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Articles Tagged with Premises Liability

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A fall from any height could have the potential to cause harm to a person. The conditions under which the fall occurs could have a considerable impact on the injuries that result. If an individual suffers a catastrophic injury due to falling on someone else’s property, he or she may want to consider filing a premises liability claim.

Oklahoma residents may be interested in one out-of-state man’s case that was recently settled. Reports stated that the man was in a supermarket when he apparently slipped due to water being on the floor. The incident resulted in his suffering serious injuries, though it was unclear what specific injuries came about. Due to the harm he suffered, the man filed a lawsuit against the store.

The company offered a denial when it came to liability regarding the alleged water on the floor, but nonetheless, an arbitrator found the company 75 percent liable for the injuries the man suffered. At the time of the report, the man had undergone several surgeries due to his injuries and had accrued over $800,000 in due medical bills. He was awarded $1.5 million in the case, but an adjustment between the parties involved has lowered that amount to approximately $1 million.

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Many individuals utilize hotels when they go on trips for various reasons. Though they likely expect their accommodations to be comforting, there is a risk that accidents could take place on hotel premises. If an incident is serious and causes catastrophic injury to an individual, a legal claim could potentially be filed against the hotel for premises liability.

One family may be looking into such an option after a recent accident that took place at an Oklahoma hotel. Reports stated that the incident involved a 50-year-old man who was in the hotel pool. Details on what took place were not disclosed at the time of the report, but it was stated that emergency crews arrived at the hotel after 6:15 p.m. due to a reported drowning.

When they arrived, the man was pulled out of the pool and taken to an area hospital. Reports stated that the man was declared deceased at the hospital. Authorities are likely continuing to investigate the incident to determine contributing factors of the fatal event, and additional information may be available at a later time.

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There are many types of accidents that could cause injuries. Individuals in Tulsa may already know that slip-and-fall accidents, caused by a spill on a grocery store floor or an uneven sidewalk, could injure a person. A display of merchandise in a shopping mall could fall on a person, causing an injury.

Moreover, a person could be harmed in another’s home. Such injuries could be caused by a broken porch or a balcony that collapses. Uneven or otherwise broken stairways could also lead to an injury. Being bitten by a dog can also cause a person to suffer a serious injury.

In addition, there are incidents that could take place on other types of premises that could lead to an injury-causing accident. For example, if a department store or hotel has an escalator or an elevator and it malfunctions, this could cause an injury. In addition, it is possible that a swimming pool could be unsafe or may not be properly taken care of or monitored. Also, if a person was injured in a parking lot that had inadequate lighting or insufficient security cameras, this could lead to an injury.

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Winter weather is here in Oklahoma and with it comes the threat of ice and snow. Winter weather not only makes driving more hazardous, but it can even make walking outside more hazardous. One particular hazard Oklahoma residents may face this winter is snow and ice covered sidewalks. One slip-and-fall accident on an icy sidewalk could lead to extensive and costly injuries.

Should you find yourself injured after slipping on an icy sidewalk, you may be interested in learning more about whether the property owner can be held responsible for maintaining safe conditions, including the clearing of ice and snow on the property. In general, a property owner may not be responsible for clearing ice or snow on outdoor premises that is caused by inclement winter weather. That being said, if the reason the property owner’s outdoor premises is icy or snowy is due to an accumulation of such precipitation that is above and beyond what is caused by nature, then the owner of the premises may be responsible should another individual get injured in a slip-and-fall accident.

For example, if a stopped-up gutter causes melting ice or snow from the roof of the premises to run onto the ground below and then freeze over into an icy patch, the owner of the premises may be responsible for that condition. Moreover, if the owner of the premises chooses to shovel the accumulated snow or ice on the property, the owner needs to do so responsibly and with the safety of others who may be on the property in mind, to avoid being negligent.

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It is not uncommon for residents in Tulsa to enter private or commercial properties; however, when entering the property of others, individuals do not often consider the possible risks present. Nonetheless, property owners who fail to eliminate dangers or hazards could turn a seemingly safe property into a very dangerous one.

At the Hawkins Law Firm, we understand that sometimes accidents happen; however, when an accident occurs because of a negligent property owner, our legal team is dedicated to helping those harmed by the carelessness of the owner.

Our attorneys have experience handling a wide range of premises liability cases. When entering a commercial property, customers could suffer serious injuries due to a defective stairway, an unstable merchandise display, unsafe parking lots, an exposure to toxic material or a slip-and-fall accident. Visitors to a private property could face dangers such as a balcony or porch collapse, unsafe swimming pools, defective hand railings and even a dog bite. In these matters, our legal team has helped past client successfully prove that a dangerous property caused his or her injury, helping to assign liability to the property owner.

