In the aftermath of an injury while on the property of another (whether at your neighbor’s house or the grocery store), one of the first decisions you will have to make is whether you will retain an attorney to assist you. This may not be as easy of a decision as you might think: While most people would think that an injury victim would be silly not to hire an attorney, these same individuals may hesitate to do so if the property owner on whose property they were injured is a close friend or family member. Is an premises liability attorney truly necessary after an injury on the property of another?
The answer depends on your goals and expectations.
Overview of Premises Liability Cases
Premises liability suits are a type of personal injury lawsuit filed by individuals who are injured while on the property of another. Such suits allege that the victim’s injuries were due to a dangerous condition on the property that the owner should have known about and either warned the victim about or corrected prior to the victim’s arrival. Depending on the precise nature of the “dangerous condition,” a victim may suffer burns, spine and neck injuries due to falls, broken bones, and other trauma that can, in turn, lead to thousands of dollars of expenses and losses. A premises liability suit seeks to hold a careless or negligent property owner who failed to take appropriate measures to safeguard his or her guests accountable for the harm that befalls them.
Can a Premise Liability Attorney Help Settle My Case?
When a premises liability accident occurs on the property of a friend or family member, both you and the property owner have an incentive to settle your case. Prolonged litigation and court hearings can damage even the strongest of friendships, and family dinners are likely to be much frostier if your family learns you have filed a lawsuit against your brother, mother, or other family member because of your injuries. Settlements are usually a quick and discreet way to resolve premises liability claims. However, before you verbally agree with Uncle Rick or your neighbor Eunice to accept $100 and “call it even,” you may wish to speak with an experienced premises liability attorney.
Unless you have previously suffered a slip and fall or other premises liability injury, it is difficult to appreciate the harm that these injuries truly cause. Agreeing to settle your case without having assistance in valuing your case and calculating the true “cost” of your injuries can result in you accepting a settlement that does not adequately address all of your expenses and losses. You would either then need to shoulder the difference yourself or go back to the property owner and hope he or she is willing to give you more money (not likely).
Contrary to popular opinion, bringing an attorney into your case even if you intend to settle your matter does not complicate your case or cause unnecessary strife. Your attorney can assist you and the property owner in crafting a written settlement agreement that protects your rights and addresses your needs while being fair to the property owner. If you are speaking with adjustors from the property owner’s insurance carrier, your attorney can help ensure the settlement agreement you accept gives you the compensation you need to move forward with financial confidence and security.
How Can My Premises Liability Attorney Help Me if There is No Settlement?
If the property owner is not willing to settle your case or you and the property owner cannot agree on the terms of a settlement, your case will likely proceed to trial. Presenting a case to a judge or jury can be extremely stressful, and remembering the rules that regulate what evidence and testimony can be presented can be confusing even for some attorneys. A premises liability attorney who has experience practicing in court can help you present your case in a powerful and persuasive way, increasing the likelihood that you will obtain a favorable result.
Choosing the Right Premises Liability Attorney
When choosing a premises liability attorney, be certain to ask about the attorney’s background and practice. Laws affecting premises liability cases can change over time, so it is helpful to be represented by an attorney familiar with the most current laws for your jurisdiction. Your attorney should also have experience in taking cases to trial: You want to be certain that your attorney will respect your “bottom line” and would be prepared to fight on your behalf in court if a settlement was not possible.
Stern Law, PLLC is a dedicated premises liability plaintiff law firm with years of experience protecting our injured clients’ rights in and out of the courtroom. We handle premises liability cases in a professional but active manner: We want to help you get the compensation you require for your medical bills and expenses as soon as possible. Contact us at (844) 808-7529 to learn how we can help you achieve these goals in your case.