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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

A Guide on How to File a Lawsuit for Premises Liability in Indiana

Anyone can sustain an injury on someone else's property. A slip on a wet grocery store floor or a trip on a broken sidewalk can lead to unexpected medical bills and lost wages.

If these injuries resulted from a dangerous condition on the property, an Indiana premises liability claim might be a possible solution for victims to recover compensation for their medical expenses and other damages.

This guide will explain the steps involved in filing premises liability claims in Indiana to help individuals understand their rights and navigate the legal process. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also provide details on how to file a lawsuit for personal injury in Indiana.

Step 1: Understand Indiana Premises Liability Laws

Step 1: Understand Indiana Premises Liability Laws

The concept of "duty of care" is central to Indiana premises liability law. This legal principle dictates the level of care a property owner owes to different types of visitors. For more information, a premises liability lawyer in Indianapolis may be able to help.

Below is a breakdown of the three main categories of visitors and the corresponding duty of care:

  • Invitees:

These are individuals invited onto the property for a specific purpose that benefits the owner, such as customers in a store or guests at a restaurant. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees. This includes regularly inspecting the premises for hazards, fixing them promptly, and warning visitors of any known dangers.

  • Licensees

Licensees are individuals who are lawfully on the property with the owner's permission but not for the owner's benefit, such as social guests or individuals using a shortcut across private property. Property owners owe a lesser duty of care to licensees. While they don't have to actively search for dangers, they must warn licensees of known hazards and avoid creating hidden dangers.

  • Trespassers:

Trespassers are individuals who are on the property without permission. Property owners generally owe no duty of care to trespassers, except in limited circumstances, such as when the trespasser is a child or when the owner intentionally harms the trespasser.

Step 2: Determine if a Case Exists

To have a strong premises liability claim in Indiana, victims must prove the following elements:

  • Duty of care: The property owner owed a duty of care based on the injured person's status or classification (invitee, licensee, or trespasser).

  • Breach of duty: The property owner breached their duty of care by having a dangerous condition on the premises that they knew about, should have known about, or failed to fix within a reasonable timeframe.

  • Causation: The dangerous condition led to the premises liability accident, which means it caused the injury. Medical records can establish the nature and extent of the injuries, so victims should keep copies of them.

  • Damages: The injury resulted in damages, which can include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.

Step 3: Gather Evidence

If someone believes they have a premises liability claim, they should start gathering evidence as soon as possible to support their cases.

These are the pieces of evidence victims can use:

  • Accident report: If the accident occurred at a business establishment, requesting a copy of the accident report they may have filed can be beneficial.

  • Witness statements: If anyone witnessed the accident, victims should obtain their written statements or contact information for future interviews.

  • Photos and videos: Taking pictures of the dangerous condition that caused the injury is also crucial. If there's any security footage available, an Indiana premises liability lawyer can help obtain it.

  • Medical records: Injured parties should also collect all medical records related to the injury to document the extent of the damages.

Step 4: Consult an Indiana Premises Liability Lawyer

Premises liability lawsuits can be intricate, as they involve complex legal arguments and evidence gathering.

An experienced Indiana premises liability lawyer can significantly increase the chances of a successful outcome. They are also explain how to file a lawsuit for product liability in Indiana. This is what these professionals can do for victims:

  • Thorough investigation: An Indiana premises liability lawyer will have the resources to conduct a comprehensive investigation, identifying all potentially liable parties and gathering crucial evidence.

  • Legal expertise: Premises liability law can be nuanced, and a lawyer can ensure the case adheres to all legal requirements and strengthens the arguments.

  • Effective negotiation: An Indiana premises liability lawyer has the expertise to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company, maximizing compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

  • Trial representation: If victims have to file a personal injury lawsuit and the case goes to trial, a lawyer will have the experience and skill to present evidence to the judge or jury and fight for the compensation deserved.

Step 5: The Legal Process

The legal process for personal injury claims due to premises liability can be broken down into several stages:

  • Consultation: Discussing the case with an Indiana premises liability lawyer is the first step. They'll assess the evidence and advise on the legal options available.

  • Investigation: The lawyer will gather evidence, including witness statements, accident reports, and medical records.

  • Demand letter: In some cases, the lawyer might send a demand letter to the property owner's insurance company outlining the claim and seeking compensation.

  • Negotiation: Often, settlements can be reached through negotiation with the insurance company.

  • Lawsuit filing: If a settlement cannot be reached, the lawyer will file a lawsuit in the appropriate Indiana court.

  • Discovery: Both parties will exchange information relevant to the case through a process called discovery. This might involve depositions, interrogatories, and requests for documents.

  • Trial: If a settlement cannot be reached during discovery, the case will go to trial. The lawyer will present evidence to the judge or jury to prove the claim.

Seeking Compensation for Injuries

Seeking Compensation for Injuries

Premises liability lawsuits can help injured individuals recover compensation for various damages, including:

  • Medical expenses: This can cover past and future medical bills associated with the injury or costs linked to required future medical treatment.

  • Lost wages: With a strong premises liability case, victims can recover compensation for income lost due to the inability to work while recovering from the injury.

  • Pain and suffering: Damages for a personal injury claim can also include compensation for the physical and emotional pain caused by the injury.

  • Property damage: A successful personal injury case can help victims get reimbursement for any property damaged due to the accident.

Final Thoughts

Premises liability cases require extensive investigation, time-consuming evidence gathering, and strong legal representation. That's why victims should always seek help from an Indiana premises liability attorney.

Anyone who has been injured on someone else's property in Indiana can contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys. Our experienced Indiana premises liability lawyers will fight to ensure victims receive the compensation they deserve for their damages and losses. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your case!


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