Every landowner throughout Michigan has a civil duty to maintain their property within a reasonable standard. Therefore, when this standard is disregarded and an injury occurs, they might be deemed legally liable for covering the resulting medical costs and associated expenses.

If you or a loved one was injured on another person’s property, you are likely to be wondering what legal recourse is available to you. A Michigan premises liability lawyer could help. By explaining your rights, answering your questions, and launching an investigation into an accident, a tenacious attorney at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. might prove to be an essential legal ally in your pursuit for compensation.

Common Types of Property Accidents

Of course, any number of accidents and incidents can arise on a person’s property. However, there are some common types of property accidents that arise throughout the state. These include:

  • Trip and fall incidents
  • Wet and hazardous floors
  • Elevator accidents
  • Injuries from broken stairs
  • Falls due to broken handrails
  • Injuries from falling merchandise
  • Toxic and dangerous chemicals

When these or other circumstances arise, it is important for an injured individual to determine who is to blame. To this end, an experienced premises liability lawyer in Michigan could work to investigate the conditions of a property and determine if a landowner is at fault.

Broken Handrails

One of the most common circumstances that give rise to premises liability claims is falls stemming from broken handrails. A defective or broken handrail is a very dangerous condition for anyone using steps, especially for the elderly. A handrail that is broken or in disrepair is dangerous because it presents a false sense of safety to the person who is descending the staircase. When the handrail gives way or is loose, the person can stumble and lose balance and then tumble down the steps. The injuries from these falls are often serious, including broken bones, spinal cord damage, and even traumatic brain injuries.

Falling Merchandise

Another common source of landowner liability claims are due to falling merchandise. Many public stores—such as supermarkets, toy stores, department stores, home improvement retailers, and convenience stores—stock items on tall and even precarious shelving. Unfortunately, this can cause merchandise to fall, either due to improper stocking techniques or because a customer or employee jostled these stacked items while retrieving something from a shelf  As a result, severe injuries can arise, especially when the items involved are large and heavy.

Landowner Responsibilities

State law categorizes accidents on someone’s property based upon the type of person who was injured. Essentially, a person is either a trespasser, licensee, or invitee when they are on someone else’s land.

Trespassers

In 2014, the governor of Michigan signed Public Act 226 into law, also referred to under Michigan Public Act §554.581. Within this act, §554.583 states that trespassers are owned no duty beyond keeping the condition of one’s property reasonably safe.

Therefore, if the lessee or owner becomes aware of the existence of a trespasser, they might only become liable for a trespasser’s injury if they neglect to meet this standard of ordinary care.

Licensees

A licensee, under state law, is essentially a social guest, rather than a business associate or customer. Essentially, there is no obligation for a landowner to inspect their property in order to warn a licensee of hidden dangers—unless the property owner is aware of a precarious, hazardous, or dangerous condition.

Invitees

Invitees are owed the highest duty of care of the three groups. Members of this classification are those who enter land that is open to the public or for a commercial purpose. Essentially, when regarding invitees, a landowner must inspect their property for hidden dangers in order to avoid injury to their customers or clients.

A seasoned Michigan lawyer could help to explain the nuances of premises liability law, as well as determine how an injured individual will be legally classified by a court.

Deadlines to Pursue Compensation

Even when injuries are apparent and a claimant believes they have a persuasive claim, it is essential that they understand the deadlines for pursuing compensation. In Michigan, the statute of limitations sets a three-year deadline for most cases arising from premises liability. While exceptions might exist for this timeframe, it is prudent to begin working on a claim as soon as possible.

Seek the Services of a Michigan Premises Liability Attorney

If you were injured on another person’s property, you have legal options and should consider contacting a Michigan premises liability lawyer for help. Because of the legal differences between types of visitors and the deadlines in place for filing a claim, understanding the complexities of your unique case is essential. By enlisting the help of a dedicated attorney at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C., you could rest assured that a legal professional is by your side through each step.

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