When business owners invite customers into their stores, they take on a legal obligation to protect those consumers from known hazards and reasonably foreseeable harm. Any failure to do so can leave the property owner vulnerable to civil liability, and the injured parties may seek financial restitution for their losses.
However, recovering compensation for injuries on commercial property in Omaha is not as simple as it may seem. If you plan to take legal action against a business owner, you should reach out to an attorney. An experienced premises liability lawyer can explain how these cases work and help you hold the responsible parties accountable.
The Duty of Care for Commercial Property Owners
Duty of care is a critical concept in any personal injury claim. However, commercial property owners don’t owe everyone the same duty of care. If you suffered injuries while at a store or another place of business, you must prove the following elements of liability:
- You were a lawful visitor, meaning you were not trespassing at the time of the incident
- A dangerous condition within the commercial property directly caused you harm
- The property owner had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard for a reasonable amount of time before the incident
- The property owner failed to either repair the hazard or place a barrier around the hazard to make visitors aware of it
Defendants in these cases often point out the subjective definition of the term “reasonable.” For example, the amount of time it should take a reasonable store manager to address a spill in an aisle could vary significantly depending on how crowded the store was, where the aisle was located, and various other factors.
Determining what constitutes “constructive knowledge” of a hazardous condition can also be difficult in many situations. A skilled Omaha injury attorney can anticipate the business owner’s arguments and build a strong case for compensation.
Recovering Comprehensive Compensation in an Omaha Property Injury Case
If the court finds that the business owner or manager is liable for your injuries, you can seek compensation for all your economic and non-economic losses. A hard-working attorney can help you pursue restitution for losses such as:
- Medical bills
- Missed work wages
- Costs of repairing or replacing damaged personal property
- Physical pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
However, the property owner may try to avoid financial liability by claiming that you are partially responsible for your injuries.
The Impact of Partial Liability on the Damages Award
Nebraska courts follow a contributory negligence law for personal injury cases. Under Nebraska Revised Statutes §25-21,185.09, the court can reduce your compensation based on your percentage of fault for the accident. If the defense successfully proves your percentage of fault equals or exceeds 50 percent, the court will bar you from recovery. A determined injury lawyer can help you fight against the commercial property owner’s false allegations of contributory negligence.
A Lawyer Can Help You Take Legal Action for an Injury on Commercial Property in Omaha
Business owners can and should bear civil liability if their negligence causes harm to a customer. However, clearing all the procedural hurdles necessary to file this kind of claim can be difficult without guidance from a legal professional.
If you recently suffered injuries on commercial property in Omaha, talking to an attorney at Berry Law may be in your best interests. Call our firm to schedule a free consultation and discuss your legal options.