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What are the Types of Premises Liability Accidents?

What are the Types of Premises Liability Accidents?

When property owners fail to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe manner, various types of accidents including slips and falls may occur. Suppose you suffered injuries in a premises accident that resulted from a property owner’s negligence. In that case, you can take legal action by filing a personal injury claim with the property owner’s insurance company. You can also file a lawsuit if the insurance company does not compensate you favorably.

Following a premises accident, you should retain skilled legal counsel to represent you quickly. Otherwise, you might inadvertently jeopardize your right to recover monetary compensation through a premises liability claim or lawsuit. Your attorney can immediately begin investigating the circumstances of your accident, help you gather the necessary documentation, and submit a claim to the premises owner’s insurance company.

During the settlement negotiation process, your premises liability lawyer can aggressively advocate on your behalf and push for a higher settlement number. If the insurance company adjuster refuses to offer you the fair damages you deserve for your injuries, your lawyer can file a premises liability lawsuit and litigate your case to a resolution in the court system.

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Types of Premises Accidents

Severe accidents and injuries may result when property owners fail to properly take care of their premises. A slip and fall accident is one common type of premises accident resulting from a property owner’s negligence. These accidents typically happen when food or liquid spills onto the ground, causing a property visitor to fall.

These accidents can also occur both indoors and outdoors. Outdoor slip and fall accidents may result from defective concrete or macadam with deep cracks or potholes. However, slip and fall accidents are not the only type of premises accident that may lead to severe injuries.

Other common premises occurrences may involve:

  • Falls that result from defective staircases and railings
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Faulty products that malfunction on someone else’s premises and cause injuries
  • Incidents that result from an inadequate security presence on the premises

Business establishments, including stores, restaurants, and bars, have a duty to take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of their customers and patrons. Businesses can accomplish this goal by providing an adequate security presence on their premises, including working security cameras at various locations.

If a property visitor becomes a victim of assault or another incident that reasonably trained security personnel can have prevented, the property visitor can pursue legal action against the property owner.

If you suffered injuries in one of these premises accidents, you should speak with legal counsel immediately about your legal rights and options. Your attorney can review all of the necessary documentation and, if necessary, retain an accident reconstructionist to visit the scene of the occurrence, speak with witnesses, take photographs, and review incident reports. The accident reconstructionist can then draft an opinion about how the premises accident likely happened and who was to blame.

If you are eligible to move forward with a premises liability claim against a property owner, your attorney can assist you with every step of the process, including submitting the necessary documents to the property owner’s insurance company, negotiating with insurance company representatives, and pursuing litigation, if that step becomes essential in your case.

What Is a Premises Owner’s Legal Duty of Care?

Experience Lawyer for Premises Accident in Orange County areaIn most situations, property owners owe visitors a legal duty of care. The duty of care that a property owner owes to a property visitor depends primarily upon whether the property visitor is a business invitee, licensee, or trespasser.

A business invitee is an individual who goes onto someone else’s premises to benefit the premises owner. Classic examples of business invitees are individuals patronizing a store, shopping mall, shopping center, or restaurant.

Property owners owe business invitees the highest available legal duty of care. Specifically, a property owner or manager must promptly warn about or correct known dangerous conditions or hazards on their premises.

They also must regularly inspect their premises for potentially unknown hazards. If they encounter a problem during an inspection, they must promptly warn about or correct it.

On the other hand, Licensees are typically social guests or individuals who go onto someone else’s premises for their own benefit rather than the property owner’s benefit. Premises owners must warn about or correct known dangerous conditions on their premises for social guests.

Finally, trespassers are individuals who enter someone else’s premises without permission from the owner. In most situations, the property owner does not owe a trespasser any legal duty of care. However, if the property owner knows about the trespasser’s regular presence on the premises, they may owe the trespasser some basic duty of reasonable care.

In some situations, a property visitor’s status on the property may change. For example, an individual may enter the property as a business invitee, but if they remain on the property after hours, they start to trespass. Consequently, the property owner’s duty of care toward them may change, given their change in status.

Legal Elements of a Premises Liability Claim

In a premises liability claim, the injured accident victim must establish that the property owner owed them a legal duty of care. Next, they must demonstrate that the property owner violated that duty of care somehow. For example, in a slip and fall accident, the property owner might not have cleaned up a spill within a reasonable time or placed a warning placard to inform property visitors of the potential fall hazard.

In addition to establishing that the property owner breached their duty of care, a property visitor must prove that the premises accident happened as a direct and proximate result of this breach. Finally, the property visitor must show that they suffered one or more physical injuries due to their accident.

The accident victim’s attorney must usually retain a medical expert to testify and establish the medical causation between a premises accident and claimed injuries. First, the medical expert, usually a treating doctor, must physically examine the accident victim and determine the nature and extent of their injuries. The provider can also determine whether the accident victim suffered a permanent injury in their premises accident.

