What to Do If You Are Injured on Private Property

Contrary to what some believe, getting injured on private property does not automatically mean that the owner or occupant is liable, but if the victim can prove that the owner or occupant was negligent, they may be able to recover their damages under Nevada law.

To understand more about who can sue and/or claim damages after getting injured on private property, consider the following information before contacting a Nevada personal injury lawyer.

Requirements for Premises Liability After Getting Injured on Private Property

At minimum, a personal injury case based on premises liability and negligence requires the injury victim (plaintiff) to show the following things:

  • 1. The defendant actually owned the property or occupied it by way of lease or contract;
  • 2. The defendant was negligent in their use of the property because:
  • a. They had a duty of care to the plaintiff, and
  • b. They breached that duty;
  • 3. The plaintiff was harmed on the private property; and
  • 4. The defendant’s negligence was the cause of that harm

Proving the first element can be relatively easy in most cases, unless the relationship between the landlord and lessee was complicated for some reason. But it gets more complicated after that. For example, proving that the owner/occupant had a duty of care to the plaintiff takes more legal analysis because of the different duties owed to different property visitors.

Proving Negligence Based on the Type of Property Visitor

There are several different types of visitors on properties, and each is owed a different standard of care.

  • Invitees are customers or people who are explicitly invited onto a property to the benefit of the owner/occupant. Someone entering land open to the public is also considered an invitee. Owners/occupants have a duty to make their properties “reasonably safe” for invitees.
  • Licensees are those who have express or implied permission of the owner/occupant to enter their property; this can include social guests. A licensee can become a trespasser if they are asked to leave the property and refuse. Owners/occupants have a duty of care to disclose or remove hazards that the licensee would not be able to reasonably anticipate as an “ordinary person” would.
  • Trespassers are someone who unlawfully enters private property. The only duty of care an owner/occupant has to a trespasser is that they cannot willfully or wantonly harm the trespasser without first warning the trespasser and/or giving them the opportunity to retreat. For instance, razor wire must be visible to potential trespassers or disclosed with visible warning signs.

Because of these different categories, an owner/occupant who was negligent to an invitee may not be negligent toward a licensee. The occupant may also have different duties of care compared to an owner. For example, someone renting a house may not be responsible for maintaining structurally sound flooring, while a landlord may not be responsible for a tenant who leaves slipping hazards littering their home’s floor.

Given the complex nature of premises liability suits, a person who has been injured on private property needs the representation of an experienced Nevada personal injury lawyer to represent their claim.

If you have been injured on private property, contact Connor & Connor now to receive a free consultation regarding your case.