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There are many different types of personal injury lawyers, and among them is the category of premises liability lawyer. If you have been injured on someone else's property and believe the property owner could be at fault, you may need a premises liability attorney. But first it's important to understand what premises liability law is and what a premises liability lawyer can do for you.
Defining Premises Liability Law
Premises liability law relates to the responsibility, or “duty of care” of a property owner to maintain the safety of their premises This duty includes preventing dangerous conditions that could lead to injury. Whether it's a home, an office, or an amusement park, the property owner is responsible for its maintenance. If you are injured on their property, they may be held liable if you can prove there was negligence on their part. This type of injury or incident is referred to as a premises liability accident.
Examples of unsafe conditions leading to a personal injury claim include:
- Wet or uneven surfaces
- Poor or broken lighting
- Faulty appliances or equipment such as elevators
- Exposed wiring
- Faulty staircases
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Poor security
Role of a Premises Liability Lawyer
So that brings you to the question of "What type of lawyer do I need?" The answer is a liability lawyer who handles premises liability lawsuits.
A premises liability lawyer represents plaintiffs in lawsuits or settlements with the home or business owners responsible. This may mean going to bat for you against insurance companies who try to find an excuse not to pay the premises liability coverage. It could involve working out a fair settlement peacefully between the parties. If the case goes to court, your premises liability lawyer will do all they can to ensure you get the financial compensation you deserve.
Services Offered by a Premises Liability Lawyer
The first step in working with a premises liability lawyer is a consultation. This is not typically an agreement to work with the attorney any further, and at Commonwealth Law Group, this meeting is free. Your attorney will go over the details of the case with you and give their opinion on the likelihood of success. If the case is viable, they will give you their rates as well as their expectations for the case. After the consultation, you may decide whether to work with the attorney.
If you decide to do so, the next step is building your case to prove that the defendant failed in a duty of reasonable care in regard to the premises. From there, your attorney will negotiate with the insurance adjusters and advocate for your right to a fair settlement. If none can be reached, the case will go to trial, where they will plead your case to a judge or jury.
How a Premises Liability Lawyer Assists in Building a Case
Legally, you do not have to employ an attorney for your premises liability lawsuit. However, it is almost always advisable to hire one. Pro se cases — ones in which the plaintiff represents themselves — are nearly impossible to win, especially against big insurance corporations and successful business owners who have their own legal teams.
Your premises liability lawyer does more than simply providing legal advice. They will also:
- Gather evidence, including incident reports, witness statements, expert witnesses, and past relevant rulings
- Deal with the insurance adjusters, who will likely attempt to twist your words in order to get out of paying
- Use their legal expertise and knowledge of the local courts and processes to increase your chances of winning your case
- Take the stress off your shoulders by handling the management of the case for you
As you go through this process, your Commonwealth Law Group attorney will stay in regular communication with you and fight to recover full compensation for your losses.
The Scope of Premises Liability Cases
Premises liability cases are complex, so it's important to have a premises liability lawyer who is knowledgeable and experienced.
Common Types of Premises Liability Cases
Some premises liability injuries may cause you to miss work and leave you straddled with expensive medical bills. Others could cause traumatic brain injuries that you have to live with for years. Some common types of premises liability cases include:
- Slips and falls
- Elevator or escalator accidents
- Stair collapses
- Falling objects or ceiling collapses
- Negligent or inadequate security
- Accidents at amusement parks or swimming pools
- Animal attacks
- Accidents due to poor lighting
- Building code violations
Understanding the "Reasonable" Standard in Premises Liability
The "reasonable" in "reasonable duty of care" often trips up plaintiffs in premises liability lawsuits. It refers to a degree of caution for the safety of those on the premises that "an ordinarily prudent and rational person" would use.
For instance, a property owner may not be able to account for a lightning strike on a tree in the middle of their property. But they should surmise that in a storm with high winds, the tree with overhanging branches might swing into the window, breaking it and leaving a risk of broken glass on the floor.
The goal of you and your premises liability attorneys is to prove that the property owner failed to exercise caution for an issue that could have been anticipated and prevented, such as an old and sagging staircase collapsing.
Benefits of an Experienced Attorney in Premises Liability Claims
Commonwealth Law Group attorneys have experience with premises liability claims and can not only offer you sound advice, but they can navigate the settlement process and the courts smoothly. They will shoulder the burden of the case for you and greatly increase your chances of winning the compensation you deserve. Contact Commonwealth Law Group today to learn more about what we can do for you or schedule a free consultation.
If you have been injured at work or through the negligence of another individual or entity, contact us at (804) 999-9999 or or use the form below to connect with our legal team. We will fight to get you the justice you deserve.