If you have recently sustained an injury from a fall on public property or at a place of business, a bite from a neighbor’s dog, or another type of injury on someone else’s property, you might need a premises liability lawyer.
A premises liability lawyer is a lawyer who helps people who have had accidents or personal injuries due to negligence on a particular property. There are many aspects to a premises liability claim, and a lawyer can help gather evidence, determine whether a valid claim exists, and decide if part of the claim is to have the issue resolved and/or to receive compensation for the injuries.
State law and federal laws set up requirements for properties that they have to be kept safe. It is expected that rented apartments or similar housing buildings, offices, restaurants, hotels, or other public places adhere to a degree of safety.
The legal term “negligence” is often used with premises liability. Negligence means that someone, usually a property owner, failed in their duties or requirements under state and federal law. This type of negligence means that they knew of existing hazards or unsafe conditions and chose not to do anything about them.
If, for example, it’s early morning after a big snowstorm, you can’t expect business owners to already have their parking lots completely clear of ice or other hazards. But you can expect that, once they get to work and open business for the day, they make an effort to remove any ice or snow to make the area safe for people to walk to and from the business. If a business owner has refused to clear the area after a reasonable time, and someone is hurt in a slip-and-fall accident, that injury might be grounds for a lawsuit for compensation.
A premises liability attorney can help the person who sustained the injury to file a claim with the business owner’s insurance provider. Properties are expected to maintain certain levels of insurance for these situations. The process includes submitting paperwork and evidence to substantiate the injury claim to the insurance provider in exchange for compensation for injury-related expenses.
In the event that the insurance company denies the claim when there is sufficient grounds for negligence, a premises liability attorney can help to take the case to the next level by submitting an official lawsuit in court.
Hiring a lawyer for premises liability near you as soon as possible after an injury can offer substantial benefits to the injured party, including:
Premises liability attorneys near you will vary in qualifications, experience, and cost. Weigh each factor carefully to find the lawyer who is the best fit for you.
The most important factor when choosing a premises liability attorney is his or her qualifications. Look for an attorney who either specializes in premises liability cases or who regularly handles premises liability cases along with other types of personal injury cases.
Similarly, you will want to find an attorney who has experience with similar cases. You might also consider whether the attorney has experience representing clients in cases that do not settle outside of court.
Because lawyers for personal injury cases are paid a percentage of their client’s winnings, known as a contingency fee, plus expenses, overall cost is not usually much of a concern. However, because not all attorneys offer free consultations, there may be an upfront cost to consider. During or after the consultation, the decision will be made by the attorney whether or not to take the case and by the injured party whether or not to hire that lawyer. The details about how the premises lawyer will be paid should be explained as part of the consultation, and this information will likely be a deciding factor.
The best premises liability lawyer near you will charge based on a contingency fee. A premises liability attorney falls under the umbrella of personal injury lawyers, and in most personal injury cases, attorneys will evaluate your case during the initial consultation and determine whether there are legitimate grounds for a liability claim. If they take the case, they can only charge a contingency fee, a percentage of the final settlement, plus expenses. This is generally between 30 and 40 percent of any winnings.
Premises liability law lawyers near you usually do not charge for the initial consultation. However, this is a good question to ask when calling to set up an appointment for a consultation at any law firm.
Lawyers can give you legal advice during your consultation in cases where an accident took place. They can inform you of your legal rights and discuss whether you have grounds for a claim. You must have evidence that you not only sustained some sort of injury but that the injury was sustained because of unsafe conditions on someone’s property and that the property owner in question knew about the unsafe conditions and negligently chose to ignore them.
In order to win your claim, you have to prove that the property owner was negligent in preventing injuries. This can be failing to maintain the grounds, delaying maintenance that led to unsafe conditions, ignoring hazards that could lead to tripping, or creating through negligence any similar situation. Though most cases can be settled outside of court directly with the insurance provider and the business owner, some cases do end up in court.
Yes, any business owner or property owner can be held liable for cases related to the legal responsibility to provide certain safety parameters. Failure in these cases constitutes negligence. If someone can prove that there were unsafe conditions on your property that violated legal restrictions on unsafe conditions, you may be held liable. Your attorney can review the legal responsibilities with you.