How a Premises Liability Case Works?
The owner of a property has a specific duty to keep their property safe for anyone who enters that property for personal or business reasons. If the property is not kept to a standard that is safe and a person is injured, that victim has the right to seek compensation through a premises liability case.
Some of the more common reasons that injuries occur on a property include:
- Outdoor Areas Not Well Lit. A property owner has the responsibility to keep the outdoor area surrounding their building and property well-lit so that guests on the property remain safe. Dark properties can lead to falls and other injuries and may enhance criminal activity. Business owners may also be liable for injuries that result from criminal activity due to a dark area on a property.
- Slippery Floors and Walkways. A wet floor sign does not absolve a business owner from responsibility if a person falls on the slippery floor. In fact, that sign indicates that the business owner knew that there was a problem and that they did nothing to correct it and protect those who were walking on the premises.
- Cluttered Walkways. Cluttered walkways, either indoors or outdoors are a safety hazard. This clutter can lead to tripping or falling or could result in the cluttered items falling onto someone as they walk past.
- Cracks, Holes and Other Pavement Dangers – Uneven pavement, crack in the sidewalk or asphalt, or holes in these areas can lead to twisted ankles and falls. It is the responsibility of the owner to keep these areas safe.
- Loose Rugs and Tiles. Entrance rugs that are not secured down can be very dangerous. These mats are generally used to help people wipe off wet feet. If they are not secured, the wet floor beneath can become slippery and the rug can move when stepped on. Loose tiles can quickly lead to a trip and fall incident.
- Staircases. Staircases are one of the most dangerous areas of any property. Injuries can occur if the staircases are not well lit, if there are not non-skid strips on the stairs, if the railings are loose or not available, and if the stairwells are dirty or cluttered.
- Electrical Markers. Electrical cords should all be covered with the proper aluminum strips so that people do not trip over them. Electrical equipment and boxes must all be clearly marked so that people do not risk electrocution.
- Clearly Marked Exits. Fire exits should be clearly marked and be able to be easily opened in an event of an emergency. Failure to provide clear fire exits could result in many people being injured on the property.
- Lit Up Dumpster Areas. Dumpster areas should always be well lit up for the protection of the employees. Well, lit areas not only protect the employees from criminal activity, it also protects them from wild animals that may be attracted to the garbage.
These are some of the more common reasons that premises liability cases occur. However, they are not the only reason. If you have been injured on the property of another person for a reason that relates to their care of that property, you may still have a liability case.
The hardest part about a premises liability case is proving that the owner of the property knew, or should have known, about the danger that was presented on their property. Many property owners will claim that whatever caused the accident was a “brand new thing” that they were unaware of at the time or it would have been corrected. Having evidence is really helpful in fighting this type of statement.
When you have been injured in this manner, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible while still at the scene. Take pictures if possible or ask someone to take them for you. Ask people who saw the event to write down what they saw and leave their name and phone number. Request that an official accident report is prepared and that it includes as much information about the surrounding area as it does about the accident. Ask employees to provide information about what they saw happen. Information will be your best asset during the case.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
It is important that you request immediate medical attention at the time of the accident, even if the event seems minor. Fractures, concussions, and even whiplash may not appear within the first few minutes of the accident. However, many of these injuries will occur within an hour or two, or maybe even the next morning. Your health is the most important thing you have, make sure to be medically reviewed so that you are safe.
It is also important to seek immediate medical care so that there is no question that your injuries are directly related to the accident which just occurred. If you seek medical care the next day or even a few days later, the insurance company will usually dispute the claim by stating that these injuries could have happened at any time or at any place between the time of the event and when you sought medical care. Seeking immediate care protects your rights to receive that care.
Speak To Charleston Personal Injury Attorneys About Your Case
Once you have had your medical evaluation, it is time to speak with Charleston personal injury attorneys about your right to receive compensation for your injuries. There are specific forms of compensation that you are entitled to for your losses. Your attorney will discuss these forms of compensation with you based on your specific case.
It is also important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after the event. Having all of the facts fresh in your mind will allow your attorney to build a stronger case on your behalf. It also allows any witnesses to be easily contacted and the information will still be fresh in their minds. Waiting to speak with an attorney can hinder your rights and cause you to lose many forms of compensation that you may be entitled to for your case.
Contact the Law Office of Freeman & Chiartas today, for further questions and concerns on Premises Liability Case.