Premises liability claims for financial compensation in Rhode Island are based on complicated tort laws and often more complicated real estate law. When you are injured while at a business, in a neighbor’s home, at a community swimming pool or other location, it might be unclear who is responsible for your damages. The most frequently asked questions involving premises liability are answered below by a reputable Rhode Island personal injury attorney.
What Is Premises Liability?
Under Rhode Island law, premises liability involves injuries caused by a defect on another individual’s real property. This broad category of personal injury cases involve numerous types of injuries that occur by various means including:
• Dog bite or animal attack
• Slip and fall accident
• Restaurant-based food poisoning
• Falling debris or merchandise
• Nearly any accident happening on another’s property
The legal theory of premises liability is used by RI personal injury attorneys to seek compensation for victims. Cases are resolved by proving that the real estate owner or property occupier (business lessor or other) failed in their duty to provide a reasonably safe environment which led to the victim’s injuries.
I tripped while in a grocery store in Providence Rhode Island and suffered an injury. Can I file a case for compensation?
Under specific circumstances, the grocery store might be legally liable to cover your injuries. As an example, if a slippery surface was caused by spilled food or liquids and the area was not cleaned up or barricaded you might be entitled to receive financial recovery if you slipped and fell and were hurt. The majority of premises liability claims in Warwick, Cranston and Woonsocket for financial recompense involve slip and fall accidents.
Will the real estate owner of the commercial building be held legally responsible for my injuries?
If the personal injury attorney in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations handling your case can prove that the commercial building’s owner had a specific duty to maintain a hazard-free and safe environment for every lawful entrant, but did not, then yes they are likely legally responsible for any injury that occurs because of their neglect.
If I was injured on another’s real property, do I automatically receive financial compensation?
Just because your injuries happened at a location owned by someone else does not automatically entitle you to receive compensation. In fact, you or your RI slip and fall attorney or rhode Island premises liability lawyer will be responsible for proving four specific elements of your case exists. These elements include:
1. A hazardous condition existed.
2. The owner or occupier of the property knew, or should have reasonably known that the condition existed.
3. The owner or occupier of the real estate premises failed to take any action to remedy the problem, barricade the dangerous area or worn others of the hazardous condition.
4. The injury suffered by the victim are real and were caused by this negligence.
If all four elements can be proven, your East Providence personal injury attorney or Rhode Island slip and fall lawyer can file a case on your behalf to seek financial compensation from every individual or entity responsible for your damages.
What type of damages can I seek by filing a personal injury premises liability claim?
In building your case for compensation, your Warwick slip and fall attorney will evaluate all of your past, current and future expenses and losses that might include:
• Medical bills, hospitalization, rehabilitation and physical therapy
• Funds required for surgery and treatment in the future due to a temporary or permanent disability
• Lost wages and the inability to earn a living in the future
• The cost of prescriptions
• Non-economic damages including pain, suffering, grief, anxiety and diminished quality of life
What is the first thing to do after suffering a premises liability injury in RI?
It is essential to seek immediate medical attention to ensure your health is protected. Next, evidence must be collected from the scene of the Pawtcuket, Cranston, Lincoln or Cumberland accident that might include eyewitness accounts and photographs. Finally, it is essential to have your case evaluated by a reputable Providence personal injury law firm to ensure your rights are protected.
Premises liability claims for compensation in Rhode Island and Massachusetts are based on the legal concept that injuries or damages were caused by a hazard or unsafe condition on another’s property. Most claims and lawsuits filed under premises liability laws are based on negligence. The personal injury attorney in RI, working on behalf of the client, must prove how the owner or holder of the property was negligent in the property’s design, maintenance, upkeep or security at the time of the accident.
Personal injury in RI
Usually, a case for financial compensation will claim there was a failure to use reasonable care with some aspect of the premises. Simply being injured on public or private property does not necessarily mean that the owners or others were negligent. The victim’s personal injury attorney must prove that the person in charge of the property knew, or should have reasonably known, that the premises was in a dangerous or unsafe condition,yet failed to take the necessary action required to remedy the problem.
Filing a Rhode Island premises liability claim
The most common premises liability claims filed by reputable RI and MA personal injury attorneys involve:
- Slip and fall injuries involving wet floors, oily surfaces, broken thresholds and loose floorboards
• Lack of maintenance
• Accidents caused by accumulated snow and ice
• Falls on a defective staircase
• Defective condition that led to the injury
• Injuries caused by escalators and elevators
• Burns and destruction of property caused by fire
• Dog bites and attacks
• Electrocution from exposed wire
- Flooding caused by natural forces, plugged sewer pipes and broken water lines
- • Exposure to toxic chemicals or fumes
• Amusement park accident
• Drowning in a public or private pool
• Inadequate security of the premises that led to assault, sexual assault or injury (More information)
Less common premises liability claims considered by Slepkow Slepkow & Associates Inc.
