Insurance companies are in business to turn a profit, just as any other business, and they are always willing to investigate a claim fully. It is important to understand that your insurance company may be your best friend when defending against a personal injury lawsuit. In most instances, they actually provide the legal counsel for their clients because it is in the best interest of both the client and the company to look at all avenues of defense. Insurance claims adjusters and claim defense attorneys deal with personal injury claims regularly and understand all components of a negotiation, including taking a case to a full jury trial in hopes of an acquittal by a jury that thinks the claims of the plaintiff are excessive and often erroneous. Even valid personal injury claims can result in a much better final outcome when each and every detail regarding material case facts can be addressed in court
In order to have a viable personal injury lawsuit or claim, your personal injury or injuries must have been caused by the negligence of another person or entity (such as a business or government agency). Generally speaking, when a person or entity acts in a careless manner and causes injury to someone else, the careless person or entity will usually be legally responsible or (“liable”) for their injury or injuries and any other resulting harms under the legal principle of “negligence.”
A plaintiff must prove four elements to prevail in a slip and fall case. The elements are the same for any tort, and are duty, breach of duty, causation and injury. The defendant (usually the property owner) must have a legal duty to prevent injury to the victim. The court will generally hold the defendant to the standard of what a reasonable person would have done under the same circumstances, There is a legal duty to prevent predictable harm to another individual. Once a duty is established, the plaintiff must show that the duty was breached, meaning the defendant violated his or her legal obligation to ensure the safety of the plaintiff. Next, causation must be shown; that the defendant’s breach of duty caused the plaintiff’s injury. The defendant (property owner) does not have to directly cause the plaintiff’s injury by committing an action to be held liable. If a defendant’s inaction or failure to create a safe environment caused the injury, the defendant can also be held responsible. Lastly, the plaintiff must prove to the court that an injury occurred. In the case of a slip and fall, the injury will be physical in nature.
Some non-economical damages such as pain and suffering attributed to the damages, like for example having anxiety after a car accident, may be attributed to general damages that can be proved in court and may be entitled to monetary means of compensation. There are other torts, both intentional and non-intentional, that may be pursued and or mixed with personal injury.
The third situation is the most common, but is also less clear-cut than the first two because of those pesky words "should have known." Liability in these cases is often decided by common sense. Judges and juries determine whether the owner or occupier of property was careful by deciding if the steps the owner or occupier took to keep the property safe were reasonable.
This defense falls into the category of comparative negligence, which each state uses in some manner. Some states use pure comparative negligence that allows any injured party in an accident injury to receive some amount of financial compensation unless they are totally at fault for the injury, such as an intentional act or they were convicted of drunk driving. Most states use modified comparative negligence law that states plaintiffs are barred from any financial recovery if their comparative negligence percentage is greater than the respondent. The bar level is usually either 50% or 51% to deny a claim. In pure contributory negligence states, any contribution to the causation of the injury will be an effective defensive strategy. In premises liability cases, the focus is on individual reasonable assumption of risk based on the actions of the plaintiff. An example of this defense would be trespassers who are injured and normally lose their claims based on no authority to occupy the property. This means that technicalities can matter greatly, depending on the state of occurrence, and the particulars of the claim are all potential reasons for a case dismissal, or at least a reduced financial liability.
Generally, a property owner will have one of two defenses; lack of negligence or fault of the injured party. The most common location that a slip and fall occurs is in a place of business. In these cases, a property owner may try to prove that he or she exercised reasonable care in keeping his or her property safe for customers. Business/property owners are required to exercise due diligence in making their property safe for all persons that may enter it. This includes detecting any hazardous conditions that may be present and making sure they are resolved and do not cause harm to patrons. Property owners may show that the cause of the injury was outside of their control. For example, the injured person slipped on liquid that had just been spilled by another customer.
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Slip and fall law refers to the liability rules governing cases in which an individual falls to the ground and suffers harm due to a dangerous condition on someone else's property. As a subset of personal injury law, these cases are controlled by the basic rules of negligence. Unless an accident occurs on federal government property, state law will control. Violations of local building code ordinances can also be relevant.
There are many dangerous conditions like torn carpeting, changes in flooring, poor lighting, narrow stairs, or a wet floor can cause someone to slip and be injured. Same goes if someone trips on a broken or cracked public sidewalks, or falls down a flight of stairs. In addition, a slip and fall case might arise when someone slips or falls outdoors because of rain, ice, snow or a hidden hazard, such as a pothole in the ground.
Similarly, if you are walking in a place where you should not have been walking, even if you were not a trespasser, you may be considered comparatively negligent, and you may not be able to recover. For example, if you are running in a landscaped area in front of your dentist's office instead of a concrete path to kill time before your appointment and trip on a landscaping paver or a root, you may not be able to recover damages for your broken knee.
