Personal Injury Cases

While many times a personal injury can be taken care of between the injured parties themselves, there are many different issues which are not obvious to the everyday person.  This can cause a different in how the claims are handled an what the end result compensation amounts may be.

A personal injury case will typically involved some or all of the following stages.

Determination of the Incident

  • the at-the-scene investigation as to what occurred
  • the initial Insurance Company investigation
  • the investigation by the attorney

auto accident

The Insurance Claim

  • contacting and cooperating with your insurance company to process your claim
  • contacting the negligent or “at fault” person’s insurance company
  • the settlement demand – how much you are willing to take in settlement

The Lawsuit

  • why, when, and where to file a lawsuit.  This occurs if the parties do not reach settlement prior to a lawsuit being filed
  • fast track court rules and requirements – the basic nuts and bolts of proceeding with a lawsuit
  • discovery – this phase is where both parties look for information for the other party to support their side of the case
  • arbitration / mediation – this phase will occur if the parties can not reach a settlement and the case itself is not cut and dry.  This could happen before or after a trial
  • trial  – the lawsuit is played out in front of a judge and jury to determine if the defendant is negligent

Elsewhere on the Blogosphere

The Stages on Filing a Personal Injury Claim

the plaintiff suffered damages. Get help in the representation of your personal injury case’s trial before the court competent and trusted by our Los Angeles Trial Lawyers, including the renowned Los Angeles personal injury lawyers.  […]

The main things or factors you

Do you know that one of the most crucial stages in personal injury trial is the discovery deposition stage? This is because it is at this stage that the insurance agency’s attorney gets the chance to cross examine the claimant in person […]

Selecting A Personal Injury Or Car Accident Lawyer

An experienced car accident or personal injury lawyer will know how to negotiate with the insurance company, build your case, and take your case to trial if necessary. It is not advisable for you to meet personally with the insurance company without your lawyer present. … These letters provide a comprehensive work flow system to guide the reader through all the stages of a personal injury claim, from initial instructions through to resolution of the claim. […..]

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Attorneys Can Help Protect Your Financial Health

Personal Injury Lawyers Protect your Personal and Financial Health

Here is an interesting article that is written by a Canadian regarding personal injury in that country, but the aspects of this article also apply to people in the United States and especially those in the Chicago area.

We take our ongoing health for granted, yet many people are injured at work or play in sports through no fault of their own. After being disabled for long periods their benefits run out. A good personal injury lawyer helps protect your rights if you ever fall into this difficult situation. In an age of no fault legislation, you can’t take anything for granted anymore.

The Ontario government recently launched a province-wide television advertising campaign to warn workers about workplace accidents. The intent of the campaign is okay since it reminds young, low wage workers that strange accidents can take place, accidents that can tragically alter their lives.

On the other hand, it is employers who must exercise due caution and provide employees with the knowledge of how to avoid accidents. When employers lose site of their employees rights and health, employees may be injured, not by their own actions but by a fellow employee. People go to work with a sense of innocence and trust. We trust that the workplace is safe and that co-workers understand and appreciate safety. Even at the local hockey rinks, hockey players suffer severe head and limb injuries, many highly publicized, yet the injured parties do not always experience short term losses.

When we hear of workplace accidents, we tend to think of construction or transportation industries, but personal injury can happen many different ways to affect health and happiness. From chemical exposure and smoke inhalation to repetitive motion injuries in office work, to auto accidents, to falls from ladders and icy sidewalks, people are injured every day in a variety of ways. Whether the bottom line issue is industrial and workplace design or improper work procedure, the employee is doing what they’re told and hence is a vulnerable position.

The courts are under tremendous pressure with many cases backlogged from years ago. Many courts across North America are facing these same challenges and trying to cope with the outfall of problems caused by negligent employers. Whether employees suffer personal injury or are fired for insufficient causes, those same employees often turn to social assistance and the government faces a financial burden. This may be the cause for the ad campaigns as penalties for employers who jeopardize employee’s health and their rights to fair employment.

Several years ago my brother was killed by a negligent truck driver. The driver of the semi forgot to lock down his trailer properly. As he left his employer’s yard, the trailers swung out wildly into the other lane colliding with my brother’s truck travelling in the other direction. He was a pivotal member of his own and other families in the city he lived in and his death was a huge loss. At the time, no one thought about the financial implications, since everyone was too distraught to think clearly at all.

