An accident caused by unsafe conditions on either private or public property due to the property owner’s negligence is referred to as a premises liability accident. Injuries sustained in premises liability accidents are some of the hardest to recover compensation for.
Slip and falls are the most common accident in this category of personal injury law. For instance, store owners have a responsibility to clean up any spills promptly. If the store owner fails to do so or fails to warn customers of the spill, and if a customer slips on the spill and is injured, the customer may have a premises liability claim for which he or she can recover compensation with the help of a personal injury attorney. Slip and falls are also common outside of stores—near the entrances and in the parking lots—during the wintertime when ice is an issue. If you have been injured due to a slip and fall, we encourage you to consult an attorney. Your injuries may not seem serious at present, but these types of accidents often result in latent injuries that surface unexpectedly down the road. You may be more seriously hurt than you realize, as is often the case.
If a property owner has failed to maintain a secure environment, this may also qualify as a premises liability claim. For instance, if you have been attacked or victimized by a third party that could have been prevented had proper security measures been in place, you may be able to sue the property owner under this type of claim.
These types of cases can be especially hard to win, which is why the moments immediately following an accident are crucial.
3 Steps to Take following a Premises Liability Accident
If you were hurt on someone else’s property, commercial or not, due to the owner’s improper maintenance or care, there are certain key steps that you need to take. If you haven’t already taken these steps, you need to do them right now. Do not waste any time; if you do, you will continue to lose more and more evidence that could be critical in proving your premises liability claim and recovering compensation.
- Seek medical attention. If you are researching what to do after a slip and fall or other premises liability accident, chances are that you have already left the scene. Your health is the most important thing. If you suffered injuries, they need to be addressed and documented by a medical professional. Make sure that the doctor documents that your injuries and treatments are a direct result of the accident; this will help in proving your claim. Even if you aren’t sure you were badly injured, it is important to seek medical care, as there may be latent injuries that will surface later. Latent injuries cannot be immediately seen, but they can be just as serious as those that you can see.
- Report, document, and collect. Once you have sought medical attention for your injuries, it is critical that you report the accident in full to the manager, owner, or landlord of the property.
Next, write down as much as possible about the conditions of the accident scene. Were there any warning signs? What was the date and time? Try to be as exact as possible, as evidence can disappear and conditions can change rather quickly. If you can, go back and take pictures of the scene as well as your injuries. Just make sure that you do not put yourself in danger by returning to the accident scene. Preserve your shoes and clothing, as well; they may be used as evidence later on.
In addition to documentation, it is important that you collect contact information of any witnesses. You should get their names, phone numbers, and addresses.
- Call an attorney. In order to have a chance at recovering compensation for the injuries you have sustained, you will need a personal injury lawyer on your side. Claims adjustors, store representatives, and potentially private investigators will be trying to get a hold of you asking for a recorded statement. You owe them no duty, and it is crucial not to give them any information, as anything you say can be used against you later on. Instead, have them call your personal injury attorney and let him or her handle it from there.
Call Bob Klingler, Our Personal Injury Attorney
It is important to note that not everyone who is injured on public or private property has a personal injury claim. Perhaps you slipped and fell on snow or ice. Or perhaps you tripped on an uneven surface. You may indeed be suffering from injuries, but the property owner may not be to blame. You need a personal injury lawyer to investigate and determine whether or not you actually have a claim for which you can recover compensation.
If you were injured on commercial premises or any other type of public property, you should know what you are up against. Businesses have big insurance companies and several lawyers ready to fight for them when things like this happen. Are you ready to fight them all on your own? No matter the situation, you should not attempt to do this alone. Call the personal injury attorney at Robert A. Klingler Co., L.P.A. in Cincinnati, Ohio, if you have been injured due to unsafe conditions on public or private property.