A business is bound to face legal challenges at one time or another. When it comes to premises liability lawsuits, such as those involving a slip-and-fall accident, there’s a lot on the line. The potential damages in play can be extraordinarily high, which could put a dent in your business’s financial well-being. With so much at stake, knowing how to aggressively defend yourself in the legal arena is critical.
At first, you might be tempted to settle your case to resolve the matter quickly and reduce the amount of liability you’ll face. While settlement might be the best option in your case, you shouldn’t move in that direction until you fully consider your premises liability defense options. Let’s briefly look at them here so that you have a better idea of how you might be able to approach your case.
What premises liability defenses can you use?
The specific way that you defend against a premises liability claim depends on the facts at hand. However, this week we want to look at some common defense strategies so that you have an idea of where to start when building your case. With that in mind, here are the defenses you might want to consider:
- Comparative negligence: Just because someone is injured on commercial property doesn’t mean that the business owner is automatically liable for any injuries that are suffered. In fact, in many instances, the plaintiff contributed to their own injuries They might not have taken reasonable measures to avoid a dangerous property condition, or they might’ve been engaged in some sort of illegal activity at the time of the accident. Keep in mind that those who enter a commercial property should avoid open and obvious hazards. Diligently assess the facts of your case to see if there’s a way to pass at least some of the blame back to the plaintiff. This might not completely alleviate you of liability, but it could at least reduce the amount of damages that you’ll have to pay.
- Lack of notice: To succeed on a premises liability lawsuit, the plaintiff must successfully show that the property owner either knew or should’ve known about the dangerous property condition. If you can demonstrate that the hazardous condition in question wasn’t discovered despite reasonable efforts to monitor the condition of the property, then the plaintiff will fail in their case. This situation is often seen when the condition was created shortly before the accident occurred.
- Assumption of risk: Some commercial properties pose inherent risks. In these instances, it might be successfully argued that the plaintiff voluntarily assumed the risks that resulted in their injuries. While having a signed waiver is the best protection here, notices posted at the business can also be helpful evidence when building a defense.
There may be other premises liability defenses available to you. You simply have to learn about the options, select the one that’s best for you, then aggressively advocate your position.
Are you ready to build your premises liability defense?
If you mishandle your premises liability defense, then you could end up having to pay out a larger judgment than you expected. Although that can be stressful to think about, the good news is that you can build an aggressive defense to protect your interests.
To learn more about what you can do to shield yourself in one of these cases, continue to read up on the process and what it takes to build a strong defense. Our website, including the rest of our blog, might be helpful in that regard.