I was Injured on Someone Else’s Property

Jan 10

Many of us have tripped and fallen in our lives, and usually, nothing more than our ego is bruised. However, sometimes you can get hurt on someone else’s property, and if they were negligent, you may be able to file a claim for damages. If you were recently hurt on someone else’s property and wonder about your legal options, below is important information to consider. Have questions? Talk to an injury attorney at Blackburn Romey today.

Indiana Premises Liability Laws

Indiana has a premises liability law that governs the legal process when a person is hurt on someone’s property in the state. Premises liability laws cover a variety of accidents, including:

If you were in an accident involving one of the above scenarios on someone else’s property, you should speak to a personal injury attorney today. You could be eligible for compensation in a premises liability lawsuit.

How To Prove An Indiana Premises Liability Case

Your personal injury attorney must prove the following points for the property owner to be liable for your injuries:

  • The owner had a duty of care to you, a visitor to the property. For example, if you visit a friend’s house, they have a duty of care to ensure that the steps leading to the front door are reasonably safe and in good repair.
  • They breached their duty. Using the above example, suppose they knew the steps had rotting wood, and you fell through and broke your ankle.
  • Because of the breach, you had injuries. Falling through the steps led to your broken ankle, so you may be able to sue for damages.

What determines if the owner has to protect visitors from being injured? It depends on why you visited the property. There are three classifications to know:

  • Trespasser – If you were trespassing on the property, you lacked permission to be there. The owner would only need not purposely injure you and not increase the chances of injury.
  • Licensee – This is if you are on the other person’s property and you have permission to be there. The property owner must not harm you willfully or increase the chances of harm. They also must warn you of any latent danger.
  • Invitee – You’re an invitee if the property owner allows or invites you go into the property for their purposes and benefit. If you are an invitee, the property owner must locate and repair any dangerous part of the property.

The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine In Indiana

Generally, Indiana property owners do not need to warn people who trespass on their properties about any dangers therein. However, Indiana has an attractive nuisance exception that may make the owner liable for an unsafe condition in these cases:

  • The property has a dangerous condition.
  • The dangerous condition is attractive to minors.
  • The condition is dangerous to minors.
  • Children do not usually understand the dangers posed.
  • The chances of someone being injured were foreseeable.
  • The property owner knew about the condition and the possibility of children entering the property.

A common situation where the attractive nuisance exception could be a factor is with a homeowner’s swimming pool. If a child trespasses on the property, and there is no fence or other obstruction over or around the pool, the owner could be liable if the child trespasser is injured.

Potential Damages In An Indiana Premises Liability Case

If you are injured on someone else’s property in Indiana, you may be eligible for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages typically refer to medical expenses and lost earnings in the past and future. Non-economic damages usually mean pain and suffering.

The size of your settlement depends on the nature of your injuries and other factors. If you fall on someone’s property and break your leg, you could be entitled to more money than if you merely sprained your wrist. Your attorney should argue for the maximum amount of compensation, including future medical bills and lost earnings.

Comparative Negligence In Indiana

It is also important to understand the state’s comparative fault law if you were hurt in a premises liability case. Comparative fault in a personal injury case means your amount of compensation for your injuries is reduced by your percentage of fault for the accident. For example, if you have $10,000 in damages from a fall on someone’s property and you were 25% at fault, you would only receive $7,500.

It isn’t unusual for a property owner to argue that the plaintiff caused or contributed to their injuries. If they are successful with this argument, your compensation could be reduced. That is one of the reasons you should have a personal injury attorney representing you. They will fight to prove that the other party was liable for your injuries. In Indiana, however, the comparative negligence law states that you can still receive compensation if you were not more than 50% responsible for your injuries.

Some of the other arguments that the defense could make to reduce your compensation are:

  • You were on a part of the property where you should not have been.
  • The dangerous property condition should have been clear to you.
  • The dangerous area was blocked with cones, signs, etc.
  • You were using your cell phone when the incident happened.
  • You had on shoes that were dangerous or inappropriate, considering the environment.

Indiana Personal Injury Statute Of Limitations

It is important to talk to an Indiana personal injury attorney to ensure that you file a premises liability claim within the statute of limitations. You typically have only two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. The same statute of limitations applies if you only had property damage in the accident.

Contact Our Indiana Personal Injury Attorney Today

Were you injured on someone else’s property? The personal injury laws in Indiana allow you to seek compensation in a claim or lawsuit for your damages. Contact one of our Indiana personal injury attorneys at Blackburn Romey today for a consultation.


Tom Blackburn

Blackburn Romey founding partner Tom Blackburn graduated with honors receiving a degree from Indiana University at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Initiating his legal career in 1977, he has been active in practicing law and currently serves as a member of the Indiana State Bar Association on the Ethics and Advertising Committees, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, as a board member at the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and as an appointed member of the Executive Committee for the State of Indiana for the National Trial Lawyers Association.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Tom Blackburn, who has more than 47 years of legal experience, including over 39 years specializing as a personal injury attorney.