Our Team Can Assist You With Your Claim
Accidents occur for countless reasons. In many cases, individuals suffer injuries on someone else’s property. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), “Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits.”
If you or a loved one was harmed on someone else’s property due to the negligent actions of the property owner, you may be able to file a premises liability claim to hold the land or property owner liable.
The Law Offices of Peter N. Davis and Associates helps victims who suffered injuries due to a careless property owner. This type of case is often complex and time-consuming, however, you don’t have to handle the legal process alone. Our slip and fall attorneys can evaluate your case and determine your legal rights.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability law protects people who suffer injuries while visiting someone else’s property. While people should be attentive to their surroundings, a property owner also has a duty to help others avoid accidents by ensuring their property is safe.
According to premises liability laws, owners and occupiers of property who allow other people onto their property may be held legally responsible for injuries that occur due to their negligence or failure to keep their property safe.
The property owner must make sure their property is safe by expediently repairing hazards or putting up signs to warn guests of potential hazards that haven’t yet been corrected. However, property owners don’t always ensure their property is safe for visitors, which can result in injuries that can vary from minor to severe.
Types of Premises Liability Cases
Any landowner or occupier of a property may be held liable for any injuries caused by hazardous conditions. Premises liability cases can include:
- Swimming pool accidents
- Dog bites
- Snow and ice accidents
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Falls caused by defective staircases or unsecured carpets
- Inadequate security
- Defects in benches
- Open excavations, such as sewer construction
- Plumbism, known as lead poisoning
- Crumbling curbs
While these are some examples, there are many other types of accidents that can result in a premises liability case.
Common Injuries That Occur After Slip and Fall Accidents
The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) mentioned, “Slip and falls account for over 1 million visits or 12 percent of total falls, and fractures are the most serious consequences of falls and occur in 5 percent of all people who fall.”
Injuries will vary, depending on the severity of the accident. Some injuries are minor while others can take months to recover from fully. Sometimes injuries are permanent, which can potentially lead to higher amounts of compensation. Below are some of the most common slip and fall injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Permanent scarring
- Soft tissue damage
- Wrongful death
- Torn tendons
No matter how minor the injury, if you have been harmed on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to receive compensation. Injured victims deserve justice after suffering injuries due to no fault of their own.
If you or someone you love was injured in a slip and fall accident, it’s imperative to know how to proceed to protect your legal rights and any compensation you may be entitled to obtain.
Four Steps to Take Following a Slip and Fall Accident
Most individuals are uncertain about the legal process after a slip and fall accident. It’s in your best interest to understand what to do after an accident, so you don’t hurt your future claim. Our slip and fall attorneys have shared four tips that you can implement in case of an accident:
#1- Report the accident immediately after it occurs.
It’s vital that you inform the property owner or manager that you sustained an injury on their property. Reporting the accident is crucial if you decide to file a claim to seek damages.
#2- Gather evidence relevant to the accident.
Evidence is important when attempting to prove negligence after an accident against a property owner. If anyone witnessed the accident, make sure to ask for a statement and their contact information. Taking photos of the area where the accident took place can also support your claim. In some cases, property owners will repair the hazardous condition immediately after the accident to avoid paying compensation.
#3- Seek medical attention.
Medical attention is crucial after an accident. Even if your injuries appear to be minor, it’s still important to be evaluated by a doctor. If your injuries are serious, a doctor will be able to inform you if surgery or any other extensive treatment will be necessary to recover. If you fail to seek medical treatment, it could potentially damage any compensation you may be entitled to receive.
#4- Contact an experienced slip and fall attorney.
This type of claim can be difficult to manage without strong legal guidance. A knowledgeable slip and fall attorney will know what paperwork and information are required to build a strong claim on your behalf. Contacting an experienced slip and fall lawyer will give you the best chance of receiving the compensation you’re rightfully owed.
Five Things Not to Do After a Fall
Just as there are steps to help protect your legal rights, there are particular actions that can damage your claim and result in little to no compensation. To avoid damaging your claim, our team of lawyers has created a list of what you should NOT do after a slip and fall accident:
#1- Sign documents without an attorney.