- “The defendant in that case permitted her adult son, who was mentally ill, to live with her and to maintain an arsenal of weapons in her basement. Id. at 702-03. After the defendant’s son shot and killed her neighbor (who was trimming his shrubbery) with one of the weapons that she allowed him to keep on her premises, id. at 703, this Court declared that the defendant owed a duty to exercise reasonable care in controlling her son as to prevent the type of harm inflicted on the victim” Quote from Monica OUCH, as Beneficiary of Heang Say, deceased et al. v. Khan KHEA see Volpe v. Gallagher, 821 A.2d 699 (R.I.2003)
- Duty to protect against criminal acts of third parties– “This Court previously has addressed a defendant’s duty to exercise reasonable care in protecting the plaintiff from third-party criminal conduct. We held that “a landlord does not have a duty, in the absence of special circumstances * * *, to protect his or her tenants from criminal conduct by a third party.” Thanadabouth v. Kongmany, 712 A.2d 879, 880 (R.I.1998) (mem.). In that case, we declined to impose a duty of care on the defendant landlords to provide outdoor lighting to protect the plaintiff tenants from third-party criminal acts, even though the dwelling was located in a high-crime area. Id. at 879-80.” quote from Ouch v Khea
- Social host liability- serving minors alcohol at a party – “In that case, the defendant hosted a graduation party for her daughter, and the plaintiff guest was attacked by a third party armed with a baseball bat. Id. at 914. We held that, because the defendant provided alcohol to the underage party-goers, including the plaintiff, there was a special relationship between the parties and the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances to protect the plaintiff from violence at the hands of the attendees-whether invited guests or party crashers. Id. at 915-16. Furthermore, we declared that the legal duty in that case was in line with this state’s strong public policy against underage drinking, as illustrated by the General Assembly’s prohibition against alcohol consumption by persons under twenty-one years of age. Id. at 916.” Martin v. Marciano, 871 A.2d 911, 915 (R.I.2005) Quote from Ouch v Khea
A Duty of Care in RI
Many people are wondering, if someone is injured on your property are you liable? In order to be liable a Court must conclude that the alleged tortfeasor owed a duty of due care to the victim and that such duty was breached. The Court must establish that the injuries were caused by the breach of duty. If someone falls on your property are you liable? By law, property owners and property holders in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care to ensure the safety of others. This includes maintaining the premises and repairing any problem that could lead to an accident with injuries or damages. Those in charge of the property can be found civilly liable for financial recompense if any invitee (a welcomed visitor) or licensee (someone on the premises with implied permission) suffers damages, harm or injury. In most cases, injured trespassers are not owed a duty of care unless the individual is a child.
“To prevail on a claim of negligence, ‘a plaintiff must establish a legally cognizable duty owed by a defendant to a plaintiff, a breach of that duty, proximate causation between the conduct and the resulting injury, and the actual loss or damage.” Selwyn v. Ward, 879 A.2d 882, 886 (R.I.2005) (quoting Mills v. State Sales, Inc., 824 A.2d 461, 467-68 (R.I.2003)).
Premises liability claims in RI and Mass. are often filed against individuals in charge of residential and commercial properties and or the owner of the property including retail establishments, apartment complexes, office buildings, homes and others. Financial compensation is usually obtained through the homeowner’s insurance policy or liability coverage purchased and maintained by commercial enterprises. Some cases involve multiple defendants where the property owner, leasing management, tenants or others can be held legally responsible to pay the victim for their damages, losses and injuries.
In Rhode Island, how do Courts determine if there is a duty of due care owed?
“Instead, the court will employ an ad hoc approach that “turns on the particular facts and circumstances of a given case,” Benaski, 899 A.2d at 502, taking into consideration “ ‘all relevant factors, including the relationship between the parties, the scope and burden of the obligation to be imposed upon the defendant, public policy considerations,’ * * * and the ‘foreseeability of harm to the plaintiff.’ ” Selwyn, 879 A.2d at 887 (quoting Martin, 871 A.2d at 915).’ Ouch v Khea
Many people are asking the following questions:
- What is premises liability insurance coverage?
- Are you liable if someone falls on your property?
- Are you liable if a trespasser gets hurt on your property?
- Can someone sue you for falling on your property?
The laws concerning premises liability are complex and litigation is often challenging. Because of that, many victims will hire a reputable Providence or Boston personal injury attorney who specializes in premises liability cases. The RI slip and fall lawyer or Rhode Island slip and fall attorney will build a case for compensation by evaluating the total cost of losses and damages suffered by the victim that might include:
- Common Injuries– Many victims filing a premises liability claim suffer from broken bones, lacerations, contusions, concussions, bruises and scrapes.
- Serious Injuries– In some cases, the victim suffers a serious injury that causes long-term or irreparable damage, or a temporary disability that requires extensive healthcare to heal completely.
