The conduct of the injured person can be an issue in any New Orleans premises liability lawsuit. As a result, it is likely that the defense will – at least to some extent – call into question the actions of the injured person when such a case is being tried.
A person patronizing a store has the responsibility to see and avoid obvious hazards. As a result, the defense will want to establish that the hazard was readily apparent, the victim did not act in a way that would be expected of a reasonable person, and the victim’s conduct contributed to the injuries. The amount the victim recovers in damages will then be reduced by his or her own percentage of responsibility.
When arguing that the victim should be held responsible for his or her own injuries, the burden is on the defense to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the victim acted without reasonable care for her own safety. As a result – when the defense is attempting to have at least some of the blame assigned to the victim – issues such as how visible the hazard was, what exactly the victim was doing at the time of the injury, and whether the victim could reasonably have been expected to see the hazard will be hotly contested.
A judge or jury may assign any percentage of responsibility they deem reasonable to the actions of the victim – from zero up to 100%.
If you have been injured while visiting a place of business, we would be happy to answer any of your questions. Please give us a call at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER.