Every time you enter a place of business, you do so with the expectation that the grounds and property will be safe. The same goes for a private residence. To one degree or another, all property owners a duty to keep their properties safe for visitors. When a property is not maintained or is in poor condition, accidents can happen. These accidents can lead to significant physical, emotional, and financial harm.
When a property owner breaches a duty to maintain a safe environment, the injured party may have financial recourse under Nebraska law. At the Robert Pahlke Law Group, our Nebraska personal injury lawyers fight for the rights of our clients to receive fair and just compensation for injuries sustained on someone else’s property. If you were injured in a fall or other incident outside your home, contact our office to request a free consultation.
What Is Premises Liability?
In its simplest form, a premises liability lawsuit is a legal claim that a property owner failed to uphold a duty to maintain a safe environment for visitors. To recover damages, you must prove that you sustained an actual injury as a result of the owner’s actions or inactions.
The amount of liability someone owes will depend on your “status” as a property visitor. A property owner will usually not have the same level of liability to a trespasser as they would to an invited guest, for example. Likewise, residential property owners tend to have slightly lesser duties to visitors than do commercial property owners (although that may not always be the case). An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights under Nebraska’s premises liability laws.
Many circumstances leading to injury fall under the umbrella of premises liability law. Common premises liability claims include:
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can happen as the result of a slippery surface or an uneven walkway. These accidents can happen at a place of business or a private residence. In a commercial space, most slip and fall accidents are the result of a liquid spill, an uneven sidewalk, and wet or icy surface. At a private residence, driveways and sidewalks are usually the areas of concern.
While these accidents can seem minor, they are anything but. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls account for over 8 million emergency room visits every year. Slip and fall accidents account for 1 million of these visits. These accidents can lead to serious injuries. This includes:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
Dog Bite Accidents
Nebraska law considers dogs to be the personal property of their owners. Consequently, the law provides that the dog’s owner will be responsible for all costs associated with a dog bite. However, a person cannot make a legal claim if they intentionally provoke the animal. Dog bites are serious. They can lead to painful injuries and permanent scars. These wounds are also at a high risk of developing infections.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Swimming pools can be dangerous, even for an experienced swimmer. According to the CDC, about 10 people die every day from unintentional drownings. The laws regarding pool safety will depend on whether it is a private or public pool. For public pools, property owners must abide by strict rules, including training, lifeguards, and safety devices. For private residences, pools should have a fence or other barrier that prevents unauthorized entry (particularly entry by young children).
Business owners (including apartment complexes) have a duty to provide adequate security to their guests, employees, and residents. The level of security will depend on the property and location. In general, the owner should make reasonable efforts to make sure the property is safe. This may include lighting, security guards, fencing, or cameras. If a crime results from inadequate security, the owner may be liable.
Premises liability accidents can result in serious injuries. Often, these injuries come with substantial costs. If your injuries are the result of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Common injuries include:
Traumatic brain injuries: Traumatic brain injuries occur when there is a hard hit to the head or a penetrating head wound. These injuries can result in minor headaches or cause a permanent vegetative state. It’s important to get treatment for a TBI right away. Accidents that may cause a TBI include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Falling object accidents
Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis, which in turn requires lifelong treatment and causes severe limitations that can lead to emotional distress or lost income. These injuries can be caused by falls or swimming pool accidents.
Burns: There are many different types of burns. While we usually associate burns with fire, they can happen as a result of fire, chemicals, or extreme heat. Common causes include chemical burns, building fires, and burns caused by food or drink at a restaurant.
Lacerations: Lacerations can be just as serious as any other injury. They can lead to infection and can also cause significant pain and scarring. For serious injuries, there may be disfiguration or amputation. Common causes of lacerations include:
- Sharp objects on the ground
- Dog bites
Mental health issues: Injuries affect people in different ways. Someone who has suffered a dog bite may relive the event or develop a fear of dogs. A near-drowning experience can cause PTSD, anxiety, or depression. These are serious injuries that require treatment.
Your Rights Matter to Our Nebraska Premises Liability Attorneys
You deserve to be safe when visiting someone else’s property. When injuries happen because of someone’s carelessness, you should not have to suffer the greater burden of the financial costs. At the Robert Pahlke Law Group, our lawyers fight to make sure our clients’ voices are heard.
If you get injured on someone else’s property, the property owner may owe you compensation. Our law firm aims to provide compassionate, aggressive legal representation, to help our clients get the justice they deserve. If you were injured, your rights matter.
To learn more about your legal rights, call the Robert Pahlke Law Group at (308) 633-4444 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.