Understanding Duty of Care for Property Owners in Indiana

Property owners in Indiana are legally obligated to ensure that their property is maintained in a reasonably safe condition for visitors and guests. 

This duty of care applies to all types of properties, including residential and commercial properties. This includes private homes, businesses, and public places like stores, restaurants, and parks. 

Therefore, property owners are required to exercise reasonable care to prevent harm to those who are lawfully present on their property, but the duty of care may vary depending on the status of the injured person. 

But to understand responsibilities, it’s important to mention that Indiana recognizes three categories of visitors: invitees, licensees, and trespassers, and the duty of care owed to each category differs.

  • Invitees: Those individuals who are invited onto the property for business purposes or for the mutual benefit of both parties are known as invitees. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees and are required to exercise reasonable care in maintaining the property and warning invitees of any known dangers.
  • Licensees: Licensees are individuals who are granted permission to enter the property for their own purposes, such as social guests. Owners have a duty of care towards licensees and are required to warn them of any known dangers that may not be obvious.
  • Trespassers: Trespassers are individuals who enter the property without permission. While property owners do not have an active duty to maintain the property for trespassers, they are still liable for intentional or willful harm caused to trespassers (Indiana Code § 34-31-11-2).

This is not absolute and may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case, such as the nature and condition of the property, and the actions or knowledge of the property owner.

Common Causes of Premises Liability Accidents

Accidents can occur all too often in our bustling city, and it’s crucial to be well-informed about your legal rights based on the specific type of accident you have experienced. 

Premises liability accidents can occur due to many causes, and understanding these causes is vital to protect yourself and seek appropriate recourse, in accordance with the law and relevant regulations. 

Some of the most common accidents include:

  • Slip and fall accidents: These can happen due to wet or slippery surfaces, uneven flooring, or debris left on the floor, resulting in injuries such as broken bones or head injuries. 
  • Negligent security: Property owners, particularly businesses or commercial properties, have a duty to provide adequate security measures to protect visitors from foreseeable harm, such as assaults or robberies.
  • Defective conditions: Owners of the property must maintain their premises in a safe condition and repair any defective conditions that could pose a danger to visitors, such as broken stairs or handrails.
  • Dog bites: Dog owners can be held strictly liable for injuries caused by their dogs, regardless of the dog’s history of aggression.

Why You Need a Fort Wayne Premises Liability Lawyer

Premises liability cases in Indiana, can be complex and require the expertise of experienced attorneys who have a deep understanding of the law and a proven track record of success. 

At Christie Farrell Lee & Bell, we are here to represent your interests and provide you with the legal guidance and support you need. 

Here are the main reasons why you need us as your premises liability attorney:

In-depth understanding of Indiana law

Our team of premises liability attorneys has a comprehensive understanding of Indiana law, including the relevant statutes, regulations, and case law, and how they apply to your case. We stay up-to-date with the latest legal developments to ensure that your case is built on a solid legal foundation.

Expert evidence gathering

We have the resources and expertise to thoroughly investigate your accident, collect relevant evidence, and analyze them to build a compelling case on your behalf. 

Our meticulous approach to evidence gathering includes obtaining witness statements, reviewing accident reports, obtaining surveillance footage, and consulting with experts when necessary, to strengthen your case.

Determination of liability

Establishing liability in premises liability cases can be complex, but our attorneys are skilled at assessing the circumstances of your accident, analyzing the relevant laws, regulations, and case precedents, and determining the parties responsible for your injuries. 

For instance, under Indiana Code § 34-51-2-7, property owners and occupiers are required to exercise reasonable care in maintaining their premises to ensure the safety of visitors. By thoroughly analyzing the circumstances of your accident and applying the appropriate legal standards to help you claim negligence of a property owner.

We leave no stone unturned in ensuring that all liable parties are held accountable for their negligence. 

Strategic negotiation and settlement

We are negotiators who can effectively communicate with insurance companies or other parties on your behalf to seek fair and just compensation for your injuries. Our goal is to maximize your compensation and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the negotiation process.

Trial experience

While most premises liability cases are settled outside of court, having trial experience is invaluable. Our team of premises liability attorneys are trial lawyers who can represent your interests in court and present a compelling case on your behalf if a fair settlement cannot be reached.

Compassionate legal support

We understand that dealing with the aftermath of a premises liability accident can be emotionally and physically challenging. And that’s why we provide compassionate support throughout the legal process, and we are committed to guiding you through every step of the way.

Our team is here to listen, support, and provide personalized attention to help you navigate the legal process with confidence.

Let us be your trusted personal injury legal advocates in your time of need. Contact us today to help you with your premises liability case in Fort Wayne. 

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