Injured victims are not obligated to sign any documents presented by the insurance company before speaking with a lawyer. If you sign paperwork without first consulting an attorney, you could potentially sign away your right to compensation or agree to less than what you deserve.
#2- Fail to attend medical appointments.
The primary goal of most insurance companies is to make a profit. With this in mind, many insurance adjusters will try anything to avoid paying compensation to an injured victim. If your injuries require you to attend medical appointments for treatment and you fail to attend, the insurance company may assume your injuries are not as serious as you claimed. This can leave you with less compensation in your pocket.
#3- Apologize for the accident.
In many cases, people will apologize after an accident, even if it wasn’t their fault. However, apologizing for an accident when the property owner is at fault can place the blame on you and significantly impact your claim.
#4- Give a recorded statement to the insurance company.
The insurance company may ask for a recorded statement about the incident. This may sound like a good decision, however, it could later be used against you if you decide to file a claim.
#5- Accept an offer before speaking with an attorney.
Insurance companies may attempt to offer you a settlement. While it may be tempting to accept, the initial offer may not be equivalent to the actual amount your case is worth. Before accepting any offer, it’s in your best interest to consult a lawyer to ensure you’re not being taken advantage of by the insurance company.
Avoiding these common mistakes may help uphold your legal rights and protect your claim.
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Three Types of Property Visitors
Whether the individual was invited onto the property or not, accidents can occur. The type of visitor you are will help determine if compensation is owed for your injuries. All visitors fall under one of three groups:
These are people who are invited to the property for the landowner’s gain, such as customers shopping at a business or an individual visiting a movie theater.
This includes individuals who have permission be on the property, such as a friend or landlord.
Trespassers do not have permission to come onto the property. In these types of cases, it is rare for an individual to take legal action against a property owner if they become injured while trespassing.
Understanding what type of visitor you were is important when attempting to file a claim for damages.
Negligence: The Key Factor to Obtaining Compensation
In order to receive compensation after a slip and fall accident, it must be proven that the property owner knew, or should have known, of the hazardous condition and did not repair it. Proving negligence is not always simple. For this reason, it’s important to contact an experienced lawyer who knows the laws surrounding this type of case.
Your chances of obtaining compensation for damages is much greater with an attorney on your side than filing a claim on your own.
What Compensation Covers After an Accident
Compensation is intended to provide an injured victim with a financial award for what they experienced. The amount awarded to a victim will depend on multiple factors including the severity of their injuries, the time it takes for a full recovery, and any medical expenses. If you or someone you love sustained injuries caused by a careless property owner, you may be compensated for the following:
Depending on the extent of the injury, treatment may take a few weeks, a month, or even years to fully recover. Compensation can help cover present and future medical expenses that result from the accident.
Treatment may cause you to miss time from work. This will result in lost wages and a lower income than you would have earned before the accident. If you were forced to take time from work to recover from your injuries, you may be compensated for your lost wages.
Loss of earning capacity
Some injuries can cause life-altering damage. If a victim is unable to continue their job or make the same income they were earning prior to their injuries, compensation may be available.
In order to adequately calculate a reasonable settlement amount, our team will need to review the details of your case. Every slip and fall case is different, and results will depend on the unique factors of your claim.
Contact Our Paterson Slip and Fall Lawyers Today
An accident caused by someone else’s negligence can cause you to suffer physical distress from the injury, emotional distress due to worry over how you will cope with the healing process, and, certainly, financial hardship as you visit medical professionals who might tell you that you can’t work while you recover. Moving forward after a slip and fall injury can be overwhelming without legal representation.
Contact us immediately if you or a loved one was hurt due to a fall or another preventable accident on someone’s property. It is imperative that we investigate the details surrounding your accident and preserve any evidence before the property owner repairs the problem. Your entire case could depend on one little detail.
The Law Offices of Peter N. Davis and Associates are Paterson slip and fall lawyers, servicing communities such as Clifton, Newark, and Passaic. Our staff has more than 60 years of combined law experience in areas including car accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, workers’ compensation, and premises liability.