Most people associate premises liability lawsuits with slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall cases that result in little more than bumps and bruises, but the truth is far more expansive. The law of premises liability extends far beyond just the ordinary slipped-in-a-puddle-at-the-supermarket scenario. These cases involve a range of accidents that can include violent attacks, catastrophic injuries, and even death. The Oregon premises liability lawyers at Kaplan Law LLC understand the seriousness of these cases and stand ready to hold accountable those who were responsible.
One scenario where an owner or possessor of a property may be held accountable under a premises liability claim is if you were hurt on a property where there was inadequate security. The owner and/or possessor of a property has a duty to protect guests by maintaining appropriate security when that property (or its surroundings) has had a history of violent activity. If, for example, a motel, a bar, a store, or an apartment complex experienced assaults, homicides, shootings, sexual assaults, etc. on or near their property, and the property owner and/or possessor still had no security, very minimal security, or defective security, then they may be liable if you're hurt in an attack. That zone of responsibility extends the property and the parking lot.
Premises liability may also arise when a dog or other animal attacks you. If you can prove that the owner actually knew -- or reasonably ought to have known -- that the dog was excessively aggressive and prone to violence, then the owner may be strictly liable for the harm you suffered. (Strict liability means that the defendant can be liable to you regardless of their intentions and is sometimes called "liability without fault.") That knowledge can be based on the dog's individual history or its breed.
Another type of premises liability action involves the service of alcohol. The law recognizes two types of servers: private servers, which are typically called social hosts, and commercial entities that serve (e.g., bars, nightclubs, restaurants, etc.), which the law refers to as dram shops.
Some states -- including Washington -- impose a lesser degree of responsibility on social hosts than they do dram shops when it comes to the harm an overserved guest/customer causes.
Oregon law is different. Under Oregon law, you can win a liability lawsuit against a server of alcohol if you prove that the server sold or served alcohol to someone who was (or appeared to be) visibly impaired or underage, whether that server was a dram shop or a social host.
An owner and/or possessor of a property may also be liable for what's called an attractive nuisance. In these cases, the victim is a child and the attractive nuisance is anything on a property that a reasonable person would understand could be attractive to a child and pose an unreasonable risk of injury or death to that child.
Examples may include anything from treehouses and trampolines to old appliances and abandoned vehicles... but the most common attractive nuisance is a swimming pool. Premises liability for an attractive nuisance arises when the owner or possessor fails to secure the property in such a way that children cannot access that attractive nuisance.
The outcomes of these cases can vary based upon a variety of factors, including what the owner or possessor knew about the danger (or reasonably should have known,) and whether the injured person was a business invitee, licensee, or trespasser (as the law imposes different duties upon owners or possessors depending on whether the victim was an invitee, licensee, or trespasser... although any of the three potentially can win a premises liability lawsuit.)
The diligent Oregon premises liability attorneys at Kaplan Law LLC possess the first-hand experience and knowledge it takes to achieve a successful premises liability case outcome. Some of our recent successes include representing a child victim injured from a negligently displayed product at a large corporate home improvement store, and another child who was injured as a result of an improperly built structure.
Call Kaplan Law LLC at (503) 226-3844 orcontact us online today. We have a lengthy track record of successfully representing many clients and families, and we're eager to discuss how we can help you.