Understanding Premises Liability Laws in Oklahoma

If someone gets hurt on your property — are you liable?

If a person comes onto your property and is injured — can you be sued?

The answer is complex and depends on many factors. If a person is legally on your property, as a guest in your home or a customer in your business, and is injured owing to your carelessness, you may be liable.

This is called premises liability.

If you have been injured on someone else’s property, you need to consult with a premises liability lawyer right away.

Premises Liability Laws in OKC

Premises liability laws in Oklahoma, distinguish between visitors who are invitees, licensees, or trespassers.

A property owner has the highest duty of care to an invitee. An invitee is someone who has been asked to come onto the property by the owner.

A guest at a dinner party would be an example of an invitee. Property owners have a high duty of care to prevent invitees from being injured.

A licensee is someone who comes to the property with the permission of the owner for business purposes. A customer coming to a store might be a licensee. Also, a repairman coming to a house or business to fix something, or a delivery man coming to a property to bring something. 

A property owner has a duty of care to prevent injury to licensees as well. However, the law sometimes holds that that duty of care is slightly less than in the case of invitees. Also, in the case of repairmen or deliverymen, alternate sources of insurance, such as workers’ compensation, often exist to pay for injuries to licensees.

A trespasser is someone who comes to the property against the wishes of the owner. A burglar, shoplifter, or thief are examples of trespassers.

The law has little sympathy for such people if they are injured accidentally while coming on your property.

Making a Claim

If you are injured on another’s property, the first step is usually to make a claim against the property owner’s insurance policy.

Insurance companies seek to minimize the amount they pay claimants. While this reduces the cost for the insurance company, it may leave the injured party uncompensated, or not fully compensated, and it often isn’t in the best interest of the property owner, who gets a bad reputation when an insurance company fails to pay obligations quickly or fairly.

If you have been injured on another’s property, or if another has been injured on your property, make sure the injuries receive medical attention right away.

This is important for the well-being of the injured person. However, it will also document the injuries, and set a boundary for the possible claim. Make sure all of the medical bills are gathered before submitting a claim. Doctors and clinics are often slow in billing, and they are often slow in forwarding bills from specialists.

A personal injury attorney Oklahoma City can gather required documents, negotiate with the other party and the insurance company, and work to represent your interests in any settlement. If necessary, an attorney can go to court.

The Burton Law Group has extensive experience representing clients in personal injury cases. Call today for a consultation.