ponchatoula Premises Liability Attorney

Premises liability cases are complicated and require you to prove specific elements or else you might not be compensated. A Ponchatoula premises liability lawyer could help manage your case while you recover from your injuries. Give us a call for a free consultation.

Parker Layrisson Law Firm

Parker Layrisson Law Firm

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