What to do after a premises liability accident?
As heartbreaking as it may be to have a guest’s visit to your property turn into a legal nightmare after an accident, the good news is that there are plenty of steps you can take to insulate yourself and your family from suffering any further damages. While contacting knowledgeable West Virginia personal injury lawyers is the best step for you to take, there are also a few things that you can do on your own in preparation of contacting an attorney.
Understand the Terms
In order to be fully prepared ahead of your case, it’s worth understanding the terms involved in a premises liability case. Put simply, there are several different types of visitors that can be attributed to a property. An invitee is the term used for a person who has been specifically invited to visit the property. It’s worth noting that this also includes customers for the purposes of commercial properties. In the case of invitees, there is a reasonable expectation of safety, and it’s assumed that the owner of the property has taken appropriate steps to ensure that the property isn’t particularly hazardous. There is also a reasonable expectation of safety for those who qualify as social guests as well, such as a visitor to the property that hasn’t been invited, but isn’t trespassing either.
If you are the owner of a property when a premises liability accident occurs, then your first step should be to document as much as possible. While getting help to the person who suffered the accident is of course important, it’s also important to make sure that you have recorded everything you’ve done to keep the property safe before the accident. In this way, you’ll have ample evidence to present in court, if the victim should take it there.
Conversely, if you’re the one who has suffered an accident, then your goal should be to similarly document as much as possible that proves negligence of the property’s owner. If you suffer an accident while on a commercial property, such as while in a store, then you’ll want to make a written complaint to the manager, which can then be presented in court later as proof of the incident.
Of course, regardless of whether you’re the one who has suffered the incident, or if the incident occurred on your property, the best thing to do is contact West Virginia personal injury lawyers as soon as possible, so that they can give you advice that is specific to your case and circumstances.
If you have a concern about your legal rights, remedies, and obligations contact the experienced lawyers of the Law Office of Freeman & Chiartas.