The short answer—Yes, you can sue a property owner for a personal injury. 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. To know if your injury may warrant a lawsuit, consult with a legal team that has years of trial experience. Top law firms will have an on-staff private investigator to gather evidence and help prove the property owner was at fault.
In most premise liability lawsuits, you need to prove 5 items to win:
Your relationship with the property owner – i.e. the property owner is your employer or you are their client
The existence of 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 occurred – i.e. you were injured on their property
Causation – the property owner's actions or lack of action resulted in your injury
Wisconsin premise liability laws
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. For example, a pizza delivery driver could win compensation if they slipped on ice in someone’s unsalted driveway. If the same pizza driver was intoxicated, however, 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. 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. In premise law there are three types of relationships an individual can have with a property owner:
1. Can I sue a property owner if I am an invitee?
An invitee is anyone who has been invited onto a property by the owner. Invitees have every legal right to assume the property is safe. A property owner has a duty to protect invitees from known and unknown dangers. As long as you are behaving in a safe and lawful manner, you can sue a property owner for injury.
As an invitee, you may be able to sue a property owner for injury compensation if:
You injured yourself falling off the property owner's deck
You slipped and injured yourself in the produce department of a grocery store
You received 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 and an HVAC technician would be considered licensees. 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 is liable 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 were remodeling a home or business and the property owner failed to warn you of asbestos insulation
You were inspecting old ductwork and the property owner failed to inform you of damaged components
You were delivering an item and slipped on an oil slick in 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 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
You can sue a property owner for...
We've helped clients win lawsuits for all types of personal injuries, including:
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. 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. You'll be lucky if the lowball offer from the insurance company will even cover your medical expenses. Warshafsky Law cares about one thing: getting you the most compensation possible.
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 an expensive legal team, they can afford to compensate someone they've wronged. Insurance companies base your claim on the quality of your lawyer. Having thebest personal injury lawyersfight 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.
When 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. Warshafsky is no settlement mill. Hundreds of times we have prepared cases to win at trial. Facing unlimited liability AND a jury trial, insurance companies settle for a much larger amount than they initially offer. They HATE when you choose Warshafsky. Insurance companies know:
Injured? it is about the money®
Can I sue a property owner for an injury?
If you can prove you have an invitee, licensee or trespasser relationship with the property owner, you may able to sue for physical, emotional & monetary damages. Consult a personal injury lawyer for a case evaluation.
Can a trespasser sue the property owners in the state of Wisconsin?
Generally, trespassers cannot sue as they were breaking the law when they were injured. An exception would be if the property owner was fully aware of the unsafe conditions on the premises.
Who is considered a trespasser in Wisconsin?
Anyone that enters someone else’s property or stays longer than invited on the property is considered a trespasser.
Can you sue for slipping and falling on someone’s property in Wisconsin?
If the cause of the fall was due to negligence of the property owner, you may be able to sue for damages. For example if a pizza delivery person slips on an icy, unsalted driveway, he may be entitled to compensation.
How to win a premise liability case in Wisconsin?
Premise liability cases require you to prove your relationship with the property owner, the existence of duty, a breach of duty and the injury occurred on the property. The three relationships you may have to a property owner are: invitees who are invited onto the property, licensees who are conducting business on the property and trespassers (anticipated or unanticipated) who are not invited onto the property.
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