Fortunately, a personal injury lawyer was involved quickly to ensure evidence was properly taken and accounted for. Interviews were conducted by police as well and the matter went to trial. The end result was that his wife received compensation. His family did not receive compensation for their loss. Although compensation in some form is right,

The offender did not serve time in jail and only lost his license for a short period. This highlights the importance of having a personal injury lawyer to protect your interests in the event of an accident. The legal climate is very lenient toward employers and companies that.

auto accident

Only a few years ago, police conducted roadside checks of vehicles travelling on Toronto area highways. They found horrendous conditions in vehicles and transport trucks were always the worst. Some of the trucking companies were habitual offenders. U Haul vehicles for instance were chronically mentioned with problems ranging from worn brakes to broken axles. Trucking companies named continued to be found guilty of these equipment problems years after the roadside checks and even after being warned and fined by the courts.

The roadside checks in the Toronto area aren’t being conducted anymore despite the fact they were finding lots of faulty vehicles. Did the police just get tired and give up? Was it a political nightmare that they couldn’t force the trucking companies to improve? It’s something to think about because every year here in Toronto, people are injured by big transport trucks that had some sort of mechanical failure. If they aren’t bad enough, there are plenty of motorists driving at high speeds and in a reckless manner.

Personal Injury Legislation

In discussions with Toronto Lawyers I discovered that many employers are cavalier about how they treat and view employees. The need to cut costs and see employees in terms of their dollar cost, demeans the employee and sets the stage for a culture of carelessness in the workplace whether that workplace is inside a building or out on the highways. If employers have a positive regard for their employees, then safety and caution will always prevail.

Employment laws in Ontario in recent years have been diminished leaving employees very vulnerable to negligent employers who ignore legal requirements such as the adoption of proper safety precautions exist in the workplace.

Those injured on the job may have taken all the necessary safety precautions. After being injured at the workplace however, they face an uncertain financial future. Insurance policies or income assistance benefits only last so long. Injured people tend to focus on their immediate circumstances and rightfully so, since their security is far from certain.

When the payments stop, the injured find they’re in serious financial trouble.

Another young man I know had his back injured on the job. Years later, his back still hurts and makes him incapacitated. Despite his disability, unemployment insurance payments stopped and he’s now faced with a difficult situation that affects his emotional health and ability to take care of his children. At that time, he needed legal consultation, because these issues don’t disappear quickly and at some point in time, their source of compensation disappears.

People left with exorbitant medical bills and medication costs, and others left in a wheelchair find themselves living below the poverty. Workman’s Compensation is one government bureaucracy that has become much tougher on claimants. The environment over the last ten years has been to minimize worker’s rights with new no-fault legislation. Now Toronto workers cannot sue other employees who are a key source of work-related accidents. Instead they can apply for workers compensation benefits and yet there is no guarantee these payments won’t be cut off at any time.

Going it alone in facing the workman’s compensation board, insurance companies, and government assistance offices isn’t necessary. Even if your employer took all precautions and measures, it is still your right to take them to court for compensation for your losses.

A good Toronto personal injury lawyer can help protect your rights and ensure you have access to financial resources. Their knowledge and experience with the Ontario courts and recent changes in laws, will help you navigate the difficult legal climate surrounding legal action against employers and other negligent parties.

If you’ve been injured or suffered because of someone else’s neglect and carelessness, a consultation with a Toronto personal injury lawyer might just be a lifesaving conversation.

By Gord Collins

Information that can be found elsewhere

Dog Shot By Officer: Just Cause?

Could an officer be charged in a personal injury case for shooting a family’s dog? In Philadelphia, police… – Dog Bites & Animal Attacks.  [..]

Personal Injury Law  

Personal injury law covers a very wide variety of injuries including physical injury, mental anguish, financial injury, and wrongful death. […]

The Meaning of a Personal Injury Lawyer

A Personal Injury Lawyer Toronto is a specialist can be defined as a compensation specialist for the injured. A Personal Injury Lawyer Toronto is a specialist in Toronto who works with insurance companies to help those who have been injured […] .

