If you find yourself in the unfortunate event of getting hurt in someone else’s home or business, there are steps you should take to ensure you not only get the medical care you need, but that justice is served when it’s due.
As with most assets of the law, a premises liability case has many components, and it can be difficult to learn your rights. Because of this, it’s always recommended that you consult with a personal injury lawyer. Remember, you have rights that need to be protected.
The time after an accident can be extremely disorienting and difficult, but the following steps are crucial to take as soon as possible--they may help the success of your potential personal injury case.
- See a doctor or get medical help if necessary. If you are hurt in an accident, the first thing you should do is get medical help. Your well-being and health are more important than anything else at this time. And keep in mind that some injuries are not apparent immediately after the accident and may become obvious days, weeks, or months later.
- Call the police and file a report. Be as accurate as possible when describing the accident to the police. Do not make assumptions or speculation regarding facts surrounding the incident or injuries.
- Gather all evidence and details. Document the accident by taking pictures of the scene, factors that contributed to the accident, and your injuries. Collect the names and contact information of anybody involved, including any witnesses.
- Call a lawyer. An experienced injury lawyer can establish if you have reasonable cause for a personal injury case, and if so, they will assist you during every step. They will take immediate action on your case to preserve evidence, examine the existing case law, and determine the best course of action for your specific case.
In a personal injury lawsuit, you can seek to receive monetary damages from the negligent or liable party. The most common damages awarded are compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages are awarded to make up for financial and physical losses.
So how do you know if you have reasonable cause for a personal injury case? Well, it’s mainly determined by what you were doing at that person’s property. As the injured person, you’ll be put into one of three categories: an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. This classification determines whether or not the property owner is responsible for your injury. Here’s the difference between the three:
- Invitee: You’ve entered the property with the owner’s knowledge, and there’s mutual benefit for both the invitee and the owner (a business purpose). So, if you’re a contractor and you enter a client’s home, you are now the invitee. In this case, the property owner is to be held responsible for known conditions that could lead to injuries. The property owner must also inspect the property and must either fix or warn invitees about any dangerous situations. An example of this is the “Caution: Wet Floor” signs that are commonly used in retail and grocery stores.
- Licensee: You’re on the property with the owner’s consent and for non-commercial reasons. So, if you’re visiting a friend at their home, you are considered the licensee. Is your friend responsible for any of your injuries on their property? That depends. You can only file a claim if the landowner didn’t exercise reasonable effort to warn you of or to stop the dangerous condition.
- Trespasser. You enter someone else’s property without permission. So, if you’re walking around in somebody’s yard without them knowing or attempting to break into their house, you’re considered a trespasser. Whether or not the property owner is responsible for your injury depends on the case. The property owner is not required to fix any dangerous conditions, nor must the property owner warn trespassers about potential hazards. However, a property owner can be held liable for creating dangerous conditions on his property or making dangers conditions worse to catch trespassers.
Thomas J. Henry has provided world-class legal representation to injured victims for more than 25 years. No matter how you were hurt, Thomas J. Henry will take your call, evaluate your claim, and provide you with a free case review.
Contact them today online at thomasjhenrylaw.com or by calling 877-927-2379 to speak with someone in one of their four locations in Austin, Corpus Christi, Houston, and San Antonio.