Do I Need a Lawyer for My Premises Liability Case?
June 14, 2023
Whether you’re shopping at a store or you rent a property, the owners of those places have a responsibility to uphold. That responsibility is keeping the premises safe to prevent injury, illness, or death. Lack of proper maintenance or warnings of any hazardous conditions that result in an injury or illness is grounds for a premises liability case.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a type of personal injury case covering situations where a person gets hurt on another person’s property. To have a valid case, you must have been injured as a result of the property owner’s negligence.
You don’t need an attorney, but things are more likely to work out more in your favor if you hire one. In Georgia, the laws involving premises liability can be confusing. On top of that, most property owners and their insurance companies will have a legal team that will do everything they can to either deny your claim, get you to settle for less, or make it seem like the accident was your fault.
Your injuries may be more than physical. You could be left with mental trauma and emotional pain. On top of that, you may have medical bills and loss of income from being unable to work after being injured. If you make any mistakes in filing your claim for premises liability, it can cost you. That’s why you should hire a lawyer to take on your premises liability case.
Proving Negligence in Premises Liability Cases
The key to a successful premises liability case lies in proving that the property owner was negligent either in maintaining the premises or in warning others of a dangerous condition. Furthermore, it must be shown that this negligence was a direct or proximate cause of your injuries.
Negligence has four aspects you need to prove—duty, breach, cause, and damages. All property owners have a duty not to cause harm by keeping the premises safe. They breach the duty if their actions or inactions cause an accident that leads to your injuries. As a result, you suffer damages.
Why You Need a Lawyer for Your Premises Liability Case
Since premises liability cases can be complicated, you’ll want an attorney by your side. It isn’t always easy to prove that the business or property owner was at fault for your accident. You’ll be up against a legal team that is ready to fight those liability claims.
With an experienced lawyer, you’ll have a better chance of winning your case. Here’s a look at what a personal injury lawyer will do to help you.
Conduct an Investigation
Your lawyer will launch an investigation to compile evidence. This will be used to build your claim and usually will consist of medical records, an accident report, your pay stubs, photos of the scene, surveillance footage, and testimony from witnesses.
Hiring a lawyer soon after your accident ensures that the evidence is still fresh, especially when it comes to witness testimony. The more time that elapses, the more memories will fade.
Remember that one of the most crucial aspects of a premises liability case is negligence. This is where things can get tricky since you need to show that the owner of the property was careless in failing to fix a hazardous condition or provide ample warning of danger. Since premises liability lawyers know the laws surrounding these cases, they will know how to present supporting evidence to your claims.
Determining Your Damages
If you handle your premises liability case yourself, it islikely that you won’t fully calculate all of your damages. These go beyond medical costs and lost wages to include things like pain and suffering. Your injuries may also create a lifetime full of hardships that require surgery or constant medical care in the future. Without a lawyer, you may settle for less than you need to pay for these things.
Full Knowledge of the Law
Most injury victims don’t know personal injury laws or what kind of compensation they may be able to get in a premises liability case. The insurance companies know this, which is why they try to take advantage when injury victims represent themselves. With a lawyer, the insurance company for the property owner can’t play games and is forced to take your claims seriously.
Ability to Hire Expert Witnesses
In many personal injury cases, especially premises liability, expert witnesses can be instrumental in winning. Doctors, reconstruction experts, and other professionals can help prove the severity of your claim. If you were to fight for your claim on your own, you likely wouldn’t know where to find an expert witness, let alone one who would be relevant to your case. Your lawyer will have plenty of qualified experts who they can call in to help prove the negligence of the property owner and improve your chances of recovering compensation.
Top Negotiating Skills
Not everyone is equipped with excellent negotiation skills. Lawyers build their careers on them, though. Even if you can negotiate in other areas of life, negotiating in this territory is a challenge. Plus, you have injuries you need to recover from, which can make it harder for you to stay focused on the negotiation process. Your lawyer will not settle for a subpar offer that won’t cover your losses. They will negotiate to get you an appropriate settlement.
The Bottom Line
Having a lawyer to represent you for your premises liability case is not required. However, their services can be instrumental in the success of your case. Even if you can get the insurance company to issue a settlement, it will likely be for much less if you charge ahead on your own.
The Pendergrass Law Firm can help you with your premises liability case. You can learn more about how this legal team can work for you during a confidential and free consultation.