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Choosing Personal Injury Lawyers

More Information About Choosing A Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury lawyers are one of the most sought after legal professionals in the country and are definitely in high demand.  If you have been injured and you are thinking about retaining such an attorney, you need to make sure that it makes sense financially before getting one on your side.  Sometimes, the insurance deductible is so high that it is pointless in terms of the damages that can be assessed for your case.  However, if it can be determined that the severity of the case is great enough to demand high damages, then you obviously should consider retaining one.

Okay, so here are some things to consider if you are thinking about hiring a personal injury lawyer in Chicago or the surrounding Illinois area.  Let’s look at the questions that need to be answered:

  1. First and foremost, how serious is the injury that you sustained?
  2. Is the injury permanet or temporary in nature?
  3. How did this injury occur and who is at fault?
  4. Does this involve an uninsured motorist?
  5. Is there a third party who could pay damages for this injury?
  6. Are you in pain or suffering?
  7. Has the pain and suffering that you have experienced affected either your family or friends of both?
  8. Do you have a ball park estimate ofwhat your case may be worth?
  9. If your case involves a payment by an insurance company is there a cap on the torte claim that can be made for your injury?

These are the type of questions you need to answer in consultation with the prospective attorney that could take you case.  Not only should the lawyer be asking you these questions, they should be able to answer them as well. If not, then it would be advisable to seek other counsel.

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Claims For Personal Injury Rise During Recession

With the current financial situation and with more people strapped for cash in these uncertains times, insurance claims and  laibility cases are now on the rise.

Since many people are putting off maintenance on their vehicles because f the repairs bills, interestingly enough the number of road accidents have increased.

With road repair itself suffering from lack of funds, a cold winter has led to a growing number of potholes in the nation’s infrastructure which has also resulted in an increase in the accident rate.

It could also be that claims for negliglence in medical practices will also be on the uptake as mroe people are flocking to the emergency rooms for treatment as more and more people are losing their health benefits as a result of job loss.

Safety at the work place will also decline as those who run the companies are more concerned about the bottom line than personal safety.  This has been displayed in recent months by the increase in construction accidents and building collapses.  Health and safety is not longer a priority for many businesses as they are struggling just to survive in this time of financial hardship. 

Now, this has a trickle down effect to the company workers in terms of their workman’s comp and personal injury claims as they come to suspect that an injury claim may be the only way to secure personal financial stability in the short run.  However, this will also lead to more scrutiny by the insurance companies and law enforcement as it is very likely that fraudulent claims will also be on the upswing.

Elsewhere on the Internet

Car insurance personal injury claims rise

The number of car insurance personal injury claims is on the rise, with 1200 whiplash claims alone per day last year.  

Injury claims on public footpaths on the rise

… maintained public roads and footpaths, according to figures released by Northern Ireland’s Department of Regional Development. More than 1800 people in the province made a tripping injury compensation claim in 2008, up from 1000. […]   

Personal injury claims rises during recession

The popularity of injury lawyers is growing as more people file injury claims as a result of suffering from a personal injury through the negligence of another party. With the recession leaving a massive impact on a large number of claims […]

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Filing a Personal Injury Claim

Automobile accidents and and injuries that occur on the job site can be the foundation of a personal injury claim.  These types of injuries will incur costs in terms of medical care,  loss of income,damage to personal property, and pain and suffering.  In the Chicago area, including Cook County and the rest of Illinois, the injured party can file a claim against the other party to collect compensation to cover these costs.  

If you file a claim as the victim in these types of accidents, you can receive funds that will help you get back your health and return to your daily routine.  Victims will need to get the most compensation they can by filing a personal injury claim which will require a good personal injury lawyer to assist them.

One person or entity may be the cause of the injuries suffered in the accident and the victim can enlist the assistance of a personal injury attorney in order to garner the compensation that it rightfully due him as a result of the accident.  A personal injury claim can include the cost of medical bills, the cost of repairs to vehicle in the case of an automobile accident, plus punitive damages as a result of negligence by the party causing the accident.  Sometimes, long term care is also required as is the case of whiplash or injuries to the back which can linger for some time.

