What is a Premises Liability Lawyer?
People who own, occupy, or lease properties have a responsibility to keep them reasonably safe. They must take reasonable steps to prevent accidents from happening that injure visitors. If they do not, they can be held negligent for the injuries and liable for resulting damages.
This is known as premises liability. A premises liability lawyer specializes in tort law and in helping victims of negligent accidents. Tort law allows for injured parties to recover damages from those liable. In premises liability, this usually means the owner of a property. Premises liability lawyers help resolve situations without lawsuits, negotiate settlements, and litigate on behalf of victims when necessary.
When Do I Need a Premises Liability Lawyer?
If you suffered injuries on someone else’s property and were there lawfully, you may have a case for premises liability. Talk to a lawyer specializing in these cases for advice on what to do next, to determine the strength of your case, and to estimate damages you may be able to recover.
Without expertise in tort law, you may be uncertain about your rights or any legal actions you are entitled to take. These are some examples of situations that warrant talking to and potentially hiring a premises liability lawyer:
- You tripped over boxes left in the aisle of a store and suffered injuries as a result.
- A neighbor lost control over their dog, known to be aggressive, and it bit you.
- You slipped and fell on ice in a retail parking lot, suffering an injury.
- An elevator in an office building had not been maintained or repaired correctly, leading to an accident.
- Faulty wiring in a hotel led to a fire that caused burns and smoke inhalation damage.
- You suffered an assault in a parking lot without adequate lighting or security.
It doesn’t matter whether the accident occurred at a private residence, in a commercial setting, or in a public or government building. You have a right to seek damages if someone can be found negligent in causing the accident and your injuries.
The Benefits of Hiring a Premises Liability Lawyer
Injuries resulting from accidents can be costly. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may have ongoing medical bills or even be unable to work and earn a living. You have a right to take legal action to get relief.
The benefits of working with a premises liability lawyer after getting hurt on someone else’s property include:
- A clear picture of your case
The legal system is confusing if you have not studied the law. What a good lawyer can do for you first and foremost is explain your situation, rights, and options, making it easier to decide on the next step.
- An expert advocate on your side
You’ll get a lot of peace of mind from having an advocate. Going up against defendants and their legal teams and insurance companies is daunting unless someone is there fighting for you.
- Investigative resources
A lawyer or firm specializing in tort cases have the resources available to do a thorough investigation of your case. They know how to collect evidence, prove the cause of your accident, and determine negligence.
- Medical experts
Lawyers that handle personal injury cases have medical experts on staff or in their network. They can determine the extent of your injuries and evaluate any lasting disabilities or ongoing medical and healthcare needs.
- Maximum damages
You know that your injury has cost you money, but an experienced lawyer can point out the costs you don’t yet see. They will be able to maximize the damages recovered from the liable party, whether in a settlement negotiation or through a jury verdict.
How to Find a Premises Liability Lawyer
Most personal injury and tort law firms have experience in premises liability. Go through personal injury firms and find the team with the most expertise in this particular type of tort. They will be best able to represent you. Ask questions before settling on one lawyer or firm:
- How much experience do you have with premises liability?
- Have you handled a case like mine? What was the outcome?
- Can you show me actual wins for premises liability cases and references from past clients?
- How strong do you think my case is?
- Who will you target in my case?
- How much do you think I can recover in damages?
- How long do you think the case will take, and do you think it will be necessary to go to trial?
You should also discuss fees before hiring a lawyer. Most personal injury lawyers accept contingency payment plans, which means you do not have to pay them until they win and recover damages for you.
What Your Lawyer Needs from You
Your premises liability lawyer will tell you what they need, which includes being honest and sharing as much information related to the incident as possible. Your lawyer will likely need the following from you:
- Any evidence or documentation from the accident, including pictures of the scene and your injuries, an accident or a police report if applicable, and any communications between you and the defendant
- Information about the defendant, their ownership or occupation of the property, and their insurance company
- Your medical records and bills related to the injuries caused by the accident
- Information about your job and income if the injuries have impacted your ability to work
- Contact information for witnesses to the accident
When you go into a store, office building, or home, you don’t expect to get hurt. Many accidents are preventable with reasonable repair, maintenance, and safety steps. If someone’s negligence caused you to get hurt on their property, talk to a premises liability lawyer.