Do You Need a Premises Liability Lawyer if You Were Hurt on Someone’s Property?
If you were hurt while on someone else’s property, do you need a premises liability lawyer to protect your legal rights? The choice is yours, but you should know the facts before you decide.
If the property owner is insured, he should turn the claim over to his insurance company, but he might not. The insurance company might deny liability and pay nothing; but they might offer to pay your medical bills. Such an offer might seem very generous when the bills start piling up; but you could be legally entitled to much more.
Should? Might? Could?
There are a lot of issues to consider before you get the injury settlement you deserve. You must get the property owner to report a claim to his insurance carrier. You’ll have to show that the owner or tenant was negligent in causing your injuries.You must also show that you didn’t contribute to the problem, or that your negligence was minimal.
Premises liability cases can get complicated. If you prefer not to work through the complications on your own, an experienced premises liability attorney can help you get the best outcome.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is the body of law that allows an injured person to recover damages for bodily or emotional injuries as a result of an incident on another person’s property. Whether you fell on a sidewalk, cut your hand on a champagne glass at a party, or if a dog bit you as you were walking in the door, premises liability laws would determine how and when you could recover money for your injuries.
Who Will Pay For Your Injury?
Property owners purchase liability insurance to protect and defend them against claims made due to injuries on their premises. Businesses have General Liability policies. Many homeowners and renters have liability coverage as part of their Homeowners policies.
Once the property owner reports your claim, the insurance company will investigate the incident. They will take statements from the injured person and the property owner, photograph the scene, and seek out witness accounts. When the insurance company has enough information, they might decide that their insured was negligent and offer you a settlement, but they might not.
What Kind of Settlement Would you be Entitled to?
If a negligent condition on someone’s property caused your injuries, the owner or renter would owe you money for medical bills, lost wages, rehab services, physical therapy, and other expenses you incurred to get well. You might also be entitled to money for emotional distress, services to your spouse and family, and more.
An insurance company could offer you money for all of these damages or they could decide to pay you nothing at all. If the property owner has Medical Payments Coverage, they will at least concede to pay your medical bills.
Aren’t Paid Medical Bills Enough?
Paid medical bills are not enough when you are entitled to more. If a property owner has Medical Payments coverage, his insurance company can pay your medical bills without acknowledging fault. It’s an automatic, no-fault benefit included in some premises liability insurance policies, but sometimes an injured person is so grateful to have their bills paid, they won’t ask for anything else.
The insurance company could then close their file and the injured person might never know if he were entitled to more than medical payments. An experienced premises liability attorney won’t let that happen.
What if You Don’t Want to Sue?
Premises liability attorneys settle cases every day without lawsuits being filed. In some cases, litigation is unavoidable; but an experienced attorney can present most liability cases and negotiate them to conclusion without the injured person ever seeing the inside of a courtroom.
A premises liability case can be complicated, especially if you try to handle it on your own. Contact us for information on getting the settlement you deserve,