There are many different law firms in the Chicago area which will  take on no win no fee personal injury cases.  This means that the attorney will only receive payment if the personal injury claim results in a payment to the injured party.  By doing so, it means that the case is not just a frivolous suit on the part of the victim as attorneys generally to no work pro bono on their cases.  Personal injury cases can involve large sums of money, especially when you take into account the lost wages and huge medical bills that are likely to arise. 

If you have been involved in an accident where it is not your fault, then you should seek out a personal injury lawyer that specializes in these types of claims.  Firms who specialize in this type of case are familiar with the process of filing a claim and the amount of money that should be awarded in these types of cases, should the case prove to be valid in the eyes of the law.  Sometimes, the amount you have in your own mind may differ from that of the attorney, but that is to be expected as they are the ones who are experienced in these matters.

The idea of receiving compensation for pain and suffering is a difficult one to understand, especially with regard to the amounts associated with it.  However, the court system has a set of formulas that are used to determine the amount to be received as compensation, whether you agree with that amount or not.

If you have been in an accident, it is generally not a trivial matter.  For this reason it is best to consult with a personal injury lawyer who can help you receive compensation for what you may have lost as a result of the accident.

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Finding a Good Personal Injury Lawyer

Tips To Finding A Good Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury cases seem to be very prevalent these days.  As the population grows, so does the incidence of accidents where people have suffered severe trauma.  In many cases, these accidents are due not to the injured party, but due to a result of something a third party did.  In these instances it is highly likely that you could receive some compensation as a result of your injury.  Here are a few tips that can help you locate the best personal injury attorney to represent your claim. 

1. Look for an experienced attorney whose specializes in personal injury cases. There are firms whose entire practice is concerned with personal injury and wrongful death claims and lawsuits.  A large law firm will many times have an entire department that is centered around personal injury law. However, first contact any friends and associates to find recommendations and referrals to these types of lawyers.  Consult also the local bar association, online listings, yellow pages and other various referral services.Look for a lawyer who is well qualified in this area, one who has a great deal of experience in these types of case and case law.

2. Once you find a list of prospective attorney to represent you, meet with them to discuss you own personal case before selecting one.  At this time you should also be able to outline you case and determine whether or not your claim is justified.  You will also get a feeling as to how long the case will take for settlement.  These prospective lawyers will also let you know what documentation you will need in order to make your claim.  Some attorneys may not want to take on your personal case and knowing why will help you to decide how and with whom you will be willing to take on to represent you and your claim.

choosing a lawyer

3.  Choose a lawyer who is local to you.  Now it may seem like a good idea to hire a reputable attorney who has offices in another city and who may have outstanding credentials.  However, a good local lawyer has a reputation to uphold within the local community, and, as a result may be more considerate to you in the long run.  With a local lawyer you will be able to meet with them on a more convenient basis for you.  A local lawyer will also be able to navigate within the local court system.

4. Depending on the type of case you have, the firm and the number of people working on the case will likely vary and should be considered before choosing the lawyer to represent you.  In a large firm, a team of lawyers will likely be representing you.  The senior lawyer will work on the dynamics of your case while their associates will work to prepare and handle the basic aspects of your claim.  In a smaller firm, generally there are less individuals involved in your particular and therefore will spend more of their personal time on your case and therefore will have more at stake in its outcome.  Either choice as its own implications which should be considered before your choose an attorney.

5. Make sure that you have a good rapport with any attorney you choose and that you agree with their approach to solving your problem.  As a result you will find that communication comes easily between you and your lawyer.  You will also find that if your attorney can identify with you then the case will proceed in a matter that grants you the best chance of a good outcome.

How to Choose a Truck Crash Attorney

Here are some other important things to consider when choosing a truck accident lawyer: 1. For a truck crash accident, you need to have a personal injury attorney. The expertise of a personal injury attorney includes truck accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, other forms of professional negligence.

Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer

When choosing a personal injury lawyer it is important to keep in mind that there are times when the services of an attorney are helpful and necessary. When an insurance company refuses to pay your claim, regardless of its’ merits,  it’s time to have someone on your side.

Getting the Best Legal Advice

When you are seeking legal advice it is very important to find the right lawyer. There are good and bad ones out there and you need to choose one that will fight for you and try to get results that are acceptable.

