Slip and falls and trip and falls are all part of the law of premises liability. They most often occur on a commercial premises such as a store, but they also happen in homes across the country. Now you’ve fallen and injured yourself at the home of your former husband, and you want to know if you can sue him. Or maybe his home is in disrepair and you’re concerned for your safety.
What’s the law of premises liability?
Premises liability law can hold owners and occupiers of land liable for injuries to others that happen on that land. That potential exposure includes damages suffered by a victim of a slip and fall or trip and fall.
- Whether liability can be attached to ex-husband as an owner or occupier of land is partially determined by which state he is a resident.
- Some states will determine whether the person claiming injury was an invitee, licensee, or a trespasser. Different duties apply to the injured person’s classification.
- A duty of care is a legal mandate that insures a property is maintained in a safe manner for anyone who may be on that property regardless of their intent.
- Other states will focus on the condition of the property at the time of the injury.
A common example of an invitee is a person invited onto a property by the owner, renter, or manager such as a contractor who is hired to perform a job. Unless you made an arrangement with your ex husband to perform work on his house, you will probably not fall under this classification.
If you’re picking up the kids from your ex-husband’s house on a Sunday night and you go inside to help the kids get ready to leave, you’re an invitee. He has a legal obligation to make sure there are no hazardous conditions which could injure you.
A duty of care is owed to trespassers, as unlikely as that may seem. If you are not invited onto the property of your ex husband, and while trespassing you are injured by a hazardous condition he should have rectified, you may be able to file a claim against him. However, because you are his ex spouse, a judge will likely pay close attention to the circumstances of the accident. As a result, he or she may throw out your case or rule against you if it appears you intentionally injured yourself.
Intra-Family Tort Immunity
The fact that you fell on the property owned or occupied by your ex-husband is also of great importance in your case. Some states still follow the intra-family tort immunity doctrine, which disallows family members to sue one another as a family lawyer Bloomington IL trusts can exchange. However, if you are legally divorced you should be able to file suit against him.
Slip and fall cases are decided by judges and juries every day. If you were injured in this way, it’s important to seek legal guidance that will begin with a thorough review of your case. Speak with a knowledgeable and experienced premises liability lawyer as soon as possible after being injured in any slip and fall accident.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Pioletti & Pioletti for their insight into divorce and family law practice.