- Catastrophic Injuries– Some premises liability claims for compensation are based on catastrophic injuries suffered by the victims. Sadly some of these accidents are fatal leading to a wrongful death lawsuit. These include animal attacks, amusement park accidents or gas explosions that disfigure, disable or kill the victim. Surviving victims of catastrophic injuries often require extensive ongoing treatments, procedures and surgeries because of a brain injury, spinal cord trauma or burns.
There are usually specific factors limiting a victim’s eligibility to file a claim based on premises liability laws. However, skilled Providence personal injury attorneys who specialize in these types of cases can investigate the claim, assess the evidence and provide various legal options on how to proceed.
This legal article was prepared by Rhode Island slip and fall lawyer, David Slepkow concerning premises liability and personal injury law. A slip and fall lawyer RI will help you get the compensation you deserve. Premises liability in Rhode Island concerns the general area of law, which pertains to establishing or refuting that a real property owner or person / corporation in possession of the real property is or is not liable for an accident leading to injuries. Premises liability law in RI pertains to injuries to a visitors, guests or other using land. Premises liability is a subset of the broader area of personal injury law in RI.
What exactly constitutes “premises liability” pursuant to RI law?
Premises liability includes the more defined legal areas of:
- slip & fall,
- trip and fall,
- fire related accidents,
- construction mishaps and
- asbestos caused injuries.
A real estate liability claim usually pertains to property owners, lessors or a property management company’s failure to maintain the property in a reasonably safe and efficient manner. Liability can also result from an owner’s failure to fix a dangerous condition on the real estate that they either knew about or should have known about. In legal parlance, this is known as breach of duty of due care. If you were injured in an accident in Providence or in Rhode Island, please contact a Rhode Island slip and fall lawyer. A Rhode Island slip and fall lawyer will help you get the compensation you are entitled to. website
Many non-lawyers believe that premises liability begins and ends with slip and fall caused injuries. Premises liability encompasses dozens perhaps hundreds of more particular causes of action. It also includes: asbestos exposure, mesothelioma, lead paint exposure, dog bites, Inadequate security measures enabling assaults, Sidewalk or roadway defects, poorly lit stair cases, falling debris, falling merchandise, or hanging hazards, carbon monoxide leaks, iced entrance ways, slippery or obstructed floors, electric shock due to exposed electric wiring.
The most frequently pursued premises liability cases pursued by a slip and fall lawyer ri?
Slip and fall, personal injury cases, are the most frequently filed type of premises liability lawsuits in RI. Many slip and fall accidents are caused by substances or foods such as water, liquids, foods, fruits, grapes, vegetables, condiments, salad, ice, slush and or oil located on the floor. The substance could be slippery or even sticky. Some slip and falls are caused by uneven surfaces, holes in the floor or defective conditions on the floor or stairs. A RI “premises liability” personal injury case is not limited to only slip and fall cases but includes other personal injury claims such as dog bites and animal attacks, inadequate lighting, inadequate security, unsafe design or construction
Where do most slip and fall cases occur in Rhode Island? Rhode Island slip and fall lawyer
Slip and falls in RI most frequently occur in restaurants, supermarkets, driveways, entrance-ways, porches, department stores, sidewalks, grocery stores, banks and hospitals. Any owner of property and certain occupiers of the property may be held liable for premises liability including but not limited to corporations, Limited Liability Company (LLC), partnerships, trusts, sole proprietorship, government entities such as cities, towns, or the state itself. Many of the slip and fall cases are a result of food or liquid on the floor of a supermarket or restaurant. Slip and fall claims also can result from a landowner or occupier failing to take adequate steps to shovel snow, clear ice from an entranceway, remove ice from a sidewalk, driveway or parking lot.
If I slip and fall as a result of negligence of another person or entity who can be held responsible?
The Supreme Court of Rhode Island stated “[A] landowner has a duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of persons reasonably expected to be on the premises, and that duty includes an obligation to protect against the risks of a dangerous condition existing on the premises, provided the landowner knows of, or by the exercise of reasonable care would have discovered, the dangerous condition. The burden of proving that sufficient evidence existed to show that the defendants knew or should have known of an unsafe condition on their premises is on the plaintiff.” Lieberman v. Bliss-Doris Realty Associates Supreme Court of Rhode Island. Terry S. LIEBERMAN v. BLISS-DORIS REALTY ASSOCIATES, L.P., et al. No. 2002-191-Appeal. Decided: April 14, 2003Present: WILLIAMS, C.J., FLANDERS, GOLDBERG, JJ., and SHEA, J. (Ret.). Glenn R. Friedemann, Providence, for Plaintiff. David H. Stillman, Braintree, MA, and Elizabeth Page Fecteau, East Providence, for Defendant. OPINION See more at:
Children and the elderly are more likely to slip and fall. Is it more difficult for them to recover damages for their injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering?
