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Premises Liability

We’re trial lawyers. Our core competency – above everything else – is trying cases to juries. And we specialize in beating giants.

Minneapolis Premises Liability Lawyer

When you’re on someone else’s property, whether you’re in a bank, grocery store, or shopping mall, you expect the area to be safe. You’ve likely seen Caution: Wet Floor signs or have seen parts of a property blocked off if they’re under construction. When these safety measures aren’t taken, those on the property are in danger of being hurt. If you or a loved one sustained injuries because of an unsafe property, a Minneapolis premises liability lawyer from Madia Law LLC can guide you through the legal process. Our team is ready to help you.

Minnesota Premises Liability Law 

A landowner’s negligent actions can make property unsafe. The owner has a duty of care to keep the premises reasonably safe. When this doesn’t happen, they may be held liable for the injuries that happen on the premises.

It’s also important to identify who was hurt on the premises. In Minnesota, they were either an entrant or a trespasser. Entrants have permission to be on the premises and the landowner owes them a duty of care to either take care of the hazards or give entrants warning about them.

Those who enter the premises without permission are called trespassers. There are circumstances where a landowner owes a trespasser a duty of care. If the possibility of injury is foreseeable, the hazard isn’t obvious, or the trespasser is a child, then the landowner could be held liable for injuries.

Our premises liability lawyers have represented clients who have suffered because of negligent landowners. When we’re fighting for your rights, we’ll find the details that apply to your case so we can build a strong case for you to receive fair compensation.

Potentially Dangerous Hazards

A premises can be dangerous in many ways and they can all cause serious harm. The attorneys at our law firm are familiar with the types of hazards that can lead to injuries. Some of those hazards include:

  • Slip and Fall Dangers. Property owners need to make sure their premises is safe to walk on. When there’s a danger that can cause someone to slip and fall, they can sustain serious injuries when they hit the ground. Our lawyers can help you.
  • Lack of Security. If you were injured because of a crime or violence on a premises and it didn’t have proper security, you may be eligible to take legal action. This civil action is against the property owner for the injuries that a third party caused.
  • Faulty Wiring. Exposed wiring or old wiring could possibly cause fires or burn injuries.
  • Dangerous Dogs. Dog owners are responsible for securing their pets. If their dog bites someone, they could be held liable for the injuries.
  • Swimming Pool Accidents. Swimming pools need property security to reduce risk of drowning. If a property doesn’t have these precautions, they could be responsible if any injuries or fatalities occur.
  • Poor Lighting. If an area is poorly lit, it could lead to someone sustaining an injury.
  • Code Violations. If a building doesn’t provide safety exits or ways to handle emergencies, then those on the premises could be severely harmed.

Your Minneapolis premises liability lawyer will find out what happened and why you were injured. Reports of the accident, medical bills, and photographs of the scene can help your lawyer see how the landowner acted negligently.

When you’ve been harmed because of a property owner’s negligence, the injuries can be painful, costly, and can become overwhelming. Let’s look at how our attorneys will help you get the recovery you need.

Types of Premises Liability Injuries

The injuries from a premises liability accident can range from minor to catastrophic. When someone falls, they could sustain severe bruises, broken bones, or suffer head injuries. If an older person falls, they may need to go to the hospital for treatment.

If there are fire hazards on the premises, those on the property could be burned or sustain injuries from smoke inhalation. There could also be issues with lack of fire extinguishers or blocked exits that lead to injuries.

When the injuries are severe, extensive medical care may be required. In addition to staying in the hospital, you may need to undergo surgery, use a cast or crutches, or take medication to treat the pain of their injuries. These injuries can be debilitating and put your life on hold.

While the recovery process is going on, you may not be able to work. This could be for a certain amount of time or you may have to do slightly different tasks than you usually did to accommodate your injuries. In the worst cases, you may not be able to go back to work at all.

The recovery process takes time. Unfortunately, with rising medical costs and other financial responsibilities, you may feel pressure to return to work too early. This can have dangerous effects on your injuries as you may re-injure them or make them worse.