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Basics of a Personal Injury Case

Have you been out of work for some time and are watching your medical bills pile up after an accident?  Has this accident changed your way of life?     If you can answer yes to the preceeding questions then it’s time to contact a personal injury attorney to take a look at your situation and see if there is some compensation that is due you as a result of your injuries.  Now, why would you want to to do this?  Well, it’s not to get a big pile of cash at someone else’s expense.  It’s all about getting enough money to cover your medical expenses and help you to return to a normal life.  

What is personal injury anyhow?

Personal injury refers to a situation when a person or persons are injured due the the negligence of another.  A good example is an auto accident where a motorist causes the accident and as a result injuries another person who is a pedestrian or is riding in the other vehicle.  The motorist was operating the vehicle in a dangerous fashion and caused the accident due to their negligence toward safety.  Another typical personal injury case is one where a manufacturer produces a product that is dangerous to consumers.  Cases such as this can include the use a lead paint or asbestos.Unfortunately, injuries resulting from the negligence of others are common and therefore there are many laws which protect individuals who become injured, and help them receive compensation for the injuries they suffer to cover damages and bills they incur as a result.

personal injury

Malpractice and wrongful death

Malpractice and wrongful death cases, because they involve the actions of a professional, are both legitimate bases for personal injury claims. If a person dies or is harmed due to the negligent actions on the part of a doctor, then there would be a justified personal injury claim since the medical professional did not follow the required standard procedures to treat the patient.  While the most common malpractice suits are for medical malpractice, not profession is protected from this type of claim.  Every professional is required to follow specific rules and regulations that govern their actions to insure that these professionals perform their job correctly. This insures that individuals do not act with total disregard for their actions.

Financial Limits

With personal injury cases there are financial limits.  The percentage of fault, the extent of the injuries, and the location of the event are all factors which impact the financial limits of the case.  There are many cases where there is a portion of the blame or fault attributable to more than one party who is involved in the accident.  For example, let’s assume there is a case of an auto accident involving three different vehicles and the drivers of two of the vehicles were found to be negligent and the case of the accident.  The limit of fault would be apportioned to each driver in this case based upon the perceived amount of negligence.

Cost of an Attorney

With many personal injury lawyers, there is a "no win, no fee" contingency arrangement whereby if they do not win, then you do not have to pay your attorney.  However, you should note that this is generally where the other party is covered by insurance.  If the other party is not covered by insurance, then the lawyer may not take your case on this basis since a large settlement may be unlikely.  The no win, no fee contingency arrangement is generally made on a percentage basis that can run from 15 percent to one-third of the settlement, depending on the length and size of the settlement that may be forthcoming.  Most attorneys will discuss the financial arrangement when you meet with them initially regarding your case.

Malpractice Versus Negligence

Malpractice means so many different things to different people, that the term when used in a legal setting really needs to be expanded upon for the sake of clarity.

Malpractice Caps

Caps on medical malpractice punitive damages prevent payouts above certain levels for pain and suffering (usually several hundred thousand dollars). For obvious reasons, plaintiffs’ attorneys do not like the idea of capping the damages. 

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Picking the Right Attorney

As with everything in life, it pays to be careful when choosing an attorney to represent you in a personal injury case.  This is due to the fact that the difference between receiving a large amount of compensation for your personal injury and receiving what can be considered as chump change does not totally depend on the facts attributable to the case.  The reason why some lawyers receive large judgements and other do not has to do with the the decision making on the part of the attorney while the case progresses.

As they say, the devil is in the details and so it is with personal injury cases.  Right from the time when the injury occurred to the conclusion of the case, decisions made by legal counsel and actions on their part will ultimately affect the final outcome of the matter.

personal injury attorney

Consider this — let’s say that your case moves along and now it’s time to decide whether to accept a settlement offer from the other party out of court, or to proceed to go to trial instead.  Since it is a virtual certainty that this decision will lie on the facts, judgement, and experience of your attorney.  So, will your lawyer be able to determine if the other party will offer more money to settle the case or not?  Can your attorney determine that if you should reject and out of court settlement and go to court that you will most likely end up with receiving a lot less money than what you are being offered? 

