People can wind up hurt in all kinds of strange situations and locations. While you may think that most accidents happen at home, some of them also happen on public property or inside businesses. The people who end up hurt on someone else’s property may find themselves in a financially difficult situation.
Serious injuries can leave someone unable to work. They can also generate substantial medical expenses. Thankfully, that is why premises liability laws exist. Individuals who make their properties open and accessible to the public have a duty of care to anyone who visits their property. Specifically, they must maintain safe facilities. Neglecting to do so could open them up to legal and financial ramifications. If you believe that an injury you suffered may qualify you for a premises liability claim, it is wise to look closely at the situation to better understand it.
If you were inebriated and fell down while in a store or restaurant, your choice to consume too much alcohol likely contributed substantially to your injury. The legal term for your contribution to the accident is referred to as comparative negligence, and it limits your ability to pursue a claim. In other words, the courts will look closely at the scenario to determine if you contributed to the injury yourself through poor decision-making or your own negligence.
However, someone who slips on a puddle while walking because there was a leak in the ceiling of a building likely has a reasonable claim for premises liability. After all, if the business owner had repaired that leak or at least addressed the water accumulation that resulted, the injured party would likely not have fallen and gotten hurt. Other factors could be inadequate lighting or even unsafe facilities. Anything from broken glass to uneven floors and poorly maintained sidewalks can lead to claims of premises liability.
Many business owners carry general liability insurance policies that offer protection against many forms of potential financial liability, including premises liability related to injuries that occur at the business. These insurance policies offer compensation for victims while also protecting business owners.
These policies are why it is very important to report an injury to the business owner or property manager as soon as the incident occurs. That way, the business has an official record of the accident. This can help you seek compensation from the insurance company in the future. If there is not a general liability policy for the property or if the policy’s coverage does not adequately offset your losses, you may have the right to seek additional financial compensation through a lawsuit.