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As this blog discussed in our previous post, there are various legal reasons why a property owner in Tulsa might be at fault for a slip-and-fall accident. After all, in many cases these types of accidents would be entirely preventable if the property owner had exercised due care. However, this fact is of no comfort to those who suffered serious injuries in a slip-and-fall accident. In fact, thousands of people are victims of slip-and-fall accidents each year.

A slip-and-fall accident can keep a victim from going to work. It could necessitate lengthy and expensive medical care. It could cause the victim extreme pain and suffering. For all these reasons, victims of slip-and-fall accidents may be wondering if they have any legal recourse for compensation.

Fortunately, Tulsa personal injury attorneys, such as those at Hawkins Law, are available to examine the facts of an individual’s case to determine if the individual is able to pursue a lawsuit in order to hold the negligent property owner liable. Of all the types of personal injury claims, one of the most common types is the slip-and-fall accident. However, not every slip-and-fall accident will give rise to a lawsuit.

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All it takes for a slip-and-fall accident to occur is a wet floor or a broken step. Injuries resulting from a slip-and-fall accident can be substantial and can include broken bones, head trauma and back injuries. Victims of slip and fall accidents in Tulsa may want to seek to hold the property owner legally responsible for the hazardous conditions that led to the accident. However, there are certain elements that must be met in order to do so.

In general, a person who files a lawsuit based on a slip-and-fall injury may be able to do so based on one of three circumstances. First of all, one circumstance under which a premises liability suit may be sought is if the owner of the property or a person who worked on the property (such as a retail store employee) should have realized that a danger existed because a “reasonable” individual would have noted the problem and done something to remedy it.

Another circumstance in which a premises liability lawsuit may be sought is if the owner of the property or person who worked on the property did have knowledge of the hazard, but did not remedy it. A third circumstance in which a premises liability suit may be sought is if the owner of the property or a worker on the property actually caused the hazard that led to the accident.

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Under Oklahoma law, any property owner must ensure that the property is not only safe for that owner, but that it is also safe for any visitor of the property. In cases in which the visitor is injured or has an accident on the person’s property due to unsafe conditions, the victim may be able to initiate a lawsuit against the owner.

Interestingly, premises liability not only extends to legitimate visitors and people who were invited to visit the property, but it also includes trespassers who have violated the law by merely being on the owner’s property. It must be noted, however, that the degree of liability on the part of the owner decreases between the visitors and the people who were invited to visit the property as opposed to trespassers. In a typical case, the age of the trespasser will also play a factor, with minor trespassers having more rights under premises liability laws than adult trespassers. So, what rights do trespassers have to a person’s property?

A premises liability on behalf of a minor could arise under the following circumstances:

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Property owners are required under federal and Oklahoma laws to follow proper safety procedures and make sure that anyone entering their property is not injured due to an inherent danger on the property. One such federal act is the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act. Public pools are also subjected to the same rules.

As bodies of water, pools and spas are inherently more dangerous than most other surfaces. Pool safety is becoming a great cause of concern under premises liability laws in Oklahoma. All public pools, including pools and spas found in residential apartments open to all residents and their guests, fall under the purview of this federal law.

In addition to residential pools and spas, government and public pools may also be subjected to the same premises liabilities laws. Furthermore, any pools that are used for physical therapies by medical practitioners as well as baptismal pools used by churches are governed by the premises liabilities laws. Even hotels which have public pools for recreational activities are governed by the pool safety laws outlined under Oklahoma premises liability laws. Any victim of a pool injury may engage the services of an experienced lawyer in order to initiate a premises liability lawsuit.

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Oklahomans, like many Americans, will pack shopping malls this holiday season as they buy gifts for their loved ones. But shoppers have more company than just other shoppers. Thieves and other criminals take as much advantage of unsuspecting crowds of shoppers as they can. Because shopping malls can face liability if they fail to keep shoppers safe, they must be mindful of safety practices that can help protect shoppers.

Beef up security. As the numbers of shoppers increase, so should the number of mall security personnel who look after shoppers and patrol a mall’s interior and exterior. Mall managers can also add security escorts who look after shoppers as they leave the mall and head to their vehicles, especially at night. Additional help from local police officers may also be available.

Increase the number of eyes and light up the scene. Adding closed-circuit television cameras can help monitor the most problematic areas of the mall, especially parking lots. Additional lighting can also help prevent criminal activity. Criminals avoid well-lit areas because it makes them easier to identify.