Montana residents enter the property of others all the time – grocery stores, hotels, restaurants and even the common areas of an apartment complex are almost always owned by someone else. So, what happens if you are injured on another person’s property? Could the property owner be held liable in a civil lawsuit?
The answers to these questions are found in the area of law known as premises liability law, which itself falls under the umbrella of personal injury law. Oftentimes, potential premises liability claims seem quite clear: a dangerous condition existed on someone else’s property, and you were injured because of it. However, there is usually more to it than that.
Variables in a case
Most times, a property owner isn’t going to just admit fault. There are areas of a claim where a property owner can fight back. For example, was the person even allowed on the land? Or was he a trespasser? Sometimes that distinction doesn’t matter, but it might. Or, another variable might be the dangerous condition itself: did the property owner know about it? Did the property owner have time to correct or address the condition?
If you suffered an injury on another person’s property, you can be sure that the personal injury lawsuit will likely face stiff opposition. However, if your claim has been evaluated carefully and the elements of a premises liability claim can be proven in court, you are most likely approaching the litigation from a point of strength. Most cases settle out of court these days, but some do go all the way to trial. Be sure to get the right information about your options if you have suffered an injury that might lead to a premises liability lawsuit.