Any time you visit a property—whether residential or business—there are risks of injury. When you are hurt by dangerous conditions on another person’s property, a premises liability claim may help compensate you with monetary damages. A properly substantiated claim could make all the difference in your life after a serious injury.
A qualified Middletown premises liability lawyer can review your case and help determine the viability of your claim. Speak with a skilled attorney to get started today.
Legal Status & Property Owner Liability in Middletown
An important part of a premises liability claim is the legal status of the person injured on the property. This dictates not only what the person’s legal rights may be under the law, but also the type of compensation that may be available as a result. It is crucial for a potential plaintiff to consult an attorney on their legal status before pursuing a property liability claim.
For those who enter onto a premises for purposes that financially benefit a property owner, that owner owes them a higher standard of care. This may include the duty of the property owner to warn of known hazards and to conduct reasonable inspections of the property. These types of duties are usually owed by businesses rather than private individuals, but specific cases may differ. For instance, in the case of someone visiting a private residence for their job, it would be the private home owner who would own the duty to that person. A skilled premises liability attorney could help determine the appropriate legal status of the plaintiff in an effort to secure compensation.
“Guests Without Payment” & “Trespassers”
Unlike many other states, which have separate standards for social guests and trespassers, 25 Delaware Code § 1501 sets the same low standard for “guests without payment” and “trespassers.” This applies to private residential properties and farm premises. The law holds that there is no cause of action against owners of these properties unless the defendant either commits an intentional act against the plaintiff or causes harm through willful or wanton disregard of the rights of others.
Unless one of these exceptions applies, social guests and trespassers are not entitled to monetary damages against property owners. This area of property liability law is specific and often requires the assistance of a qualified attorney to assist the plaintiff. Most people are very surprised to learn that people who invite them to their houses socially owe them very limited duties. Since this is often counterintuitive it is important to speak with an experienced premise liability attorney.
Representation Options for Premises Liability Cases
While plaintiffs are legally permitted to represent themselves, self-represented parties are still expected to follow the same standards as parties represented by counsel. This means the court will require a plaintiff to follow the Rules of Evidence, the Rules of Civil Procedure, conduct rules, and many procedural regulations they may not already know.
Proving a premises liability claim also requires a thorough understanding of both state law and legal procedure. Often times, expert testimony is required to prove liability. Failure to follow these rules may result in the dismissal of a claim, or the inability to prove a claim that may otherwise have been successful. As such, those injured in property liability incidents should contact a Middletown attorney for assistance.
Hire a Dedicated Premises Liability Attorney in Middletown
If another person’s negligence caused your injuries, you should not have to endure the high costs following a premises liability incident. An attorney well-versed in state law and procedure could represent your interests and may assist you in pursuing financial compensation.
An experienced Middletown premises liability lawyer is prepared to fight for you. Contact the Law Offices of Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz, and Bhaya today.