It’s important to be able to go about your day with the knowledge that you won’t be hurt. You should be scared to go to the store, walk through a parking lot, or visit a restaurant. If a negligent or reckless Fayetteville property owner fails to maintain their premises safely, you could be hurt.
Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. can represent you in your case if you sustained injuries on someone else’s property. Property owners are supposed to ensure the safety of their guests. If there’s a hazard or damage to the property, it’s their responsibility to repair or remove it promptly. If they don’t and someone gets hurt, they could be held liable for resulting expenses.
Our legal team understands the process necessary to pursue legal action against negligent parties. When you choose us, we’ll begin working on your case immediately. We’ll fight to recover the maximum compensation you deserve.
You can depend on our Fayetteville premises liability lawyers to guide and support you through this traumatic experience. To find out more about how we can help, call (770) 205-2231 to schedule a free consultation.
The Elements of a Premises Liability Case
Premises liability is a legal concept that includes any incident where one party gets hurt because of the unsafe or defective condition of another party’s property.
To prove liability in this type of case, your attorney must have evidence that the property owner failed to maintain a safe property for their guests.
Individuals on someone else’s property fall under three classifications:
- Licensees are granted permission by the property owner to remain on the property.
- Invitees have the property owner’s implied or express permission to visit the property for mutual benefit or some type of event.
- Trespassers visit someone’s property without permission for their own purpose or advantage.
Property owners have a legal duty not to cause injury to any of the people above, but they only owe a duty to licensees and invitees to warn them of any hazards on the property.
The only exception to this rule is children. If a child trespasses onto someone’s property, the owner could be liable for any physical harm caused by the poor conditions. Children can’t understand the dangers of certain hazards, so they can’t mitigate the risks.
Most premises liability cases rely on the legal theory of negligence. Negligence is the failure to behave with reasonable care to prevent harm to another person.
There are four elements of negligence your lawyer must prove existed if to win financial compensation from the property owner:
- Duty: The property owner owed you a duty to avoid causing harm;
- Breach of duty: They breached their duty;
- Causation: Your injuries were the direct result of the property owner’s actions or inaction; and
- Damages: Your injury led to damages.
Anything dangerous on someone’s commercial or private property could lead to a person getting hurt. Common examples include:
- Slip and falls
- Wet or slippery floors
- Icy parking lots and sidewalks
- Unsecured carpets or rugs
- Loose or broken tiles
- Defective stairs
- Inadequate security
- Poor lighting
- Exposed electrical wiring
- Broken fire alarms and smoke detectors
- Dog bites
- Swimming pool hazards
- Malfunctioning escalators and elevators
What to Do After Falling on Another Party’s Property
If you sustain injuries from a fall and believe it’s because of the property owner’s negligence, follow these steps to protect your rights to financial compensation.
- Report the incident to the owner or management. They may ask you to complete an incident report. Read through it carefully to make sure you’re not signing a waiver or some form that prevents you from pursuing compensation from them. Request a copy of the report.
- Write down the owner’s name and phone number as well as the names and phone numbers of the employees you communicate with. Ask for their business liability insurance details, such as the carrier name, phone number, and policy number, so you can request a copy of their insurance policy.
- Obtain the names and contact information of anyone who saw what happened and is willing to provide a witness statement for your legal case.
- Take pictures of the scene where you got hurt. Be sure to include the surrounding area and any hazards or damage that led to your fall.
- If you weren’t taken to the hospital by an ambulance, be sure to make an appointment with a doctor as soon as you leave the property. You should undergo an evaluation of your injuries to determine a treatment plan. If your doctor refers you for follow up appointments or to see other providers, follow their orders.
- Maintain copies of all records associated with the incident, such as physician notes and billing statements. The more evidence you can provide that shows the harm you sustained, the better.
- Hire a Fayetteville premises liability lawyer. We’ll investigate the incident and locate crucial evidence that proves the property owner’s negligence caused your injuries.
How Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. and Our Experienced Legal Professionals Can Help You
Proving fault in a premises liability case can be tough. Property owners won’t come right out and admit that they knew about their property’s dangerous conditions.
They’ll have the help of insurance companies that attempt to intimidate claimants into dropping the claim or accepting a lowball settlement offer.
If you have us on your side, we’ll use aggressive tactics to seek the maximum compensation you deserve. We never back down from a fight.
You can depend on us to ensure everyone treats you fairly. We know the kinds of evidence insurance companies look for, so we’ll thoroughly investigate the details of your case to obtain relevant proof.
After determining who’s at fault for your injuries, we’ll file an insurance claim on your behalf and submit the evidence we find. It’s our goal to settle your case so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of litigation.
We’ll fight hard for a full and fair settlement that covers your expenses and compensates you for the suffering you endured. If the insurance company refuses to settle for the value we believe you deserve, we have the resources to file a lawsuit.
How to Determine the Value of a Case
Whether you file an insurance claim or lawsuit, the goal is to recover compensation for your damages. There are three types of damages you could seek in a premises liability case.
Economic damages are actual expenses related to the incident and resulting injuries. Calculating the total cost of economic damages is simple because there are usually accompanying billing statements, invoices, and receipts.
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Out of pocket costs
Non-economic damages refer to the losses an injured victim experiences. It’s more complicated determining an appropriate value because you can’t put a price tag on physical and emotional pain.
Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life
When a premises liability case is reviewed, the following factors will affect the number you’re owed for non-economic damages:
- Medical diagnosis and prognosis
- The seriousness of the injuries
- Expected recovery time
- Impact of the injuries on daily life
- Availability of sufficient medical evidence
- If a full recovery is possible or if ongoing issues will require medical intervention
- Total economic damages incurred
- Duration spent away from work
- Degree of shared fault
Under Georgia’s modified comparative fault rule, an accident victim cannot recover compensation for damages if they’re found more than 50% responsible for their injuries. If they share less than 50% of the blame, their compensation will decrease proportionately to their percentage of fault. For example, an injured party who incurred $100,000 in damages but is 20% at fault can only pursue $80,000.
Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages aren’t meant to compensate the victim for their losses. Instead, they punish the at-fault party for their negligent actions. They also aim to deter similar conduct from occurring again.
Punitive damages aren’t available in an insurance claim. If you want to pursue them, you’ll need to file a lawsuit. They’re a rare financial award that courts only provide in specific situations.
Your attorney will need to show clear and convincing evidence that the property owner (or at-fault party) displayed acts of willful misconduct, fraud, wantonness, malice, or oppression.
Choose Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C.
Our Fayetteville personal injury lawyers care about our clients. We know you want to resolve your case efficiently to get back on your feet.
We have a dedicated legal team that uses all the resources at our disposal to hold careless parties liable for the harm they cause.
We take cases on contingency, so you don’t have to worry about paying us upfront for our legal services. We don’t collect a fee unless we’re able to win the case and recover compensation. If we don’t win, you won’t owe us anything.
Our consultations are free to anyone interested in speaking with one of our Fayetteville premises liability lawyers. We’ll discuss the incident that caused your injuries and advise the legal options available.
Call us today at (770) 205-2231 for more information or to schedule your free consultation.