The Colorado Premises Liability Act makes landowners and those who exercise sufficient control of the property such as business tenants responsible for activities and conditions on the property. The duty that the property owner or business tenant owes depends on the status of the person injured. The duty that a landowner owes to a customer visiting a business or a social guest invited to a home is generally higher than the duty owed to a trespasser. The relation of the injured person to the property owner or manager is determined on a case-by-case basis. If the accident victim is a child, that fact must be taken into account because children may be too young to comprehend a property hazard or unsafe condition. For instance, a young child who cannot swim may be attracted to an unsecured swimming pool and not recognize the danger of getting in the pool.
Take as many pictures, notes, and recordings of conversations as possible. After you’ve secured all of this, we recommend you speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. First, you should get medical attention. When you get medical attention immediately after an accident, it established a track record of your injuries – which proves the injuries happened as a result of the accident.
Motor Vehicle Accidents Accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, and other vehicles are among the most common type in the United States. Often, these personal injury claims stem from another motorist’s negligence. Whatever the cause or whomever was negligent, these accidents can have lifelong impacts. Even crashes that might at the time feel as if they’re not that bad could require long-term medical care.
The further along in the process you go, the more likely it is that you’ll pay your lawyer more. This is because each stage in the process requires more work on the part of your lawyer. Do your part to read related articles, talk to your attorney, and learn about the different pricing options that exist. Remember that a local personal injury attorney may have a different price than what you see online.
It is natural for a person to try to catch themselves when falling, that type of quick response can stop the fall all together, or make the injuries worse. When using your feet, knees or hands to prevent the fall, you could tear a ligament or tendon. These injuries can be treated with surgery and physical therapy, these type of injuries cause those injured to suffer life-long consequences that more often than not never completely heal.
You would file a personal injury lawsuit in this instance to pursue compensation for immediate medical bills that stem from the crash and future medical expenses, such as rehabilitation. There are also damages available for lost wages, because of an inability to work and the lost ability to work in the future, along with compensation for the physical and emotional suffering you’ve endured.
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Thus, an easy way to think about landowner liability for slip and fall accidents is to split it into two tracks: liability for people who were invited onto the property and liability for people who were not invited onto the property. Landowners owe people who were invited onto the property (invitees and invited licensees) the duty to prevent slips and falls. For people who were not invited onto the property (uninvited licensees and trespassers), landowners owe no such duty.
The other thing to remember is that the insurance company is NOT on your side. The insurance company is in business to make money, and it makes money when it pays out less money to you on a claim than it otherwise has to. The insurance company tries to accomplish this by arguing (1) the accident was completely or partially your fault, and so you should only be paid a reduced amount on your claim, and (2) you haven’t provided sufficient documentation to support your claims of loss. Sometimes it may argue both points with you.
Generally, property owners and occupants owe a duty to use reasonable care to maintain any property under their control. This duty is usually owed to those on the property lawfully, such as a business' customers or social guests who have been invited. To meet the standard of care, the property owner or occupant will have to regularly check for spilled substances or uneven surfaces. In many states, this duty does not extend to trespassers.
For automobile accidents in California, a plaintiff must show proof of financial responsibility (California Vehicle Code sections 16000-16078) and have a valid driver's license to claim economical and non-economical damages. Proving the minimum financial responsibility means that a person must be insured by the state's minimum coverage of insurance, which in some cases may be referred to "limited liability" type of insurance. If the person at fault cannot prove financial responsibility, a plaintiff may be unable to obtain damages as the person at fault may not be properly financially able to pay for those damages.
Although people of all ages are potential victims of slip and fall accidents, a disproportionate number of older people are injured every year due to falls. The Center for Disease Control estimated that, in 2005, 15,800 people age 65 and older died from fall-related injuries, 1.8 million ages 65 and older were treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries, and over 433,000 people age 65 and older were hospitalized.
The answer to this question is complicated. In order to have any right to collect compensation for your injuries, the other driver involved in the accident must have been at fault. If you did not cause the accident and have been hurt, your ability to recover money depends on the type of insurance you have selected and the severity of your injuries.
Since Colorado applies comparative fault to premises liability cases, a Denver jury will need to determine to what degree you were responsible for your own injury. The opposing side will try to show that you were to blame for your own injury. Part of our task as your slip-and-fall attorneys is to prepare for how the opposing side may attempt to shift the blame for the accident. We work to collect evidence to rebut that argument.
Chances are strong that there are going to be have to be conversations with your lawyer regarding your medical bills and your property damage. Your personal injury lawyer and personal injury law firm will make sure that the medical bills are paid and that the property damage claim to your vehicle is paid in a timely fashion so you can get your car back on the road. The time to start that process is right after you leave the emergency room or are released by the accident investigation team that arrives to set up the driver information exchange for your accident.