For these reasons its a good idea to do some research on prospective attorneys before choosing one to represent you and your case.  Don’t just assume that the every lawyer is equal in terms of experience and ability.  They, like everyone else whom you come into contact with, are different in terms of what they can deliver.

However, one thing that will help in terms of this is the fact that you don’t have to pay legal fees up front.  A good personal injury lawyer will work on a contingency basis rather than on a pay-as-you-go basis.  This means that if your attorney does not get any compensation for you, then you will owe no legal fees.  An incompetent attorney can not stay in business very long if his efforts are all for nought.  The success of a firm operating on such a payment basis may be a good indicator as to the competentcey of the prospective attorney you might hire.

How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer

Trying to find a personal injury lawyer in New Jersey is easy. A Google search for one will lead you to 106601 listings. However, trying to find a New Jersey-based personal injury lawyer who is right for you and your case is quite a different matter.

Hiring a Lawyer

Whichever route you choose, choose a personal injury lawyer to represent your interests, not theirs. Ask questions and learn as much as you can regarding their background, experience, both in negotiations and in the courtroom, and whether they truly are advocates for their clients.

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Personal Injury Compensation For Industrial Deafness

Accidents at work are unfortunately very common. They can occur in all types of employment, but construction or industrial workers are far more at risk of getting themselves injured than most people. Safety measures and adequate training in order to handle the necessary equipment are essential to prevent the possibility of any accident happening.

Nonetheless, if you have suffered a physical injury in the workplace, you could be entitled to workplace personal injury compensation. To be eligible for such compensation, the accident and subsequent injury must not be caused because of your own doing and there must be sufficient evidence to confirm this. There must also be sufficient evidence to confirm that the accident actually caused your injuries, such as medical records. Providing this is the case, you can find some consolation in the fact that you can file for a compensation claim to cover the losses you incurred as a result of the workplace injury.

Among the types of injury that workers very often suffer from are noise-related hearing problems, particularly, tinnitus and industrial deafness or noise-induced hearing loss. These types of personal injury are usually brought about by too much noise in the workplace. It is normally caused by excessive noise over a sustained period of time, but can also be caused by short periods. Industrial deafness can range from minor hearing problems to complete hearing loss.

  personal injury,compensation

Employers are mandated by law to provide a safe and healthy working environment for its workers, and preventing high levels of noise exposure is one measure that needs to be undertaken. After all, workers who are constantly exposed to high levels of noise can develop a variety of hearing problems, such as temporary hearing loss, permanent hearing loss, acoustic trauma and tinnitus, any of which can worsen. Depending on the extent of the hearing injury, you may need to take time off work. In extreme cases you may even have to change employment, or even be unable to work completely.

The good thing is that you may be able to file for a claim to compensation for all these circumstances, and your chances of winning the case and getting full compensation benefits are actually very good in these cases.

Filing for a compensation claim, though, can be tough, especially if you are going to do it all by yourself. To make things easier for you, you can consult an experienced and qualified personal injury solicitor who will be able to guide you through the whole step by step process and make sure everything goes according to plan.

An online claims company is one alternative you can go for when looking for an experienced solicitor to handle your case. Claimants are usually satisfied with the service rendered by such a company, notwithstanding the fact that it is free. With an online claims company, you know that you are in good hands. The majority will be able to provide a free consultation where you will be able to get some initial advice on your claim, and ask any questions you may have.

Personal Injury Claims Hearing Loss

If you are suffering from a work-related hearing loss, or believe that your ability to hear has been reduced as a result of exposure to on-the-job noise, can benefit by making a hearing loss claim. 

Tinnitus Injury Claim

It is not difficult to seek tinnitus compensation claim. Seeking help from injury claims specialists can help get compensation fast. Any person who has been exposed to this kind of hearing loss can make a claim.

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Premises Liability

Premises liability law is a classification of law that makes the person who is in possession of land or its premises responsible for certain injuries suffered by persons who show up on the premises.

There are many such cases that are classified as "slip and fall", and, even though they are fairly straightforward, legislation in some states now makes it very hard to make a case against the owner of the premisies.  For this reason it is recommended to consult with an attorney before proceeding with such cases.