Next, the medical expert can draft a report that states, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that the accident victim suffered an injury in the premises accident and their injury directly resulted from the premises accident. Finally, the medical expert can testify at a discovery deposition or civil jury trial to support their findings.

A skilled premises accident attorney in your area can help you prove the legal elements of your premises liability claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer can also retain the necessary experts on your behalf so that they may present favorable testimony in your case.

Injuries in a Premises Accident

Victims of premises accidents frequently suffer debilitating injuries, some of which may be permanent and affect the accident victim for the rest of their life. An accident victim’s injuries will depend primarily on the type of premises accident, the overall circumstances surrounding the accident, the amount of force involved, and the body part or parts affected.

Some of the most common injuries that premises accident victims suffer include:

  • Traumatic head and brain injuries
  • Eye injuries
  • Back and spinal cord damage
  • Full or partial paralysis
  • Soft tissue neck and back contusions
  • Broken bones
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Internal bleeding

If you suffered one or more of these injuries in a recent premises accident, you should report the accident and your injuries to the property owner or manager. Next, you should receive all the medical treatment you need and follow through with any recommended treatment from a healthcare provider. For example, depending on your injuries, you may need to consult a medical specialist, such as an orthopedic doctor, or undergo various medical procedures and physical therapy.

Completing all of your medical treatment significantly increases your chances of getting better and fully recovering. It also shows the responsible party’s insurance company that you take your injuries and medical treatment seriously. Consequently, the insurance company may be more likely to offer you favorable monetary damages to settle your case without the need for litigation in the court system.

While you finish the treatment of your injuries, an injury attorney can start handling the legal parts of your case, gathering the necessary documents, and assembling a settlement demand package to forward to the insurance company for review.

Filing a Timely Premises Liability Claim with the Insurance Company

A knowledgeable premises accident attorney can help you file a personal injury claim seeking monetary compensation for your accident-related injuries. To file a premises accident claim, your attorney will first assemble a complete settlement demand package.

That package will likely include a demand letter that makes a financial demand for settlement within the property owner’s available insurance policy limits.

Your lawyer can also include pertinent documentation for the settlement adjuster to review, including:

  • A police report and investigation reports about the accident
  • Statements from witnesses
  • Video cameras footage showing the premises accident happening
  • Photographs of the premises accident scene
  • Injury photographs
  • Property damage photographs

If your lawyer retained an accident reconstructionist in your case, they can include a copy of the accident reconstructionist’s final report as part of the settlement demand package. Settlement negotiations may begin once the insurance company adjuster can review the case-related documentation. However, you should always be wary about accepting an initial settlement offer from an insurance company representative.

This is because initial offers are routinely far below the actual, fair, and reasonable value of a premises accident case. Your premises liability attorney can help you negotiate a higher settlement offer with the insurance company adjuster. If that does not happen, your lawyer can threaten the insurance company with litigation and file a lawsuit in the court system on your behalf.

Litigating a Premises Liability Claim in Court

Premises accident litigation begins with an attorney filing a lawsuit in the court system on the accident victim’s behalf. However, the case can still settle at any point while the matter is in litigation. In fact, most premises accident claims settle out of court at some point, given the expensive nature of personal injury litigation and expert fees.

Your premises accident attorney can assist you with every step of the litigation process, including answering written interrogatories on your behalf, representing you at depositions, attending court proceedings with you, and helping you make important decisions in your case.

For example, your lawyer can help you decide whether accepting a pending offer from the insurance company or litigating your case through the court system is a good idea. Whatever you decide, your lawyer will be by your side every step of the way, aggressively advocating for you and fighting for your legal interests.

Recoverable Damages in a Premises Accident Case

Victims of premises accidents who suffer injuries can recover various forms of monetary compensation, depending upon the size and scope of their injuries, the circumstances surrounding their accident, and the total cost of their medical treatment and lost income.

Compensation in a premises accident claim or lawsuit may include monetary damages for:

  • Lost earnings
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Related past and future medical expenses
  • Loss of the ability to use a body part
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Loss of spousal companionship
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement (such as from paralysis)
  • Long-term care costs
  • Inconvenience
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish

Your premises accident attorney can help you maximize the financial compensation you receive in your case by aggressively negotiating on your behalf and zealously representing you at court proceedings. Your attorney can also help you set realistic expectations and goals for your case.

Talk with a Premises Accident Attorney Right Away

Greg Bentley & Keith More - Experienced Premises Accident cases lawyer in Orange County area

Greg Bentley & Keith More Premises Accident Attorney in Orange County area

If you sustained injuries in a premises accident, you should immediately get the legal help you need. Victims of premises accidents only have two years from their accident date to file a lawsuit for monetary recovery. If they file their lawsuit after the two-year statute of limitations deadline expires, they cannot secure any economic recovery for their injuries.

A skilled personal injury attorney in Orange County can set to work on your case right away by aggressively advocating for your legal interests and, if necessary, filing a prompt claim or lawsuit on your behalf. Your lawyer can then represent you during all legal proceedings and maximize your total monetary award.

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