Have you been injured in a slip and fall accident? Or has your property ever been damaged due to another individual’s negligence? Are you at a loss as to what your next step should be?
There are often legal ramifications involved when an accident occurs on someone’s property. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the person’s injuries, they may seek compensation either criminally or civilly. Having a skilled premises liability and slip and fall accident lawyer could help him or her navigate through the legalities of their case.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a broad legal term used to describe the liability of those who own or have responsibility for a specific property. Examples of premises include offices, apartments, stores, homes, and any other location where somebody might be present as a visitor.
When you enter into somebody’s property, whether public or private, there are certain rights and responsibilities involved in ensuring that the place is safe and up to proper codes and regulations. Suppose somebody fails to uphold this duty of care by overlooking repairs or hazards which are present on the location. In such cases, he or she could be held legally accountable for any damages or injuries which occur as a result of their negligence.
Some examples of premises liability cases include:
- Slip and Fall Accidents: these types of accidents usually involve wet floors, poor lighting, uneven surfaces, and improperly installed stairs.
- Dog Bites and Other Animal Attacks: these accidents often happen when required safety measures are not in place or when required warnings are not visible.
- Defective Elevators: injuries can result from faulty security features, improper maintenance, and hazardous conditions with the elevator machinery itself.
- Construction Site Accidents: injuries that occur on a construction site are often caused by poor lighting, wet surfaces, or a lack of warning signs.
- Recreational Facility Accidents: certain sports like ice skating, skiing/snowboarding, roller-skating/blading all have their own set of rules and regulations that must be followed to protect people who visit facilities for recreation or competitive reasons.
- Toxic Chemical Exposure: these accidents often occur at manufacturing plants, medical facilities, or other commercial properties where dangerous chemicals are used.
Criminal Liability for Slip & Fall Accidents
Suppose an injury occurs due to hazardous conditions on another person’s property. In this case, there is always the possibility that criminal charges could be filed.
Criminally liable parties include owners, managers, employees, or contractors who may have caused the dangerous condition. If somebody tripped over debris left by one of these individuals, the person at fault could easily face criminal consequences depending on the damage done to the injured party.
However, it can also be difficult to prove whether or not somebody was acting negligently. If you find yourself in this situation, a skilled lawyer who understands these types of cases must hear your side of the story. Without somebody with experience on your side, you may have little to no chance against those responsible for causing the accident.
Civil Liability for Slip & Fall Accident
There are times when an accident involves several different parties whose actions could have caused the injury in question, even if they were not present at the time. In situations where there might not have been any crime involved whatsoever, but somebody was injured due to another person’s actions, there are still legal ramifications that must be dealt with.
Civil liability involves suing somebody for compensation for damage which has occurred as a result of negligence or recklessness. These cases can often involve multiple parties, however, they do not always come to fruition in civil court due to a lack of evidence or situation changes.
The injured party could try to file a claim against any involved party whose actions could have played a part in the causation of the accident, whether they were present at the time or not. It might be difficult to win your case, but this does not mean that you should rule out filing a claim just yet. If your attorney believes that you have enough proof to back up your allegations, then they could assist you with filing a claim or lawsuit in civil court.
Slip & Fall Accidents on Public Properties
Although slip and fall accidents usually happen on privately owned property, there are some instances where people can also incur injuries on public properties such as sidewalks and roadways. While it may be easier to prove who is responsible for the dangerous condition on privately owned properties, this is not always the case when dealing with public spaces. This is why it is crucial to hire a Slip and Fall lawyer who is well-versed in ways to get you the compensation that you deserve, regardless of where your accident occurred.
Finding and Hiring a Slip & Fall Lawyer
There are many different factors involved when trying to win a slip and fall case. Frequently there is more than one party responsible for what happened, which can make things complicated. This is because not only do you have to prove that somebody was negligent (or failed to uphold their duty of care), but you also show how this particular individual contributed to your damages.
This process often involves identifying each individual responsible, along with what their role was in the accident. As such, there are many factors to consider with proving fault, such as available evidence and expert testimonies.
What Types of Compensation Can You Receive in a Premises Liability Accident?
Some people think that only the negligent driver in a car accident case can sue and recover damages. However, there are many other types of accidents where innocent people are injured because of somebody else’s carelessness or intentional actions, and these people are also often eligible for compensation as well.
The following are several types of compensation you can get in a premises liability case:
You have the right to claim compensation for the expenses of medical procedures such as doctor visits, surgery, diagnostic tests, physical therapy, medicines, and mental health counseling. In addition, costs associated with hiring a caregiver can also be included in your claim.
