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Premises Liability And Negligence: Steps To Recover Your Losses
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If you have been injured away from your home due to negligence on the part of another property owner, you need to consider the costs that might fall on your shoulders as a result of that accident. If the expenses relating to healthcare and lost time from work – and possibly from pain and mental anguish – add up, you may need to contact a personal injury attorney to help you recover those expenses from the party that bears responsibility. A personal injury attorney who focuses his area of practice on these types of accidents is also called a premises liability attorney.
Such accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and yet remain with you for a long time, perhaps for the rest of your life. A poorly lit stairwell, broken sidewalks or a violent criminal attack in or near a building that has poor security can each inflict serious harm on a person and sometimes death. Individuals or their survivors are more likely to succeed in litigation by following these steps in the aftermath of such events:
• Get contact information from witnesses – If there are any witnesses, collect those names whenever possible.
• Go to a doctor or hospital ER immediately – You will need to prove that injuries were a result of the incident. By going directly to a board-certified healthcare professional, the argument your personal injury lawyer makes regarding the cause-and-effect of the incident and your injuries is much more convincing.
• Retain clothes, shoes and other evidence – If, for example, you suffered a paralysis injury due to a fall on public property, your premises liability attorney has a stronger case if evidence of the accident are in rips and stains on your clothes. An experienced and qualified attorney can construct a stronger case when those clothes are not washed or discarded after the accident.
• Try to remember the exact location of the injury – While your personal injury attorney will probably be able to determine this, there may be a dispute over where the injuries took place. The sidewalks in front of most buildings are the responsibility of the municipality, while walkways leading to a front door are considered to be on private property. Public and private property owners bear the same responsibilities.
When a personal injury occurs on property other than one’s own and it is due to negligence, you have two years from the accident or crime (or one year after discovery of an injury) to file a lawsuit in California. Always work with a premises liability attorney who is an experienced trial attorney – a defendant should know a plaintiff is willing to take the case to trial if an agreeable settlement is not reached in advance.
R. Klettke is a freelance writer. He writes about personal injury and medical malpractice law and other matters of jurisprudence.
Important Advisory: This article is not intended to provide legal advice upon which you or anyone else should rely in making any decisions regarding the instituting or prosecuting of a legal claim. Laws and rules relating to the bringing of a claim vary widely from state to state. You should always contact a personal injury attorney to obtain information as to the rules and the laws pertaining to any claim you might have.
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