Business owners and managers have a duty to keep lawful patrons safe while they are on the premises. If you recently suffered harm because a business owner or manager failed to address a hazard on their land, you may have grounds to file suit against them for compensation.
However, litigating against a business of any size is no easy task. There are many legal nuances and challenges in premises liability law that will be difficult to manage without an experienced attorney. Once retained, a Wilmington premises liability lawyer can help you build a comprehensive case for recovery and handle the difficult proceedings on your behalf.
Premises Liability Laws in Wilmington
Under Delaware Code Title 25 §1501, owners and residents of private residential property can only be held liable for a visitor or trespasser’s injuries under specific circumstances. Generally, this means that a landowner or resident is only responsible for a victim’s damages if they were harmed through intentional aggression or “willful or wanton disregard for the rights of others.”
Accordingly, most successful premises liability claims involve incidents in which the injured party was an “invitee.” This means that they were a lawful visitor with implicit or explicit permission to enter private property for the benefit of the property owner. This benefit is usually, though not always, financial in nature. In these situations, property owners must take action to address hazardous conditions on their property within a reasonable amount of time, or warn invitees so they do not get hurt.
For example, if a retail customer suffered a head injury after being hit by merchandise that fell from a store shelf, it may be possible for them to file suit against the store’s owner for failing to store the item safely. A premises liability attorney in the area could review an injured victim’s circumstances to determine if they have a viable case.
Statute of Limitations for Premises Liability Claims
It is important to remember that injured victims have a limited window for pursuing compensation. DE Code Tit. 10, §8119 sets a two-year filing deadline on personal injury claims, including those for dangerous property incidents. It is always best to retain a skilled premises liability lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that a claim can be filed within the deadlines.
Recoverable Damages in a Property Liability Case
In a premises liability claim, an injured victim can seek financial compensation for all forms of harm they suffered as a direct result of the defendant’s negligence. Depending on the circumstances, these damages may be economic or non-economic in nature, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Damage to personal property
- Lost work wages, as well as the value of lost vacation/sick days
- Pain and suffering
Additional compensation may be available in cases where an incident results in permanent disability or disfigurement. These long-term damages could include loss of consortium, loss of future earning capacity, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Get in Touch with a Wilmington Premises Liability Attorney
Certain circumstances allow you to seek civil recovery for injuries sustained on some else’s land. A well-practiced attorney at Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz, and Bhaya can assess the viability of your potential claim and help collect evidence of the property owner’s negligence. Legal guidance may be necessary to secure the financial recovery you need for your losses, so call us to schedule an initial consultation today.