4 Reasons Why You Should Consult an Attorney if You’re Injured on Someone Else’s Property


injuries in florida

When you’re injured while on property owned by someone else, it’s important to consult an attorney to protect your rights. The property owner could be liable for your injuries under Premises Liability laws. Even if you make a complete recovery, you could be entitled to financial compensation.

If a property owner did something to cause or contribute to your injuries, he could be legally liable for your medical bills, lost wages, rehab costs, money for pain and suffering, and more. But how would you know what you’re entitled to if you don’t have someone on your side who understands premises liability issues? Here are four things to consider.

1- Serious injuries may change your life

If you get hurt on someone’s premises due to a slip-and-fall, dog-bite or other circumstances, the injuries may heal, but they could leave you financially devastated. You may have medical insurance, but copayments and deductibles can drain your cash.

If you lose time from work, your employer may pay only a percentage of your salary, or he might not pay anything at all. If you are left with a permanent disability, you could lose your job altogether.

Injuries can be serious. They can change your life. You need someone who is willing to fight for you to get the benefits you deserve.

2- Insurance issues can get complicated

Business owners have liability coverage to pay for injuries that occur as a result of their business operations. Homeowners have liability insurance coverage as well. If you’re injured on their property, they should file a claim with their insurance company, but what if they don’t?

Your attorney can place a property owner on formal notice of your rights and the owner’s responsibilities. He can insist or demand that they turn in a claim. When they do, he can deal with the insurance company on your behalf.

That means he’ll conduct his own investigation and analyze the liability and the injuries. He will present your case to the insurance company’s adjuster, so you don’t have to.

3- Liability can be questionable

Just because you’re injured on someone else’s property, it doesn’t mean you’re entitled to compensation, but who makes that judgment call? Often it’s up to the property owner’s insurance company.

They will investigate on their insured’s behalf and decide to pay you or not. Their decision should be based on the facts, on witnesses statements, and on the relevant legal issues, but it can sometimes become a simple matter of the property owner’s word against yours. What then?

Your attorney will get to the bottom of the liability issues and insist that the insurance company handle your case fairly. He will try to negotiate a settlement on your behalf, but if the insurance company isn’t willing to offer a fair settlement, your attorney can present you with other alternatives.

4- Your attorney doesn’t have to file a suit to get a settlement

Your attorney can always sue the property owner, but only if you agree. Many premises liability cases are settled outside of the courtroom, so he will only file a lawsuit if it’s necessary.

If he determines that the property owner is legally liable for your injuries, your attorney can try to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. If the insurance company refuses to settle, the courts encourage alternate dispute resolution services such as mediation or arbitration to resolve your case.

If you are injured on someone else’s premises, you could be entitled to medical bills, lost wages, and more. But you might not get the settlement you deserve if you don’t have an attorney to help you sort through the issues.

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Howard Iken is a Florida attorney that practices in family law, bankruptcy, and criminal law. He can be reached at www.myfloridalaw.com