You shouldn’t have to return to work before you’re ready. You deserve to have the time to heal without worrying how you’re going to get the care you need and cover your other financial responsibilities. That’s where we can help.

Madia Law LLC Stands Up for the Injured

Your Minneapolis premises liability lawyer will stand by your side and show that you were owed a duty of care by the property owner, they breached the duty of care, their breach caused the accident that harmed you, and you suffered injuries and damages from the accident.

When we’re looking into the total losses of the accident, we will assess your medical records and look at what it will cost for you to treat your injuries. We’ll also look at the costs of living with your injuries each day. Your lost wages or diminished earning capacity will also be a part of our calculation. We’ll make sure you recover the full financial losses of the premises liability accident.

The other side of your recovery is the emotional recovery. When your injuries are affecting your life, you may experience loss of enjoyment of life or emotional distress. These outcomes may not have a bill attached to them, but are still taking a toll on your wellbeing. We will fight for you to recover these damages, too.

Your lawyer will also investigate how long you’ll be living with your injuries and how they will affect your everyday life. Pain and suffering is another non-financial damage that we’ll take into account when we’re finding the compensation you’re owed.

Get the Representation You Deserve Today

When you’ve been injured on someone else’s premises and you believe your injury could have been prevented, you should seek your legal options as soon as possible. Depending on the location of your injury, you may need to act quickly. Our lawyers are ready to go over your case with you and see if you have a valid claim.

Negligent property owners should be held accountable for their actions and you deserve to recover for the injuries and damages you suffered. We’ll launch a thorough investigation into how you were hurt.

THE MADIA LAW WAY

We have a process that works in getting exceptional results for our clients. 

We are trial lawyers who prepare every case for trial from Day 1. Investigation and legal research are the first things we do, and we spend a lot of time on them. Because we haven’t filed the case yet, we have complete control – the defendant has no say and we want to use this time wisely.  We interview witnesses that can help us prove the case.  We’ll ask you for all relevant documents in your possession and review those carefully as well.  We also will spend some time conducting legal research about unique issues in the case.  We pull the jury instructions that the judge will ultimately charge the jury with after closing arguments at trial. 

Our next step is typically to send a demand letter to the defendant. In the letter, we thoroughly lay out: the facts surrounding the defendant’s misconduct; the applicable law (including statutory and case citations) that make clear that the defendant broke the law; an analysis of your damages and the defendant’s monetary exposure; a demand for a monetary amount to settle the claim; and an instruction to preserve all relevant evidence, including electronic evidence. The point of this letter is to give the defendant a chance to do the right thing and pay a fair amount before litigation, and to give the defendant an opportunity to present any defenses or evidence it wants us to consider before moving forward.  Sometimes we skip the demand letter if there are strategic reasons to move straight to filing, but we typically give defendants a chance to do the right thing.

If early negotiations fail, great – we file a Complaint and serve the defendant with it. A Complaint is a legal document that states the facts of what happened and alleges how the defendant broke the law. It formally starts the lawsuit.  Many lawyers draft complaints in a general and relatively vague way, just to get it done and filed – because that’s all that’s really required.  We take a different view. We view the Complaint as our first chance to tell your story to the judge, and we take it seriously. So we draft detailed complaints and include legal citations to statutory and judicial authority on unique points.  Sometimes we’ll include a number of exhibits, diagrams, or other demonstrative aids to help the Court understand our claims.  A secondary benefit of this approach is that defense lawyers reading the Complaint can become educated on the problems of their case and the state of the law – sometimes this leads them to reach out to us shortly after service of the Complaint to re-initiate settlement negotiations.  Of course, by that time, the price for settlement has gone up.

