Premises liability claims encompass many types of accidents, such as slip and fall accidents, dog bites, negligent security claims, and swimming pool accidents. You could suffer long-term injuries—traumatic brain injuries, back and neck injuries, internal organ damage, and paralysis are only a few. You will need compensation from the negligent party to pay your medical bills, reimburse you for your lost wages, and more. In order to receive what you are entitled to, it will be crucial that you identify the responsible party or parties. This may be more challenging than you think. However, an experienced premises liability attorney can investigate your claim and determine who you should file a claim with.
Why it Is Important to Identify ALL the Liable Parties in Your Premises Liability Case
In some cases, there could be more than one business, property owner, or other party who shares liability. If you think that you do not need to pursue claims with all responsible parties in your case, you are making a big mistake. You could be hurting your ability to obtain the full value of your claim. Here’s why pursuing claims with all of the negligent individuals and commercial entities is important:
- If one responsible party has no or inadequate liability insurance, you may not receive adequate compensation if you only focus on him. When you pursue every party who could be responsible, you have one or more other insurance companies that you may be able to file a claim with.
- If more than one party was negligent and you only file a claim with one of their insurance companies, his insurance adjuster could argue that it is only partially at fault and only owes you a portion of the value of your claim. This could leave you with an insufficient settlement if you did not pursue your rights against whoever else contributed to your accident.
- If you wait to see what settlement you receive from one party before pursuing claims with other ones, the statute of limitations for suing them may have expired.
Who Should You Look to for Compensation?
Liability in premises liability case can be complex and can depend on legal nuances and contractual agreements between the property owner and other parties as to who bears responsibility to maintain the property and for accidents. Here are some of the potential parties who could be responsible for compensating you:
- Property owners. The property owner will be the first party you would look to for compensation. If you are hurt at someone’s home or the business that owns the property and also occupies it, their liability is fairly straightforward. However, even if the property owner or business leased out the property, he could still face liability if he was responsible for repairs or retained control over common areas, such as the parking lot, and you suffered a fall there.
- Lessees. Often a business or other commercial entity will lease the property where you suffered an injury. In their lease, they may agree to be responsible for maintenance of the property—and responsible for compensating you. Determining who is liable can depend on the lease, and your attorney will need to obtain a copy of it to sort out liability issues.
- Property manager. Some property owners will hire a property manager to perform the day-to-day duties of renting out apartments, office space, or retail shops, and to maintain and repair common areas, such as hallways, elevators, stairways, and parking lots. In these cases, the property manager could face at least partial responsibility for compensating you.
- Condominium associations. Like a property manager, a condo association is often responsible for the upkeep of common areas and could face responsibility if you suffer an injury in one of these areas.
- Security company. If the property owner hired a security guard or company to patrol the property and otherwise provide security, you could have a claim against them for negligent security if their negligence resulted in you being injured as a victim of a crime.
- Third party. If an individual’s criminal actions on another’s property caused your injuries, you may be able to pursue compensation from him in a civil lawsuit or as restitution as part of his sentence in his criminal case.
At Brauns Law, we understand the importance of thoroughly investigating your claim and identifying all liable parties so that you receive the compensation that you deserve. If you were hurt in a premises liability accident, call our office today to schedule your free consultation to learn about your legal options.