If you have slipped or tripped and fallen on someone’s property or a business’ property, you have what is known in law as a “premise liability case.” Premises liability cases are those in which property owners or landlords can be held accountable for accidents that occur on their property due to unsafe or hazardous conditions.
If you have been hurt at someone’s business, chances are you were asked to fill out some paperwork called a “claim form.” On this claim form, you had to list your name and contact information and how the incident occurred. Then the company will do an investigation. On some occasions, a representative for the company will reach out to you and attempt to settle your claim by offering you a settlement. If this has happened to you, you should contact an attorney to be sure you are settling your claim for a fair amount of money. Depending on how injured you are, you may have medical bills that will continue on into the future.
Examples of premises liability accidents are: a collapsing porch, balcony, or roof/ceiling, an escalator accident, slipping on a floor or tripping on a floor, the presence of known toxic substances, and negligent maintenance of a property. This can happen at a home, business, or public property.
To win such a case, the person bringing the lawsuit, known as the plaintiff, must prove the following in his or her case:
- The owner must have caused the problem or allowed it to occur through neglect, whether it was a spill on the floor, or the broken floor.
- The owner either must have known or should have known the hazard existed.
- It was not a known or obvious defect. In other words, it was not something you should have missed.
Property owners and landlords are responsible for addressing and resolving any unsafe conditions. They are required by law to remove hazardous substances or conditions and keep you safe against potential accidents.
Another important factor to consider in the strength or weakness of your case is classifying you in the eyes of the law. There are three categories under the law: a trespasser, licensee, and invitee. If you are a trespasser, meaning you should not be on the property, you have few legal rights. If you are a licensee, your legal rights are much higher. A licensee is someone who comes on a property, whether a home or business, with the permission of the owner, but without being invited and not for a business-related purpose that would be beneficial to the owner of the property. Finally, if you are an invitee, this means you have been invited on to the property of the owner. In this case, your rights are much greater than if you were a trespasser or licensee. It is important to speak to an attorney to determine your legal status while you were on the property.
Slip and fall and trip and fall cases are among the most difficult personal injury cases to prevail from because oftentimes you have to overcome the “you should have watched where you were going” defense. Statistically, most slip and fall and trip and fall cases result in a verdict for the defendant, meaning the person bringing the lawsuit, will receive no money. However, there are ways to win these cases, including by hiring certain experts to testify for the plaintiff, requesting documents from the landowner, and interviewing key witnesses. A skilled and experienced attorney will know how to accomplish these things.
If you have been injured on another person’s or businesses’ premises due to no fault of your own, you may have a good personal injury case. Call The Jackman Law Firm for a free consultation.