CONCEPT OF RES IPSA LOQUITUR AND PREMISES LIABILITY CASES
Feb. 3, 2015
In many cases in which a person is injured on the premises of another in Kansas, there may not be direct evidence available that the property owner knew of the hazardous condition and did nothing to correct it. Premises liability actions require the plaintiff to prove negligence, and as such, the law allows circumstantial evidence to be introduced in order to help plaintiffs meet their burdens of proof.
Circumstantial evidence is evidence that, when taken together, demonstrates the thing to be proven with logic. Res ipsa loquitur is a Latin term that means "the thing speaks for itself", which is why utilizing such circumstantial evidence to prove negligence is referred to in that manner. Res ipsa loquitur is an accepted and established legal theory in negligence claims.
In order to meet a burden under the legal theory, plaintiffs must show that the event wouldn't have occurred in the absence of negligence. They must further demonstrate that the accident that resulted was not the fault of either the plaintiff or of another party. Finally, they must demonstrate the negligence alleged falls within the duty of care owed by the property owner or manager to the plaintiff. People should be aware that meeting the elementary burden of proof for res ipsa loquitur does not in and of itself prove the case, but it is the initial burden that must be proven.
People who suffer a serious injury due to existing hazards on property about which the owner knew about or about which he or she should have reasonably known may form the basis for a premises liability personal injury lawsuit. Through such a lawsuit, the individual may be able to collect damages. Those who have been injured may want to talk with a personal injury attorney to determine if they have a case.