In Rhode Island you take the injured party as you find them. As far as liability is concerned, Rhode Island law does not differentiate solely based on age or pre-existing conditions. Even people who aggravate an existing injury have a right to compensation, if negligence can be proved. Property owners owe everyone who lawfully comes upon the premises (with exceptions for trespasser) a duty of due care.
Everyone with the exception of trespassers should expect that the premises is maintained reasonably in a relatively safe manner. So long as the injuries are caused by the negligence of a person or entity, the injured person has the right to seek damages. Keep in mind, that if the injured person was acting carelessly or not paying proper attention and that contributed or partially caused the accident than there may be comparative fault involved. Comparative fault is described below. Also, keep in mind, that there are particular laws concerning children who trespass and are lured onto the property because of an attractive nuisance
What is comparative negligence in Rhode Island personal injury law?
Comparative negligence is the doctrine used in personal injury accidents in Rhode Island. Comparative negligence is a question of fact that a jury must determine. The jury must figure out what percent each party involved in the accident is at fault for the accident. In Rhode Island, even if an injured person is 99 percent at fault for an accident, he is still eligible to obtain damages of 1 percent from the negligent landowner, corporation or person. You should contact a Rhode Island Personal injury lawyer or a Rhode Island slip and fall lawyer (slip and fall lawyer ri) to obtain an initial opinion as to whether there was comparative fault involved.
Owning real estate in Rhode Island comes with certain important responsibilities. One of these is protecting visitors from accidents that happen on your property in RI. If you don’t take the proper precautions, someone could be injured and retain a Rhode Island premises liability lawyer. You could be sued for negligence. With that in mind, below are 18 common accidents on real estate that can be caused by negligence that you should certainly try to prevent.
Types of accidents caused by negligence
1. Slips on Ice
During the winter, make sure you properly salt your sidewalk and driveway.
2 Dangerous dogs
Make sure your dog is properly trained and if the dog is dangerous keep the dog cordoned off from visitors.
3. Sink Hole Falls on real estate
Open cavities under you land can kill when the above ground collapses. Have your land surveyed for sink holes.
Inside and out, always make sure that no loose object remains on the steps of a staircase.
5. Outdoor Fires
Never burn anything on your property unless it’s in a secured fire pit. Even cinders can spark a fire somewhere else.
6. Tripping on Broken Concrete on real estate
Broken concrete on sidewalks and driveways can be a hazard for pedestrians.
If wiring is not properly installed inside a building, it could lead to the electrocution of the occupants.
8. Dog Bites
As a property owner, you are responsible for making sure your dog does not bite and injure anyone else who comes near that property.
9. Wildlife Attacks
If you are aware of wildlife like bears or cougars on your property, you certainly must warn guests.
10. Tripping on Holes in the Ground
Your property should have rather consistent terrain. If there are holes in the ground, for example, someone could trip and get injured. Failure to warn about holes or cover them leading to an accident could be considered negligence.
11. Slips on Wet Surfaces
Spilled water of flat surfaces should be mopped up immediately. It should not be left to create a slip and fall hazard.
12. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is an invisible odorless gas that can kill. Set up carbon monoxide detectors inside buildings to ward against this threat.
13. Indoor Fires
A home should have working smoke detectors throughout. A sprinkler system is an even better idea.
14. Poisonous Plants
Poisonous plants like poison sumac and poison ivy must be removed from your land.
15. Improper Storage of Chemicals and Medicine
Inside a home or building, poisonous chemicals and solutions as well as medication should be secured in places where young children do not have access.
16. Falling Items from Shelves
Heavy items on shelving should be secured to make sure they won’t tip over and fall on those below.
17. Food Poisoning
Food should be kept at the proper temperature and stored in a way to prevent cross contamination.
18. Slips and Falls Due to Insecure Floor Boards
The floors in a building must be sturdy. There should not be a risk of a floor board suddenly giving way.
If you were injured in a premises liability or slip and fall accident in Rhode Island then you should contact a Rhode Island personal injury attorney. An East Providence negligence lawyer will help you get the compensation you deserve.
Statistics and legal resources
“Nine of every 10 tort trials resolved by juries in 2005 Civil trials involving tort claims of personal injury or damaged property were most often heard before a jury (90%), rather than a judge (10%). Medical malpractice (99%), alleged illness or harm due to asbestos (96%) or some other product (93%), premises liability (94%), and motor vehicle accident (92%) cases were among the most likely tort claims to be tried by a jury in 2005.” U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Civil Justice Survey of State Courts, 2005 Civil Bench and Jury Trials in State Courts, 2005
“One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury. Each year, 2.5 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.Over 700,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.” Center for Disease Control (CDC), Home and recreational safety- Important Facts about Falls http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cbjtsc05.pdf
Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.