Possession of Premises

Under the scope of a premisies liability case, a person in in posseion of land or premises when:

  • the person occupys the land with the intent to control it;
  • no other person has subsequently occupied the premises with the intent of controlling it;
  • the person is entitled to immediate occupation of the land

The Plaintiff

In most jurisdictions, the status of the plantiff, the "injured party", must be determined  in so far as being an invitee, a trespasser, or a licensee.  Depending on the status classification, the obligation to the defendent can vary.

Invitee

An invitee is person who is invited to enter or remain on the premises for a commercial benefit to the one who possesses  premises, or for a purpose directly or indirectly connected with business dealings with the possessor. This invitation may be either expressed or implied. (For example: A customer in a grocery store is an invitee, as the grocery store actively invites the public to come onto the premises and to purchase products while on the premises.)  A premises owner, or the grocer in our example, has the highest duty of care to an invitee while on their preimses.

In general circumstances, the posessor of the propterty has a duty to use ordinary care to warn and protect an invitee from the risk of harm from a condition on the possessor’s premises if:

  • the risk of harm is not reasonable, and
  • the possessor knows or in the exercise of routine care should know of the condition, and should therefore realize that it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to an invitee.

The possessor may have a duty to periodically inspect the premises for the introduction of hazards to invitees. For example, our grocery store owner may be reasonably be obliged to periodically check the floors of the premises for the presence of spilled or broken merchandise, and to make sure that the products on the shelves are not likely to fall.

Licensee


A licensee is a person who is invited to enter or remain on the premises not for a business or commercial purpose but for any other one with the express or implied permission of the one who is in control of the premises. A social guest is considered to be a licensee, not an invitee.

Generallly, a possessor of premises is liable for physical harm caused to a licensee by a condition on the premises if, but only if, the plaintiff establishes the following three elements:

  1. The possessor knew or should have known of the condition, and should have realized that it involved an unreasonable risk of harm to the licensee, and also should have expected that the licensee would not discover or realize the danger;
  2. The possessor failed to exercise reasonable care in making the condition safe, or to effectively warn the licensee of the condition and the risk involved; and
  3. The licensee did not know or had not reason to know of the condition and the risk involved.

For example, if a homeowner knows that one of the steps leading into a basement is broken (but would not appear to be broken to a reasonably observant person), the homeowner may be liable to a guest who did not notice the broken step, and is then injured when the step gives way.

Trespasser


A trespasser is a someone who goes upon the premises of another without an express or implied invitation from the owner, for his or her own purposes, and not in the performance of any function for the owner. It is generally not a requirement for a defendant to establish that the trespasser had unlawful intent when making such an entry.

When owners of premises are not aware of the presence of trespassers, they usually have no duty to warn a trespasser of any dangers or to make their premises safe for the benefit of that trespasser. If the premises owner is aware of the presence of trespassers, the premises owner may be obligated to exercise normal care in relation to the safety of a trespasser.

Public Roads and Sidewalks

Owners  of premises are typically charged with clearing public sidewalks in front of their premises, and to maintain their premises so as not to pose a danger to members of the public who are passing by on a public street or sidewalk.  This becomes especially true with regard to snow and ice removal.

Non-Delegability of Duties

The obligation of a premises owner are typically nondelegable – meaning they can not be passed off to another party. If the defendant remains in possession, the defendant cannot escape responsibility merely because he contracted with a company to provide maintenance. For example, a business remains liable for the condition of its parking lot, even if the owner has hired a company to maintain the parking lot and to remove snow and ice. A landlord, on the other hand, remains liable for the condition of the housing it owns, even if it has contracted with a management company to provide all services and maintenance for the housing.

So, as you can see,  premises liability makes certain distinctions between  whom is liable when something happens on someone’s property.  It is important to know where you stand as a property owner or proprietor of an establishment before anything harmful occurs.

Premises Liability

Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability cases that rest on the question of the property owner’s responsibility to maintain their property so it does not present a danger to others.

Pursuing A Liability Lawsuit

Premises liability is a little trickier then product liability. Premises liability deals with someone’s dwelling or land that they have sole ownership for. According to the laws pertaining to premise liability, if anyone is injured or  something occurs on your land, the person that owns the land is held liable for whatever ailments they may have caused another individual.

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