When a person slips and falls or suffers injuries in another type of accident on someone else's property, they may incur high medical bills, miss time from work, and experience intense pain and suffering.
If you suffered injuries in a premises accident that resulted from a property owner's negligence, you can file a personal injury claim with the property owner's insurance company or a lawsuit against the negligent property owner.
After suffering injuries in a premises accident, you need to obtain the medical care and treatment that you need to recover from your injuries.
Additionally, consult a premises liability lawyer in your area as quickly as possible. Your attorney can review incident reports, meet with you about the accident, and determine your potential legal options.
Once your premises accident lawyer files a personal injury claim with the property owner's insurance company, your lawyer can handle every step of the legal process, beginning with settlement negotiations.
Moreover, if the property owner's insurer does not make you a fair and reasonable monetary settlement offer, your lawyer may file a premises accident lawsuit on your behalf and pursue litigation in the state court system.
Since insurance company adjusters will never be on your side, a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can advocate in your interests and work to secure the financial compensation you deserve for your accident-related losses.
Your lawyer can also address all of your legal concerns, communicate with insurance company representatives on your behalf, and represent you during all litigation proceedings that take place in your case.
Another common type of premises occurrence is a third-party attack that results from inadequate security.
For example, if a premises owner fails to ensure that a sufficient number of security guards are present on the premises during a specific timeframe, and a patron becomes the victim of a third-party attack, then the premises owner or operator may be responsible.
These types of incidents typically occur at bars, nightclubs, and similar commercial establishments.
Finally, an accident may involve malfunctioning equipment on the premises, such as escalators and elevators. When a property owner fails to maintain these pieces of equipment and ensure that they are in proper working order at all times, the property owner may need to pay for any subsequent accidents and injuries.
If you suffered injuries in one of these types of premises accidents, a skilled personal injury attorney can review your case circumstances with you and determine if you can file a premises liability claim with the property owner's insurance company.
If you can move forward with a case, your attorney can handle all of the necessary legal steps for you and concentrate on getting you the fair monetary recovery you need and deserve.
What Is a Property Owner's Legal Duty of Care to a Property Visitor on the Premises?
In most cases, a property owner or operator owes a legal duty of care to individuals who visit their premises. The duty of care that a property owner must show to a property visitor will depend upon the visitor's status on the premises at a particular time.
In some instances, property visitors are business invitees – or individuals who enter the premises to benefit the business owner in some way. For example, an individual who patronizes a store, restaurant, nightclub, or shopping center is a business invitee, even if they do not purchase anything at the establishment.
Property owners owe business invitees the highest possible legal duty of care. Specifically, in most jurisdictions, they must warn about or repair known hazardous conditions on the premises within a reasonable timeframe.
Additionally, they must regularly inspect their premises and search for previously unknown dangerous conditions. If they uncover a hazardous condition during their search, they have a duty to adequately warn about or repair the condition as quickly as possible.
Another category of property visitor is a licensee or social guest. A licensee is an individual who goes on someone else's property for their own benefit rather than to benefit the property owner.
One typical example of a licensee is a social guest – or a person who visits someone else's residential home or apartment. The duty of care that a premises owner owes to a licensee is similar to the duty they must show to a business invitee.
Specifically, in most jurisdictions, a property owner must reasonably repair or warn about known hazardous conditions that exist on their premises. Additionally, they must take the proper actions within a reasonable amount of time after becoming aware of the hazard.
One final category of property visitors is a trespasser. Generally, a trespasser is someone who is present on another individual's property without that individual's permission.
In most cases, a property owner does not owe a legal duty of care to someone who trespasses on the property. However, if the individual is a known trespasser, such as a child whom the property owner knows visits the property on a regular basis, then the property owner may owe some legal duty to the trespasser.
Based upon the facts and circumstances of your premises accident, your attorney can determine whether the property owner likely owed you a legal duty of care and whether or not they likely violated this legal duty. If so, your attorney can pursue the monetary recovery you deserve for your premises accident injuries and damages.
Common Injuries in a Premises Accident
Victims of premises accidents frequently suffer severe injuries. This is especially true if the accident victim is involved in a slip and fall accident or if they are the victim of a third-party attack on someone else's property.
The specific injuries that an accident victim sustains will depend upon the circumstances that surround the occurrence, as well as the amount of force involved.
