Injured on someone's property: Winning a premises liability case in WI
Milwaukee Personal Injury Law Firm on How to Win a Premise Liability Suit
Proving a property owner failed to protect a person from injury depends heavily on the relationship between the injured party and the property owner. The relationship can establish, or even nullify any duty the property owner might have to prevent an injury. With our extensive experience in personal injury cases, Warshafsky Law has no trouble establishing a relationship and identifying the existence of a duty. It doesn’t hurt that we have a private investigator on staff, either!
If you want to be compensated for your personal injury on someone’s property you need to know these three things:
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®
***CAUTION: It is not recommended that you proceed without a personal injury lawyer. No amount of research will qualify you to assess the value of your case. Get a free case assessment.***
1. What you need to prove
In most premise liability lawsuits, you need to prove these 5 things to win your case:
- Your relationship with the property owner
- The existence of a duty - in premise law this refers to a property owner's duty to protect you
- A breach of duty - a failure of the property owner to protect you
- Damages - in non-legal terms, an injury
- Causation – a causal connection between the property owner’s actions and the injury
2. When a property owner is liable
In most cases, when you enter someone’s property you can assume you will not be injured. In Wisconsin, property owners are responsible for maintaining a safe environment. A pizza delivery driver could have a case if they slipped on ice in someone’s unsalted driveway. If the same pizza driver was intoxicated or behaving in an unsafe or unlawful manner they would not have a case. A property owner must maintain their property or, at the very least, inform individuals of the hazards on their property.
Your ability to sue a property owner for injuries rests upon the status of your relationship with the property owner. In premise law there are three types of relationships an individual can have with a property owner:
Property owners have a duty to protect almost anyone on their property, regardless of the relationship they have with the individual on their property. The amount of protection an individual is afforded depends on the nature of their relationship. If a neighbor comes over for dinner the property owner has a duty to create a safe environment for them, but the same property owner has no legal obligation to protect an unanticipated trespasser.
1. Can I sue a property owner if I am an invitee?
An invitee is anyone who has been invited on to a property by the owner. Invitees have every legal right to assume the property is safe, and property owners have a duty to ensure their property is safe. Property owners have a duty to protect invitees on their property. So long as you are behaving in a safe or otherwise lawful manner you can sue a property owner for injury. A property owner has a duty to protect invitees from known and unknown dangers.
As an invitee, you may be able to sue a property owner for injury compensation if:
- You injure yourself falling off your neighbor’s rickety deck
- You slip and fall in the produce department of a grocery store
- You walk through a glass door at a neighbor’s party
- You get lacerations from old barbed wire while hunting on someone’s property
2. Can I sue a property owner if I am a licensee?
A licensee is anyone who is conducting business on someone’s property. A pizza delivery driver or an HVAC technician would be considered a licensee. Property owners do not have a duty to make their property safe for licensees. They do have a duty to inform licensees of potential dangers on the property. Once informed the licensee is largely responsible for their own safety. A licensee can sue a property owner if they were improperly informed of the dangers on the property. A property owner has a right to protect licensees from known dangers, but not from unknown dangers.
As a licensee, you may be able to sue a property owner for injury compensation if:
- You are remodeling a home or business and the property owner failed to warn you of asbestos insulation
- You are inspecting old duct work and the property owner failed to inform you of damaged components
- You are delivering an item and slip and fall on an oil slick on the driveway
3. Can I sue a property owner if I was trespassing?
There are two kinds of trespassers: anticipated and unanticipated.
- Anticipated trespassers are typically defined as an individual who may wander on to someone’s property. A common example is an area where public and private lands meet. Property owners have no duty to protect anticipated trespassers, but they do have a duty to inform them of potential hazards.
- Unanticipated trespassers are typically defined as individuals who enter someone’s property illegally with the intent to commit a crime. A property owner has no duty to protect or inform unanticipated trespassers.
As a trespasser, you may be able to sue a property owner for injury compensation if:
- You were injured by something created by the property owner to cause harm
- The owner did not properly inform you of the unsafe conditions on the property
- The owner failed to exercise reasonable care of their property
For more information about suing for an injury sustained while trespassing, read our trespassing article.
3. Who you can trust
hen people choose their Wisconsin personal injury lawyer based on the endorsement of a football player or actor, they risk choosing an attorney who has never won more money in a courtroom. Settlement mills forward your paperwork and take a cut of your damages.
Hundreds of times we have prepared cases like yours beyond the brink of trial. Facing unlimited liability AND an expensive jury trial, insurance companies fess up what your case is worth. They HATE when you choose Warshafsky. Insurance companies know: it IS about the money.
If you were injured on someone’s property as a result of their negligence it is about the money. Most Milwaukee law firms try to fix everything in just one phone call. Warshafsky Law knows your injury deserves more than just a phone call. Our team of personal injury lawyers isn’t afraid to challenge private property owners or commercial property owners. Warshafsky will fight to prove the property owner is liable for the injuries you sustained.
The only thing a property owner or their insurance company cares about is giving you the lowest settlement possible. They don't care about you, and they don't care about your injury. We aren't saying the farmer who lets you hunt on his land is a bad person. He's trying to minimize his costs just like anyone else would. It can be tempting to just sign the check and put everything behind you (especially if your spine is in pieces or you might never walk right again). You'll be lucky if the lowball offer from the insurance company will even cover your medical expenses. No amount of money will undo the injury you've sustained or the trauma you've endured, but it will make your suffering easier.
Warshafsky Law cares about one thing: getting you the most money possible. If you've been injured on someone's private or commercial property you might be entitled to compensation. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Warshafsky Law for a free case assessment.
Can you sue a property owner for...
As long as the expert personal injury lawyers at Warshafsky Law proves you are not responsible for your injury you can sue a property owner for:
- Lacerations and Contusions
- Sprained or Broken Ankles
- Arm, Shoulder and Elbow Injuries
- Back Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Concussions and other Brain Injuries
- Joint Injuries and Dislocations
- Eye Injuries and Loss of Vision
- Injuries to Face/Head
- Damage to Internal Organs
- Knee Injuries
- Amputation and Loss of Limb
- Spine Injuries
- Sprains and Strains
Free Legal Consultations and No Win, No Fee Policy
Fighting a corporation's massive legal team in court is frightening to most law firms. Warshafsky Law is not most law firms. If a business can afford a big expensive legal team they can afford to compensate our clients. Insurance companies haWarshafsky Law will defend you as the opposition tries to blame you for your injury. We instantly press our attack to establish how the property owner had a duty to protect you and failed.
Insurance companies base your claim on the quality of your lawyer. If you don't have the best firm by your side you will get less. Having the best personal injury lawyers fight for your premise liability case is the first step to getting the compensation you deserve. We know that no amount of money will ever undo the injuries you've endured or the trauma you've experienced. You were harmed and you deserve compensation for your injuries. If you were injured on someone else's property it is about the money.
The above should not be considered legal advice and is for informational purposes only. If you have been injured, Warshafsky Law highly recommends you consult an experienced personal injury attorney. Case assessments are free and you will pay not one penny unless you win. Get a free case assessment.