Tomeny Best

Business owners and merchants are subject to a defined type of liability in Louisiana. There are special requirements that a person who has been injured on their property must prove to have a successful claim. Merchants and business owners must conduct maintenance regularly and take adequate precautions on their grounds to avoid personal injury accidents. Whether a business rents or owns their property, their duty of care to permitted visitors and customers remains the same.

When you have been injured on poorly maintained property, you could hold the responsible party accountable. It is considered negligent when a business fails to keep people reasonably safe on their property, and those injured in such incidents must show that they deserve compensation from the business owner. To meet that standard, they must present a strong argument and compelling evidence. Our attorneys at Tomeny | Best know how to argue a case on your behalf, and our dedicated Baton Rouge commercial property premises liability lawyers could help you explore your options.

Relevant Local Laws Affecting Your Claim

Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:2800.6 encompasses what is known as the state’s merchant liability statute. It contains several important elements relevant to a lawsuit against a merchant for damages sustained on their property. Importantly, it establishes the burden of proof that an injured person must meet to be successful in their claim.

Under the statute, a merchant is defined as someone “whose business is to sell goods, foods, wares, or merchandise at a fixed place of business.” Included in this definition are innkeepers whose property has areas or aspects that are similar to those of a merchant, like shops, restaurants, and lobby areas of or within the establishment.

What Is a Duty of Care?

A merchant owes a duty to exercise reasonable care to people on their premises. This means they must maintain the property’s aisles, passageways, and floors in a reasonably safe condition. They are required to make an effort to remove or prevent any dangerous factors that might cause damage. A Baton Rouge attorney with experience in merchant liability claims could provide you with more information about these basic qualifications.

Elements Required to Prove Negligence

There are several elements that must be met under the statute. In a negligence claim, the injured person must meet a specific burden of proof. They must show that the condition’s danger was reasonably foreseeable for the merchant, and it posed an unreasonable risk of harm to them. They also have to show that the merchant either created or had actual or constructive notice of the condition. The person with injuries must also prove that the merchant failed to exercise reasonable care.

The absence of a uniform cleanup or safety procedure is not enough, on its own, to prove failure to exercise reasonable care. As such, it is vital to the success of your merchant premises liability claim to have an experienced Baton Rouge attorney on your side.

Different Types of Commercial Premises Liability Claims

Merchant liability claims can encompass many types of incidents, including but not limited to:

  • Elevator or escalator accidents caused by lack of maintenance
  • Equipment or merchandise not properly labeled with a warning
  • Sidewalks, walkways, or stairwells that are defective and not properly maintained
  • Injuries that happen outside the building because of snow, rain, or ice that the owner has not marked or cleared
  • Slips and falls caused by damp floors, ripped carpeting, dim lighting, or messy aisles
  • Injuries caused by criminal activity that could have been prevented with proper security measures

Business owners who do not take preventative measures to avoid potential accidents face being held legally accountable. A Baton Rouge premises liability lawyer could help you figure out the best way to hold a commercial property owner responsible for your losses.

What To Do When You Have Been Injured on a Merchant’s Property

When you are injured on a seller’s property, there are a few steps you must take to help your legal case. The assertion that a business owner’s negligent conduct caused a person’s injuries requires proof. Evidence is the most important tool in a premises liability case. After the incident, if possible, you should begin gathering documentation. That might include photos, videos, witness contact information, and even writing down your own notes. A merchant liability attorney in Baton Rouge could assist with collecting evidence and building a strong case.

A business owner might try to argue that the injured person was responsible for their injuries. Insurance companies are trained to resolve cases with the company in mind, not the person who experienced the accident. The insurance company might try to save money by downplaying the severity of the party’s injuries and losses. Do not accept an insurance settlement for a commercial property injury without discussing it with a premises liability lawyer in Baton Rouge to make sure it is fair and just.

Call a Baton Rouge Commercial Property Premises Liability Law Firm Today

You or a loved one should not have to suffer financially due to another person’s negligence. You do not need to go through the legal system on your own.

Every case is different, and every detail matters to the experienced attorneys at Tomeny | Best. Scheduling a meeting with a diligent Baton Rouge commercial property premises liability lawyer at our firm is the first step toward recovery and accountability. Call us for a free consultation.

Tomeny Best

Tomeny Best