When you enter a place that is open to the public, such as a grocery store, a mall, a hardware store, or a movie theater, you are trusting that the building’s owner has made it relatively safe and free from unreasonable dangers. Thus, if you have slipped, tripped, or otherwise hurt yourself due to an unsafe condition in one of these locations, you may be wondering how to go about seeking compensation for the medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other harm that you suffered as a result.
Immediately after your injury, you should seek medical attention. Get a full medical evaluation to determine the full extent of the damage. Keep your medical reports, receipts, and other documentation so that you can use them to seek compensation.
Next, your attorney can seek a settlement negotiation with the property owner. If you are fortunate, the property owner will be willing to compensate you for your medical expenses and other damages, and you will be able to avoid a lawsuit. If the owner is not cooperative, however, a lawsuit may be necessary in order to get what you deserve.
If your case goes to court, your attorney will have to prove several distinct elements. First, they will have to show that you had a legal right to be there – for example, that you were there during normal store hours and that you weren’t trespassing.
Next, they will have to demonstrate that you suffered real injuries. Your medical reports will be essential evidence for this step. Then they will have to prove how your injury was directly caused by an unsafe condition on the premises.
Lastly, they will have to show that the dangerous condition existed because the owner failed to exercise reasonable care to keep the premises safe. For example, if the condition was something that the owner knew or should have known about (such as uneven stairs, spilled liquids, or an icy walkway) and they did not take steps to correct the condition in a reasonable amount of time, this element could be satisfied.
No amount of money can truly make up for the pain and suffering you endure after an accident. But a premises liability lawsuit might be the best way for you to get what you need to take care of your medical bills and other expenses while you recover.