Premises Liability Laws in Louisiana
When you visit someone else’s home, shop in a grocery store, or enjoy a public park, you expect a certain, reasonable degree of safety. In fact, Louisiana law requires private and public property owners to take various measures to ensure the safety of visitors, whether they are friends, neighbors, customers, or employees. This includes conducting regular maintenance, repairing damaged or dangerous conditions, and properly warning guests about hazards that could cause accidents or injuries.
If you were injured on someone else’s property—whether it was a private home or a commercial retail store—and you believe the property owner failed to take the reasonable and necessary steps to keep you safe, reach out to Doran & Cawthorne, P.L.L.C. You could have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit, and our team can help. We offer completely free consultations and do not collect any attorney fees unless we win your case. What’s more, we truly care about helping you get back on your feet.
When Is a Property Owner Liable for Damages?
Louisiana premises liability laws outline the duties of care property owners owe to different types of visitors.
There are three different types of visitors defined by Louisiana law:
- Invitees: An invitee is someone who has the property owner’s expressed or implied permission to visit the property and does so for the mutual benefit of the visitor and the property owner. For example, a customer in a grocery store would be an invitee.
- Licensees: A licensee is someone who does not have the property owner’s expressed permission to be on the property, but nevertheless enters the property lawfully for their own purposes. Someone who uses the restroom at a gas station without buying gas would be a licensee.
- Trespassers: A trespasser is someone who does not have the property owner’s expressed or implied permission to be on the property, but nevertheless enters the property unlawfully for their own purposes.
By law, Louisiana property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees, followed by licensees. Property owners in Louisiana do not owe any duty of care to trespassers, unless the trespasser is a minor (under the age of 18).
Invitees, on the other hand, can expect property owners to provide a “reasonably safe” environment, free from various hazards that could cause foreseeable injury. Licensees can expect property owners to provide reasonable warnings when dangerous conditions are present, but property owners do not necessarily need to remove or repair such conditions for licensees.
What Is a “Dangerous Condition?”
Many premises liability cases depend on the presence of dangerous conditions—but what exactly constitutes a “dangerous condition?” Simply put, a dangerous condition is any condition or hazard that poses a risk of foreseeable injury to others. This means that the condition must be one that any reasonable person would understand might cause an accident or injury.
Some examples of common dangerous conditions include:
- Uneven floors
- Wet or slippery floors
- Missing handrails
- Poor lighting
- Negligent security
- Loose dogs or other animals
- Defective steps or stairs
- Improper or missing signs
- Failure to warn
- Unsafe swimming pools
- Attractive nuisances, such as trampolines
- Defective sidewalks
- Poorly maintained premises
- Building code violations
If you were injured or if someone you love died in an accident caused by any of these or other unsafe property conditions, know that you deserve justice. Our Opelousas premises liability attorneys at Doran & Cawthorne, P.L.L.C. can help you understand your options, protect your rights, and seek the full, fair compensation you are owed.
What If the Property Owner Argues That You Were Partly at Fault?
Even if the property owners try to say you were partly—or even mostly—at fault for the incident that caused your injuries, this doesn’t mean you can’t file a claim. However, under Louisiana’s rule of pure comparative negligence, the amount you can recover will be reduced by the same percentage of fault you are found to have had.
So, for example, if the property owner’s insurance company and/or the court says that you were 50% at fault for the incident, you can only recover half of the amount you are seeking in damages. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the extent of your damages, this could mean that you might lose thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
We strongly recommend that you work with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney, like those at Doran & Cawthorne, P.L.L.C., if you were injured on someone else’s property. There is a good chance the property owner and their insurance company will fight your claim, but our team knows how to fight back. We have the experience, resources, and skills to aggressively advocate for you and your family.
How Our Premises Liability Lawyers Can Help
Navigating the aftermath of a serious injury is difficult enough. Right now, you should spend your time focused on getting the medical care you need and taking time off work to heal. You shouldn’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay your bills or manage everyday expenses while you are out of work.
When you turn to our firm for help with your claim, you can rely on our attorneys to help you throughout the entire legal process, providing the personal attention, care, and support you deserve. We handle all types of premises liability claims, including cases involving slip and falls, dog bites, negligent security, attractive nuisances, swimming pool accidents, amusement park injuries, government entities, and more. There is no case too complex or challenging for our Opelousas premises liability attorneys. Simply get in touch with our team to find out how we can help you with your claim today.
An injury is a devastating thing to have to deal with and a legal case on top of it can seem impossible. Our firm’s personal injury attorneys are able to offer peace of mind when you know that someone with experience and commitment is handling the situation.
When a case can’t be worked out through negotiation, Doran & Cawthorne has no qualms about taking the matter to court. Whether before a judge, or jury, we will gather the evidence necessary to present your case before the fact-finder in the best light.
It is all too common for insurance companies to offer less than what they know to be fair. Our lawyers will negotiate on your behalf, and won’t compromise for anything less than the amount they know you should be receiving.
Our lawyers don’t just talk it…we strive to deliver. You can rest assured you’ll have experienced personal injury counsel with Doran & Cawthorne on your side.
Having handled hundreds, if not thousands of injury cases in Louisiana, Texas and elsewhere, we can assess the best options for each case.
Our firm’s attorneys will guide you in the right direction to make sure your case is developed effectively to your advantage.