The injuries that a slip and fall accident victim sustains will usually depend upon the surface on which they land and the manner in which they fall to the ground.
Some of the most common injuries that premises accident victims may suffer include:
- Open lacerations and road rash
- Soft tissue injuries
- Rib fractures
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord damage
- Complete and incomplete paralysis injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Mouth and teeth injuries
- Traumatic head and brain injuries
- Permanent cognitive impairments
If you suffer one or more of these physical injuries in a recent premises accident that occurred on someone else's property, you should consult a healthcare provider right away and obtain the medical treatment that you need.
More importantly, you need to follow through on all medical treatment recommendations, refrain from lengthy gaps in your medical treatment, and focus on achieving a full medical recovery.
If the insurance company finds that you skipped medical appointments, they may assume that you did not take your treatment seriously. As a result, they may become skeptical of your injuries and refuse to compensate you fairly.
A medical provider can prescribe necessary treatment, such as medical procedures, physical therapy, or occupational therapy. They can also determine if you suffered a permanent impairment in your accident and, if so, what treatment you may require.
While you focus on completing your medical treatment regimen and making a full recovery, your premises liability lawyer can focus their attention on obtaining medical records and other evidence and pursuing the financial recovery you deserve for your premises-accident injuries.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit after a Premises Accident
Following a premises accident, your attorney can file a claim with the property owner's insurance company and negotiate that claim on your behalf. If the insurance company does not compensate you fairly, then your lawyer may file a premises liability lawsuit in court on your behalf.
During litigation, your attorney may continue settlement negotiations with the adjuster and handle all litigation proceedings for you.
For example, your attorney can answer written Interrogatories from the defense counsel in your case, attend a discovery deposition with you, and represent you at a mediation session or settlement conference.
If your case does not reach a resolution by the end of litigation, your lawyer can introduce evidence and witness testimony on your behalf at a civil jury trial or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceeding.
Successfully Proving a Premises Liability Claim
In addition to establishing that the property owner owed you a legal duty of care, you must satisfy other legal elements to achieve financial compensation for your injuries. Specifically, you must demonstrate that the at-fault individual or entity violated their legal duty of care.
For example, if you suffered your premises injuries in a slip and fall accident, you must demonstrate that the property owner knew about the defective or hazardous condition on their property, yet they failed to warn about the condition or remedy it within a reasonable amount of time.
Next, you must establish that as a direct result of the property owner's failure, your premises accident and injuries materialized.
In premises accident cases, a medical expert, such as a treating healthcare provider or medical specialist, may be beneficial. That medical expert can state in a medical report, at a deposition, or during a civil jury trial that you suffered one or more injuries specifically – and as a direct result of – the subject premises accident.
In addition, a medical provider may establish that one or more of your claimed injuries are permanent and will cause symptoms for the rest of your life.
A premises accident attorney in your area can retain the experts necessary to satisfy your legal burden of proof, making you eligible to receive various types and amounts of monetary damages.
Recovering Monetary Damages after a Premises Accident
Victims of premises accidents frequently experience significant injuries and ongoing pain and suffering. As a result, they may be in a position to receive various types of monetary compensation, either through settlement or litigation.
First, accident victims may pursue compensation for their related medical costs, lost income, or loss of earning capacity. Additionally, they can make a claim for non-economic damages.
These damages compensate accident victims for intangible losses that they incurred because of their premises accident.
Specifically, an accident victim may receive financial compensation for permanent disability or disfigurement, long-term or lifetime care costs, inconvenience, pain and suffering, mental distress, loss of spousal consortium, lost quality of life, and loss of use of a body part (paralysis from a spinal injury).
A premises liability lawyer in your jurisdiction can ballpark the likely value of your case, depending upon the nature and extent of your injuries and medical treatment.
Call an Experienced Premises Liability Lawyer Today
If you suffered injuries in an occurrence that took place on someone else's property, consult a personal injury lawyer in your jurisdiction as soon as possible. Your lawyer can promptly determine your legal rights and options and begin pursuing the financial compensation you deserve.
According to the state statute of limitations, accident victims must file a lawsuit within three years of their accident date. If they fail to do so, the court will prevent them from recovering any monetary damages for their injuries and other losses.
A skilled personal injury attorney can begin advocating for you right away by filing a claim or lawsuit on your behalf and working to secure the total financial compensation you deserve to recover for your premises-accident injuries.
Seek your free consultation today.