If you have been unable to work because of the incident you were involved in, you have a right to demand reimbursement from the responsible party or parties. You will need to present proof that you have missed work through medical certification from your doctor and documentation from your employer about how much time you had to take off without pay.
Loss of Future Earnings
Unfortunately some accidents leave people with permanent disabilities, which render them unable to work at their previous job or to apply for a job with a salary which is higher than that of their previous job. In these instances, individuals might be eligible to receive compensation for future earrings which they would miss out on, as a result of the accident.
Pain and Suffering
A terrible accident can result in both pain and psychological trauma. Even if your only injury is a broken bone, the recovery process is complicated, lengthy, and taxing both emotionally and physically. Sometimes, pain and psychological trauma must be treated through mental health counseling. You deserve compensation for your hardship, as such, costs associated with counselling should be included in your claim amount.
Wrongful Death Compensation
If you were related to someone who was killed because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to a claim. To receive compensation for this, you must have been financially dependent on your loved one’s earnings at the time of their death.
Punitive damages in cases where the defendant’s negligence was especially egregious. In these types of cases, your personal injury attorney may be able to secure punitive damages from the individuals in question. To receive this type of compensation, you must show that the defendant’s actions were so irresponsible and intentional that it deserves punishment from a court of law.
If you were involved in an accident that caused damage to your property (such as your car or home), you may be able to receive compensation for the monetary value of these items. However, it helps to have receipts for all items which are considered to be of your property, because it is more difficult for a court of law to compensate you for sentimental value, rather than financial value.
Liability accident claims must be filed within a certain amount of time. This being said, the first step should always be seeking medical treatment as soon as possible after the incident. It is highly recommended that you then speak with a personal injury lawyer without delay, even if you do not think you have a good case or the insurance company has already made an offer. An experienced legal professional can help guide you through the entire legal process and ensure your rights are protected.
Qualities to Look For in a Premises Liability and Slip & Fall Lawyer
Lawyers who specialize in premises liability law should have countless years of experience under his or her belt. Only then will they be able to assist their clients in obtaining the compensation that they deserve.
Here are some qualities you should look for in a slip and fall lawyer:
A good rule of thumb is that the more experience a lawyer has, the better he or she will be able to represent you. There’s no substitute for experience, so do not fear asking how long they have practiced law.
The lawyer you choose should have attended a prestigious school where they received outstanding education pertaining to all areas of law, including personal injury claims and premises liability claims.
A good lawyer will have won many cases similar to yours in the past. You should ask each candidate the types of cases they focus on and try to get them to provide examples of the personal injury cases that they have won, especially those that are very similar to yours. The lawyer you choose should be able to produce reports, transcripts, or other evidence if your case is one they can win.
A good lawyer wants you to feel comfortable with him or her, so you will go back for future help if necessary. Their personal injury law firm office atmosphere should make you feel at ease to speak confidently about yourself and your situation. Lawyers who are rude to the receptionist, staff, or you are never ideal to work with.
Can your lawyer be reached easily by phone or email? You should consider how long it takes for them to answer your messages or to call you back. The best lawyers will respond to you within 24 hours, so you have all the answers that you need.
It is always best to find a lawyer who works within your area. This is because he or she is more likely to have experience with cases that are similar to yours. As well, having a local lawyer on your side also ensures that they are well-versed in the laws of your province. This being said, it does not mean someone from another province can’t get you a fair outcome, it just means that they might not be as knowledgeable about your case as someone from your area.
Once you have interviewed the best lawyers, you should ask each one of your candidates to lay out their terms and conditions, their legal fees, and the steps they will take to win your case. Some may charge an hourly rate, while others may look at a “contingency fee” where they get paid only after being rewarded for your loss. It is best to have a clear understanding of your financial obligations before settling for the perfect lawyer.
A good lawyer will communicate with you regularly either through email or phone calls regarding any new information that arises in your case, or anything else that could affect the outcome of your claim. So, make sure you ask each candidate how often they will be in contact about your case.
Transparent and Affordable Fees
The best lawyers should be affordable enough for any individual or business to hire without breaking the bank. This does not mean that they have to be the cheapest around, but they should be someone who offers reasonable rates that are within your budget.
Interaction with the Client
A good lawyer will get to know you by spending time discussing your situation with you. This way, he or she can get a better idea of what has occurred and to gather the necessary information to build a solid case to get you the compensation that you deserve.
No matter how vigilant property owners are, accidents will still happen. Unfortunately, when they do, there is a good chance that somebody will end up hurt. Oftentimes, injuries are the result of dangerous circumstances on the premises. This being said, there are cases where somebody is simply injured without any explanation. If you find yourself in any of these situations, hiring a lawyer specializing in premises liability and slip & fall accidents is a must if you want to get the compression that you rightfully deserve.