Being injured at a business or on someone else’s property can leave you wondering who may be responsible for the cost of your medical bills and other damages. Common accidents, such as slip and fall incidents, dog bites, swimming pool injuries, and other mishaps, fall under the legal concept of premises liability. At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad, our personal injury lawyers believe that it’s important for clients to be familiar with premises liability to know how negligence is proven and understand the arguments that can be made for damages in these types of cases.
What Is Premises Liability?
Property and business owners have a legal responsibility to maintain their property and keep the premises safe for visitors. When they are negligent and don’t repair or maintain their property and someone gets hurt, they might be liable for an injured victim’s medical bills, loss of income, pain, and suffering, and other damages.
Types Of Premises Liability Claims
There are many different ways a property owner’s negligence can cause injury. Some common types of accidents include:
- Slip, trip, and fall accidents caused by loose rugs, broken or uneven stairs and floors, uncleared ice or snow, spills, water leaks, or flooding
- Injuries caused by falling objects
- Swimming pool injuries or unintentional drowning
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Fires and explosions
- Dog bites and other animal attacks
- Elevator or escalator failure
Proving A Premises Liability Claim
Just because you’ve been hurt on someone else’s property, it doesn’t mean they’re automatically liable for your injuries. You must demonstrate that the owner knew about the unsafe or defective condition on their property but failed to remedy the situation. Several elements must be proven in a premises liability claim:
- The business or property keeper owed you a duty of care
- They breached that duty by failing to act with reasonable care to prevent or warn of dangerous conditions
- The business’ or property owner’s negligence led to injury or harm
- You suffered damages or losses as the result of your injuries
To pursue compensation for an injury or the death of a loved one, you must present evidence such as medical bills, proof of lost wages, and other supporting information to back up your claim. A personal injury attorney who has successfully litigated a wide range of premises liability claims should be well-versed in how to bring all these elements together to build a case that proves negligence.
Why You Need a Lawyer For A Premises Liability Claim
Injuries sustained in premises liability cases require costly medical treatment and long-term care. It can be easy to underestimate what your claim is worth and accept a settlement that won’t cover all your medical bills. An attorney can put an accurate value on your claim and fight to help you recover maximum compensation for your damages. Even if you think an injury is minor, symptoms of more serious conditions may not appear until later.
It’s important to contact an attorney shortly after an accident. An insurance adjuster may contact you soon after the incident. Without the assistance of an experienced premises liability lawyer, you may say something that the insurance company can use to blame the injury on you. Don’t speak to an insurance adjuster, sign anything, or accept a settlement without first speaking to a personal injury attorney. Insurers often use underhanded tactics to minimize the severity of injured victims’ injuries so they can offer paltry settlements or deny claims altogether.
A premises liability lawyer can evaluate your case, provide a straightforward assessment of the situation, and help you understand your options. If you have a viable claim and want to proceed, their team investigates the circumstances surrounding your claim and collects relevant evidence, such as photos, witness statements, incident reports, and camera footage. They may also consult with expert witnesses to help prove your case and handle all negotiations with insurance adjusters. If a fair agreement can’t be reached, your attorney may advise you to take your case to court, where they will litigate on your behalf.
Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations and work on contingency, so you really have nothing to lose by contacting an attorney. You won’t have any up-front costs or owe attorney fees unless they recover a monetary settlement or award for you.
Contact A Lehigh Valley Premises Liability Attorney
For more than 30 years, our personal injury attorneys have helped injured victims and their families get the justice and compensation they deserve. For a free evaluation of your premises liability claim, contact us online, call our Bethlehem office at 610-867-2900, or schedule a free consultation. We represent clients throughout the Lehigh Valley and Eastern PA.