For an injured person to be successful in an action against a landowner, the plaintiff must prove the following:
- There was a condition of the defendant’s (landowner) property which presented an unreasonable risk of harm to persons on the premises;
- The defendant knew, or in the exercise of ordinary care should have known that the condition of his property involved an unreasonable risk of harm to persons on the premises;
- The defendant should have anticipated that persons on the premises would not discover or realize the danger, or would otherwise fail to protect themselves against it;
- The defendant was negligent;
- The plaintiff was injured;
- The condition of the defendant’s property was a cause of the injury to the plaintiff.
Defense attorneys will always claim that their client, the landowner did not know that the dangerous condition existed on their property. However, if there is evidence that the dangerous condition was created by the defendant, its agents (employees) or their activities then defendants cannot realistically deny that they did not know the dangerous condition existed. In such cases, the landowner has a duty to exercise ordinary care for the safety of those lawfully on the property.
Corroded stairways or decayed sidewalks , or leaking defective faucets may create a “should have known” condition that the landowner should have corrected.
Rick is ready to investigate claims and locate witnesses to help show that the landowner should have known these conditions existed.