Premises Liability Attorney in Portland, Oregon
Every day, people stumble and fall, and no real harm is done. However, sometimes these accidents can result in serious injuries. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one out of five falls results in a serious injury such as broken bones or traumatic brain injury. And, when these accidents happen on someone else’s property, you may have grounds to bring a premises liability claim against them if there were unsafe conditions or hazards that could have been fixed.
For more information about filing a premises liability lawsuit, reach out to me at Injury Lawyer PDX, LLC. As a personal injury attorney in Portland, Oregon, I serve clients throughout the area, including Clackamas County, Washington County, Multnomah County, Marion County, Lincoln County, and Tillamook County.
Common Types of Premises Liability Claims
There are several different scenarios where a premises liability claim may be in order, but they all center on an injury occurring on someone else property. This could mean that you slip and fall while walking through an icy parking lot, trip over products left on the floor of your local grocery store, or stumble while going up a rickety set of stairs in a residential home. These claims can be made for accidents that occur on both privately owned property as well as publicly owned property. Other types of injuries could be sustained from getting bitten by a dog that wasn’t properly contained, breathing in toxic fumes or chemicals, or being injured in a fire. However, simply being injured on someone else’s property isn’t enough on its own to warrant a premises liability claim; there are other criteria that must be met first.
Understanding Premises Liability
A premises liability claim can be filed if you were injured on someone else’s property (including public property) on which there were hazardous, unsafe, or defective conditions, and the property owner failed to fix or warn you about them. The key thing to know about these claims (whether you’re considering filing against an individual or filing a claim for an injury on public property) is that you must prove to be able to prove liability.
If you were injured private property, it will likely be the homeowner themselves who is held liable. If your injury took place on a commercial property such as a store, the business owner might be responsible, but it could also be the landlord who oversees the property. This will depend on the lease contract. If you were injured on public property, it will be likely be a government entity that holds the responsibility.
Property Owner Duty of Care
Any successful premises liability case revolves around the property owner’s duty of care, namely that they had a duty of care and failed to meet it. The law states that the owner or landlord of a property has a duty to keep the property safe for anyone who’s legally on it (this bars trespassers from filing premises liability claims). If the owner knew there was a safety concern or should have known there was a safety concern and did nothing to address it, they’ve failed in their duty of care. Therefore, if a resident, visitor, or worker who’s legally on the property hurts themselves, they have a right to pursue damages.
The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine
The attractive nuisance doctrine is a rather narrow piece of legislation that applies mostly to children who are injured on someone else’s property. This law states that it’s the property owner’s responsibility to exercise “reasonable care” if there’s a feature of their property (such as a swimming pool or sand pile) that could attract children. This means they would have to secure the premises by roping off the area or put a fence around it so as not to inadvertently attract children who could then injure themselves.
Comparative Fault in Oregon
If you’re thinking about pursuing a lawsuit with a premises liability attorney, you should be aware of Oregon’s laws on bringing forth a personal injury claim. The state operates under a modified comparative fault model, which means that liability can be shared between parties in an injury case like this. For example, if you’re on someone’s private property and fall through a set of rotted-out stairs, you could bring a lawsuit against them if they didn’t warn you or put up any kind of sign indicating the danger. However, if you were found to be negligent in your actions (say you were walking while texting someone and failed to see the stairs were clearly unsafe), a judge could deem you partially responsible for your injuries. So, if the final settlement amount was $25,000 but you were found to be 20% at fault, your total payout would be reduced by 20% ($5,000) to reflect your share of liability.
Premises Liability Attorney Serving Portland, Oregon
If you’re in the Portland, Oregon area and believe you have a premises liability case on your hands, contact me at Injury Lawyer PDX, LLC to start discussing your options. I’m prepared to help you file a claim against the at-fault party and fight for the compensation you deserve.