Premise liability is a type of personal injury case. It typically comes into play when someone suffers an injury such as slip and fall caused by defective or unsafe conditions on someone’s property.
Property owners are generally responsible for maintaining a safe environment within their premises so that any property visitors don’t suffer from any injury. So, if someone suffers an injury on a property, the owner of the premises can be held responsible for it.
There are many types of cases and incidents that can turn into a premise liability claim. They range from a regular slip and fall incident to a severe injury on an amusement park ride. However, proving the property owner’s negligence to win the claim is not an easy task. This is why it is vital to hire a great personal injury lawyer.
Here is a complete guide on premise liability, its types, and what should and shouldn’t be done if you find yourself in such a situation.
Types of Premises Liability Cases
Various kinds of personal injury cases can be classified as premise liability cases. Some of these instances include:
- Slip and fall cases
- Fire outbreaks
- Snow and ice accidents
- Unsatisfactory maintenance of the premises
- Faulty conditions on the premises
- Water leaks or flooding
- Fumes or chemicals
- Insufficient building security leading to injury or assault
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Amusement park accidents
All in all, premise liability cases comprise numerous scenarios. A personal injury lawyer can help you determine if your incident falls under the umbrella of a premises liability personal injury case.
What Should You Do if You Are Injured?
Personal injury cases, like slip and fall incidents, are very common. They happen fast without any warnings or red flags. These incidents can drive victims into a state of shock and confusion. An injured person can’t remain calm and composed after such a fall, and they let their emotions get in the way of their practicality.
Even though this may be a reflex for many, an injured person should try their best to push past the stress of the injury. Everything you say and do in the next few minutes after the incident will determine the course of your personal injury claim. So, firstly, you need to focus on taking action to protect your health and consider your right to injury compensation.
What should you do after a slip and fall incident?
Take a deep breath and allow the emergency responders to take you to the hospital till you think about your plan of action.
Here are a few things you should do to help your premise liability case.
1. Call for Help
If you have suffered from an injury, you need to call an ambulance immediately. You can make the call yourself, or if you can’t, you can ask someone else to do it for you.
2. Get Proper Medical Attention
While it is better for you to receive treatment at the scene, if you can’t, then you should seek medical attention the same day. Disclose all the information about the fall to your medical provider.
3. Report the Accident
If it is possible for you, report the fall to someone in-charge, preferably the owner or manager. Make sure you do this before leaving the premises.
4. Don't Skip Any Details
Don’t skip any details about the slip and fall incident when explaining it to the property owner or manager. Tell them everything about how you fell and got injured. However, you should avoid making any assumptions or exaggerating the situation.
5. Don't Sign Any Waivers
If you are handed any waiver or agreement after the incident, don’t sign them! This usually entails information about waiving away your right to filing a personal injury claim.
6. Take Pictures
If you aren’t severely injured, then have a look around the place of your injury. Take pictures of the site and its surrounding areas. Photographic evidence can help you build a strong personal injury claim because it can help determine the cause of the accident.
7. Collect Information from Direct Witnesses
If you’re planning on filing a personal injury case, you need to collect as much information as you can to support your claim. If there were any witnesses present at the time of your fall, don’t forget to gather their contact information. Try to get their name, phone number, and mailing address at the least.
8. Document the Incident
The best thing for you to do is to document the entire incident. Jot down everything as it happened while it’s still fresh in your mind. Avoid missing out on any details, as this could affect your case.
9. Preserve Evidence
Make sure to preserve any evidence of the incident, including the clothes you were wearing or the items you were carrying. Moreover, bloody clothes that were stained because of the injury can help support your case and make your claim stronger by providing evidence of the seriousness of the injury.
10. Gather Circumstantial Evidence
Lastly, gather as much circumstantial evidence as you can. This type of evidence includes witnesses that might not have seen you fall but may have strong opinions about the surrounding area and its conditions. For instance, you can find people who filed prior fall complaints and incidents in the area. Your personal injury lawyer can help guide you better on that front.
All in all, knowing what to do within the first few minutes after a slip and fall accident can help you win the case and a hefty compensation.
What Not to Do if You Are Injured?
Now that you know about what you should do if you were injured, here are a few things you shouldn’t do in case of a slip and fall.
1. Avoid Making Excuses
If you slip and fall somewhere, don’t make any excuses. Phrases like, “I wasn’t watching where I was going” or “I’m fine” are a huge no! This is because these comments can be used against you to make your case weak.
2. Keep Your Calm
Even though it might be traumatizing and painful, avoid losing your temper after the incident. You need to remain as calm as possible if you want things to work out. Moreover, if you start acting out and getting angry, the owner or manager might become defensive as well.
3. Don't Sign Anything
Avoid signing any documents that are given to you! It’s great to cooperate with the reporting procedures of the premises. However, by signing any documents, you might be signing away your rights to a personal injury case!
4. Don't Discuss Everything with the Witnesses
While talking to the witnesses is crucial, don’t give away all the details about the incident. You should elicit information from them about what they saw. However, by getting into the details of the case, you might weaken their testimony.
5. Don't Threaten a Lawsuit
Don’t threaten a lawsuit after your slip and fall incident. You might be very upset and angry, but doing so will just harm your case. Credible injury victims tend to remain calm and confident, knowing they are in the right. Moreover, this can help you get higher compensation
Why are Premise Liability Cases Sensitive to Handle?
Premise liability cases are ultra-sensitive to handle. The steps you take within the first few minutes can define your entire case and determine the compensation you will receive.
Most personal injury cases, including premise liability cases, are based on negligence. The injured individual is required to prove the property owner’s negligence in terms of ownership and maintenance of the facility to win a premise liability case.
In this case, negligence implies that the property owner failed to display reasonable care for their property. It is crucial to acknowledge that just because you were injured on someone else’s property, it doesn’t naturally make the property owner negligent.
Even if the property was in an unsafe condition, it doesn’t define the property owner’s negligence. To win a premise liability case, you will have to show that the property owner was well-aware of the unsafe conditions of the premises and still failed to make efforts to remedy it. Moreover, hiring a great personal injury lawyer is the ideal solution for winning your claim!
If there’s one thing you need to bear in mind after a slip and fall accident, it is that immediate action means better and just compensation! From the moment you slip on someone’s property, everything you do or say will help build your personal injury case.
After the injury, it is crucial that you seek medical attention for your injury, report the incident immediately, and gather as much evidence as you can. Moreover, find a great personal injury lawyer to help build an iron-clad case!
Schedule A Consultation
Phoong Law Corp is an accomplished legal group that has many years successfully handling premise liability lawsuits. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options. There is no fee unless we win. We have two convenient locations to serve our clients in Sacramento and Stockton.