Who Is Liable for an Accident on Private Property in Eugene, OR?

When you accidentally get injured away from home, there are many questions about who is liable for it, especially if you suffer serious injuries requiring medical treatment and a recovery period.  

The main concern is always who will pay for the unexpected medical expenses and the lost wages during the recovery time. If this happens to you, you may need to pursue legal action, but you must do your due diligence to determine who is liable for the incident. 

Who Is Liable for an Accident on Private Property in Eugene, Oregon? 

Although every property owner in the United States is responsible for keeping their property safe, not all comply with this law. However, there are varying instances where property owners can be held responsible for your injury in Eugene, OR. 

Private property may be residential or commercial. Regardless, if the accident happens due to a property owner’s negligence, the owner becomes liable. This means if the accident occurs due to a hazardous condition that could have been rectified if the property owners had keenly inspected it, the property owner would be liable. On the other hand, if the incident is caused by other things beyond the owner’s control, they are free.  

What Happens if an Accident Happens on a Private Residential Property?

An accident on a private residential property depends on why you’re on the property. In Eugene, Oregon, your presence on a private residential property can be classified as that of an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. 

Invitee

You can be classified as an invitee if you’re in someone’s home for a business. In this case, the homeowner is responsible for keeping the home safe or informing you of all the dangers therein.  

If an accident occurs due to a cause that sums up to negligence, the homeowner becomes liable for it. On the other hand, if the cause of the accident occurs due to your ignorance, you are not liable. 

Licensee

You’re a licensee if you’re on a private property with permission but not for business reasons, for example, when you’re invited to the property as a social guest. The homeowner is also responsible for making the property secure for you and any other guests.  

They are supposed to inform you about any dangers around the area or hidden obstacles that can hurt you. Having given you all the warnings, the homeowner is not liable if an accident occurs due to the forewarned conditions. 

Trespasser  

If you get onto another person’s property without permission, you’re a trespasser. Although the owners are responsible for ensuring their property is secure for everyone, including trespassers, they’re not liable if any trespasser is injured by anything that was not intentional. In this case, they didn’t expect you, so they could not warn you of any possible dangers.  

What Happens if an Accident Occurs on Private Commercial Property?

Unlike residential properties, commercial property owners are obligated to keep their properties safe and secure for the public, who are always customers or visiting individuals. They are required to make regular inspections of their properties to ensure all their visitors and customers are safe all the time. 

In the case of an accident, the cause is identified. If found to be something that could have been identified, if a thorough inspection could have been carried out, the property owner is liable for the incident.  

There are certain instances when private commercial property owners are required to give appropriate warnings to alert their customers or visitors. For example, they are supposed to alert them to recently mopped or slippery floors or other conditions that are likely to cause accidents. Alternatively, they should consider taking anti-slip measures such as putting mats on the wet floors.  

If a third party causes the accidents, the owners are also free. For example, the owner is not liable if a drunk driver hits you in the property’s parking area. They can only be held liable if the incidents were foreseeable.  

Regardless of whether private property is being used for residential or commercial purposes, the owners have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their visitors. If accidents occur due to negligence, they risk being responsible and compensating the victims in any way required by the law.  

How Can You Prove Liability for an Injury Sustained on Private Property?

You can sustain certain injuries if you get onto private property with unsafe, neglected, or defective conditions. Common injuries may include head injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal bleeding, or broken bones.  

Such injuries are expensive to treat and require a long healing time. In this case, proving liability is important; therefore, you need an experienced personal injury attorney 

After you present your case to the attorney, they will look into the possible reasons for the injury to determine if the property owner is liable. 

Below are some of the elements to claim liability for an injury sustained on private property in Eugene, OR; 

  • Show that the owner has a duty of care to you as a licensee or visitor 
  • Show that the owner knew of the danger or they created it in one way or another 
  • Show that the danger on the property is the main and the only reason you suffered the injury 
  • Show that you suffered injuries and damages as a result of their negligence. You should have proof of medical records and bills as well as witnesses.  

The path is more complex than you might expect when claiming liability. Some of the challenges include complications from commercial properties. Many business owners are not property owners; instead, they lease it from someone else. In this case, determining whether the business, property owner, or both are liable becomes difficult. 

Another challenging scenario with the case is when the injured and the property owner are partially liable for the accident.  

Contact Strong Law Attorneys in Oregon Today!

Proving liability is necessary when you sustain an injury on private property and want to claim compensation for damage, such as medical bills and lost wages due to recovery time. Premises liability lawyers at Strong Law Attorneys will help you evaluate your case and determine the next steps. Contact them today for a free consultation. 

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