When it comes to personal injury, traffic accidents seem to get the spotlight. However, many accidents occur off the street as well. When property owners fail to reasonably maintain their property and allow dangerous conditions to exist, serious injuries can result.  Natasha Misra Law represents victims of slip and fall accidents that involve issues of premises liability. 

What is premises liability? In simple terms, if you have been injured in a slip and fall accident or a trip and fall accident caused by a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, then the property owner or occupier may be held responsible for your injuries and losses.

What Is Premises Liability?

Property owners and people who occupy property have a legal duty to keep their premises in a safe condition and ensure that whoever enters the property is protected from an unreasonable risk of injury. 

To prove your slip and fall claim, you must be able to show that the owner or occupier of the property failed to keep the premises in safe condition. In addition, the court will look to your own actions and whether you were on the property legally. The court will also determine whether or not you were exercising reasonable care for your own safety.

What Is Considered A Dangerous Condition?

A successful slip and fall case will show that the accident was caused by an unsafe condition on the property. Dangerous conditions that create an unreasonable risk of harm, and lead to possible premises liability claims, include:

  • Insufficient lighting
  • Improperly constructed stairwells
  • Wet floors
  • Damaged carpet
  • Poorly designed walkways
  • Improperly maintained equipment
  • Trip hazards

But just because there was a slip and fall accident caused by one of these conditions does not always mean that the property owner or occupier can be held responsible. The following is often considered in determining whether the owner or occupier of the property can be held responsible for your injuries:

1. Whether the dangerous condition was caused by the owner or occupier of the property,
2. Whether the owner or occupier knew about the dangerous condition but did not fix it, or

3. Whether the owner or occupier should have known about the dangerous condition because a reasonable person maintaining the property would have discovered the dangerous condition and repaired it.

Who Can Sue For Premises Liability?

In addition to establishing that a dangerous condition existed, you would also need to prove that you were legally permitted to be on the property at the time of the accident.

Typically, visitors are categorized as either an invitee, a licensee or a trespasser. Invitees are visitors that are invited to the property, such as a general store customer. A licensee is a visitor that enters onto the property for their own purposes, but with the property owner’s consent. Trespassers, on the other hand, do not have consent to be on the property and are not owed the same level of care as invitees and licensees.

If you are in a grocery store during normal operating hours, for example, then you are considered an invitee. As an invitee, the grocery store owes you a duty of care to keep the premises clear of dangerous conditions.

Is There A Violation Of The Wisconsin Safe Place Statute?

In addition to a negligence claim for your slip and fall, you may also have a claim alleging that the owner of the building or employer violated Wisconsin’s Safe Place Statute. This law covers places of employment and public buildings, and applies to employees and people who frequently visit those locations. The Safe Place Statute holds employers, owners of public buildings, owners of places of employment, and builders responsible for constructing, maintaining and repairing the premises so that it is free of dangerous conditions.

Cases where the Safe Place Statute applies are often easier to prove, as the law holds an employer or the owner of a place of work to a higher standard of care. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine if the Wisconsin Safe Place Statute applies to your slip and fall case.

Do You Need A Personal Injury Attorney?

If you have been injured as the result of a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, you should consult with a Milwaukee personal injury attorney today. Slip and fall cases are almost never straightforward and can involve a number of complex premises liability issues. In addition, property owners and occupiers responsible for your injuries will attempt to limit the compensation owed to you. An experienced Milwaukee slip and fall attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Call our office at (414) 635-2858 for a free consultation and speak with a Milwaukee personal injury attorney today.

Halloween is a holiday that both children and adults look forward to each year.  Unfortunately, Halloween can also be dangerous for pedestrian trick-or-treaters.  Below are some Halloween safety tips for a safe and sweet trick-or-treat experience for both pedestrians and drivers.

Safety Tips for Pedestrian Trick-or-Treaters

Stay On Sidewalks and Pedestrian Paths - Pedestrian trick-or-treaters should try to stay on sidewalks and pedestrian paths.  If there are no sidewalks, pedestrians should walk facing oncoming traffic.  Pedestrians should also try to walk as far to the side of the road as possible.  Pedestrians should walk under the assumption that the drivers coming toward them are not able to see them.

Follow the Rules of the Road – Pedestrians should try to cross the road at crosswalks.  They should not run or dart across the road.  Trick-or-treaters may need to remove their masks so visibility is not obstructed.

Wear Reflective Tape – Children and adults should use or wear reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.  Parents may even consider wearing a reflective jacket.

Carry Cell Phone – Pedestrians should carry a cell phone for quick communication in the event of an emergency.

Avoid Loose Dogs – Be cautious of dogs on the loose as they may become frightened or scared causing an unexpected dog bite or injury to a trick-or-treater.

Stay on Well Lit Streets – Pedestrians should assume that drivers are unable to see them.

Use Flashlights – Obtain flashlights for both kids and their escorts to improve the visibility of trick-or-treaters.  

Safety Tips for Drivers

Slow Down - Drivers should slow down on Halloween and during designated trick-or-treat hours.  Because of the excitement of trick-or-treating, kids run from house to house and often dart out into the road.  By reducing speed, a driver will be able to stop before hitting a child that runs out in front of the vehicle.  
Watch Driveways – Drivers should carefully enter and exit driveways to avoid kids who may be running or darting out into the driveway.

Do Not Use Cell Phone -  Because a child may run out into the road, even a quick glance at the cell phone could cause a devastating accident.  Avoid all distractions so you are able to focus on the road and surroundings.

Turn On Headlights – Turn on headlights earlier in the day so you are able to spot the pedestrian trick-or-treaters from farther distances.  
Report Drunk Driving – During Halloween, drunk drivers are common and dangerous on the road.  If you suspect a driver of drunk driving, you should contact local law enforcement.

Designate a Sober Driver  – Halloween is also a night of adult parties involving drinking.  Designate a sober driver or use other means of transportation such as Uber and Lyft.  

With the above safety tips, Natasha Misra Law would like to wish you a sweet, spooky and safe Halloween!  If you have any questions about an accident involving a pedestrian trick-or-treater, please contact our office at 414-210-3834 for a free consultation with a Milwaukee personal injury attorney.

Natasha Misra

My law practice is dedicated to helping people who have suffered injuries in accidents which were not their fault. Born and raised in Milwaukee, I come from a family of medical professionals. My background and experience help me understand and represent individuals injured in accidents.