Premises Liability Attorney in Shawnee, Oklahoma

When you walk down the street, into a business, or into someone’s home, you expect to arrive and leave safely. Those who invited you to those places, in fact, owe a duty of care to make them safe for you. If they fail, they are negligent. Negligence is the basis for personal injury claims.

It sounds simple, but premises liability claims can be the most difficult ones to prove. If you are injured because someone else neglected their obligation to you, they should be held liable for the damages you have incurred. At Wilson Law Firm PLLC, I make it my mission to help my clients get fair compensation, no matter how challenging that may be.

If you have been injured while on someone else’s property in Shawnee, Oklahoma, or in Norman, Ada, Chandler, or Okemah, call my office so we can begin exploring your claim.

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How Does Premises Liability
Work in Oklahoma?

Premises liability is a legal concept that holds the owner or occupier of a property responsible for maintaining it to keep the property free from hazards. Oklahoma law specifically holds that property owners are not liable for injuries suffered by adults who trespass on their property. There is, however, an assumption that they may be liable for injuries suffered by those who had a right or invitation to be there.

Someone has a duty to maintain safe premises. It could be the owner of the property. It could be the owner of a business, even if they lease the property. It could be a homeowner or a governmental entity. Critical to proving a personal injury claim in premises liability cases is first, establishing that the party had a duty of care to the injured person to maintain a safe property and second, offering evidence of the unsafe condition that caused the victim to be injured.

Pertinent issues that factor into claims include the status of the victim. Were they on the property with permission? Another issue is the hazard that caused the accident. Was it open and obvious and therefore should have been avoidable? Could the hazard have been expected, such as ice during a weather event or a tumble taken while traversing an obstacle course in the city park?

One of the major factors in recovering compensation in a personal injury claim in Oklahoma is the modified comparative negligence rule. Was the injured person partially responsible? So long as the victim’s percentage of fault was less than the property owner’s, the victim can still pursue a claim, although their recovery will be reduced by their percentage of fault.

What Types of Accidents Result
in Premises Liability Claims?

There are multiple types of unsafe conditions that can lead to a personal injury claim, including:

  • Slip-and-falls and trip-and-falls are common accidents resulting in premises liability claims. Wet substances on floors and snow or ice on sidewalks and pavement can lead to slip-and-fall accidents. Uneven sidewalks and walkway obstacles can result in trip-and-falls.

  • Dog bites and other animal attacks can be the basis for premises liability claims. Some states observe a “one-bite rule” which does not hold a dog owner liable for a victim’s injuries unless the dog had bitten someone before. Oklahoma, however, holds dog owners to a strict liability standard. They can be held responsible for a victim’s damages regardless of the dog’s breed or demonstrated propensity to bite, so long as the victim did not provoke the animal or was not trespassing at the time. Although dog bites are the most common incidents, unprovoked attacks by other animals which should have been safely restrained by the owner also apply.

  • Unsafe stairs and railings may also lead to injury. Stairs in poor condition and those not built in compliance with safety codes are hazards for which the property owner is responsible. Similarly, loose, inappropriate, or code-violating railings on stairs, porches, and decks also pose safety hazards.

Premises liability claims can be asserted for damages caused by negligence on both private and public property, whether it’s the grocery store down the street or the neighbor’s yard next door.

Governmental entities also have a duty of care to maintain safe property conditions. City hall, as well as your neighbor, has an obligation to repair or mark a hazardous, uneven sidewalk.

You should know that, in Oklahoma, the statute of limitations for settling a personal injury claim or filing a lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident, except if you are pursuing a claim against a governmental entity. In that case, the statute of limitations is only one year.

What Damages Can I Recover?

As with any personal injury claim in Oklahoma, victims can recover a range of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include the cost of current and future medical treatment and lost wages if unable to work. Non-economic damages include mental anguish and pain and suffering.

Although plaintiffs in a personal injury action can recover the full cost of their economic losses, Oklahoma caps the amount allowed for non-economic damages.

A jury may also award punitive damages. Punitive awards are designed to punish the defendant for egregious negligence.

Premises Liability Attorney Serving Shawnee, Oklahoma

Premises liability claims may be confusing or sound complicated to you, but not to an experienced personal injury attorney like me. When someone else’s negligence results in your injuries and other damages, you should receive compensation and they should be held accountable. I work hard every day to do both for my clients. If you have been injured, time is of the essence. Call me at Wilson Law Firm PLLC today to schedule a free consultation.