The last thing any property owner wants is an accident occurring on his or her property. Still, accidents, by their very nature, can be unexpected and sometimes unavoidable. On the other hand, some accidents are entirely preventable and need not happen. When a damaging accident occurs on someone else’s property, the injured party – or the deceased victim’s family – will understandably want answers. In some cases they may be entitled to compensation for damages.
What is the liability of property owner in a fatal accident situation? In Delaware, the law limits situations in which an injured or harmed party can bring suit against a property owner. Specifically, Title 25, Chapter 15 of the Delaware code mentions that no person who enters onto another’s property can have a cause of action against the property owner unless certain conditions are met. First, if the damaging accident was caused by an intentional act on the part of the owner or occupier. Secondly, if the accident was caused by “willful or wanton disregard” of others’ rights.
While a portion of the Delaware code outlines some of the general aspects of property liability in the state, navigating the law can be extremely difficult. A Delaware wrongful death or personal injury attorney can help an injured person or family understand the law and assert their rights before it. Accidents that are the result of dangerous property conditions can cause a family to incur significant expenses. Coping with these costs is never easy, but it doesn’t have to be impossible with the help of a legal professional.
With the holiday season around the corner, local residents will likely be inviting others onto their property or visiting others’ properties. Whatever the case, it’s important to keep safety first and know where to turn for help.
Source: State of Delaware, “Chapter 15: Tort liability of property owners,” accessed Nov. 13, 2015