Some lawyers view written discovery as a necessary evil – something to get done and out of the way before depositions.  Not us.  Written discovery is a gift and an opportunity.  We spend a great deal of time crafting requests for documents and interrogatories (questions for the defendant to answer in writing) that are specific, detailed, and tailored to get what we need to prove our case.  Many lawyers – even great ones – think written discovery is a waste of time because defense lawyers typically answer them on behalf of their clients and can try to stonewall with legalese and objections.  We view this as a wonderful opportunity.  In our experience, most defense lawyers can’t help themselves when answering discovery: they over-state their defenses and make assertions that their clients will not be able to support in testimony. So we get to commit the defendant to defenses that they can’t back up, leading to contradictions, confusion, and chaos in their depositions later on.  We also use Requests for Admission – which many lawyers don’t.  The Federal Rules and Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure allow us to ask defendants to “admit” certain facts.  We send them RFAs that are very difficult for them to deny.  Of course, they do it anyway, but that sets them up later for cost and fee-shifting, which the Rules mandate for defendants that deny RFAs that are later proven true.  And usually, we can get the defendants’ own witnesses to admit facts that their defense lawyers denied in RFA.  That’s a great situation that leads to more chaos and confusion on the defense side.

One last point on written discovery – we send multiple waves of it throughout discovery.  We typically send 3 or 4 sets of written discovery requests to defendants throughout discovery.  This compounds the problems for them, because the defense lawyers continue to overstate their defenses, but now run into contradictions from not just the defendant witnesses’ deposition testimony, but also their own previous discovery responses.  This makes for a great record that we can present to the judge at dispositive motions, and use for impeachment at trial.

This is our chance to question relevant witnesses, on the record with a court reporter (we typically videotape important depositions as well). We get to confront the defense witnesses with all of the evidence we’ve developed through written discovery and document production. By this time, the defendant put its witnesses in an impossible position through its written defenses, which are often untrue and indefensible.  So the witness has to either lie to support the defense, or admit it’s not true.  That’s a dilemma that works for our clients either way, no matter which option the witness takes.  We use depositions to expose contradictions, create a record for dispositive motions, lock witnesses into their stories so that we can impeach them later at trial, and sometimes, to show defense lawyers how hopeless their case is.  We often calls from defense counsel shortly after depositions of their clients, seeking to re-start settlement negotiations.

The defendant will usually make a motion for summary judgment after discovery, asking the Court to throw out the case without having a jury trial. Because we’ve hit discovery so hard – both through written discovery and depositions – this is a tough motion for defense counsel to write in our cases.  We draft our response for the Court and now get to bring everything together: the admissions, contradictions, nonsense, and obvious fact disputes that we’ve uncovered through discovery.  We tell a compelling story that wraps everything together for the Court and makes clear that the defense motion has to be denied, and the defendant needs to face a jury for its conduct.

Sometimes, we’ll even make an affirmative motion for summary judgment, asking the Court to grant judgment in favor of our client without a trial. These motions are generally rare for plaintiffs to make, because the defendant can usually point to some fact dispute on its intent or some other factor that necessitates a trial. But we make affirmative summary judgment motions significantly more than is typical for plaintiffs, and that’s because the work we put in during discovery helps build a fantastic record to do so.

After the Court denies the defense motion for summary judgment, the defendant has only 2 options: 1) do the right thing and pay you a fair amount to our client to settle your claim (usually much, much more at this point than the defendant could have paid at the beginning of the case to settle); or 2) face a jury for its conduct and risk an enormous verdict. This is the dilemma that we have been creating and forcing the defendant into for the entire case. We’ll engage in settlement negotiations at this point from a position of extreme strength, mainly because most defendants are (rightly) terrified of facing a jury to defend their conduct.

This is, candidly, our favorite part of the case – why we went to law school: to hold the powerful accountable before juries.  We prepare heavily for trial, including: detailed witness preparation, focus groups, and mock trials.  At this point, the potential outcomes and consequences for the defendant are much more severe than if it simply did the right thing at the beginning of the case and paid a fair amount to compensate our client for its misconduct.  As we advocate to the jury for our client, we’re also mindful of protecting the record so that defendants will be unsuccessful in attacking the verdict in post-trial motions or appeal.

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