IS MY INJURY COVERED BY THE PROPERTY OWNER'S PREMISE LIABILITY INSURANCE?
IS MY INJURY COVERED BY THE PROPERTY OWNER'S PREMISE LIABILITY INSURANCE?
IS MY INJURY COVERED BY THE PROPERTY OWNER'S PREMISE LIABILITY INSURANCE?
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IS MY INJURY COVERED BY THE PROPERTY OWNER’S PREMISE LIABILITY INSURANCE? 

James' small son was injured at his housing association's swimming pool. Maria slipped and fell in the aisle of a grocery store. Alfonso broke several ribs when a balcony collapsed at a private party. Are you considering suing a property owner for an injury that occurred on their premises? Premises liability insurance covers literally thousands of different kinds of incidents that caused injury. Premises liability insurance pays for an injury that occurred due to an unsafe or defective condition on someone else's property. It's important to understand that a property owner has responsibilities. The property owner is obliged to provide "˜Duty of Care'. This means the property owner must provide a reasonably safe environment. Therefore, the cornerstone of any premises liability insurance case rests on proving negligence. Premises liability insurance covers a broad range of accidents.  If you experienced personal injury, loss or sickness due to the negligence or the wrongdoing of a property owner then premises liability insurance should provide financial compensation. This compensation can also cover emotional trauma and financial issues created by the incident. Premises liability insurance covers both residential and commercial properties. If an injury happened to you on someone's property, whether residential or commercial, it's important to speak to an attorney right away. Conditions might change quickly at the location of the incident or become difficult to recreate. If you slipped on the icy walkway at your dentist's office that's a condition that can change quickly and make investigation of the incident more difficult. Keep in mind that a person's property extends to driveways, walkways, land, pool and other outside areas. States have different requirements regarding the responsibilities of the property owner. Some states require an owner to use reasonable care in the maintenance of their property for all people who might enter. Other states limit the responsibilities of the property owner based on the status of the person who has entered the property. A person's status falls into one of three categories:

  • Invitee
  • Licensee
  • Trespasser

An "˜Invitee' is a person who has the owner's permission to be on their property. This permission can be explicit or implied. Explicit permission might include guests who received an invitation to a party on the property. Implied permission might include a neighbor or relative who visits regularly and a special invitation is not the norm. A "˜Licensee' is also a person who has the owner's permission to be on their property.  This permission can, again, be explicit or implied. However in this case the Licensee is on the property for his or her own reasons. Examples of a licensee might be a meter reader, a salesperson, a pizza delivery person or the like. A "˜Trespasser' is a person who does not have the owner's permission to be on the property either explicit or implied. A property owner typically has no obligations should a trespasser be hurt on their property. However, if the trespasser is a child then the property owner must show that reasonable care was taken to avoid a foreseeable risk. For instance if there is a safety fence surrounding a pool, but the gate lock is broken, then it is a foreseeable risk that a child might open the gate and fall into the pool. Laws regarding premises liability can vary from state to state. Every situation is different and can be complicated. An example would be that in one state a landlord and property owner might be liable for an injury that occurs within a tenant's apartment. In other states the landlord or property owner is not liable. Different states also have different laws regarding the monetary amount a victim might receive for a particular injury. State statutes of limitations could dictate how much time you have from the date of your injury to file your case. Your premises liability attorney can guide you through the rules in your state as well as advising on what the property owner's insurance policy guarantees. Based on the type of insurance policy purchased by the premise's owner there will typically be a cap on the monetary amount a victim might receive for a particular injury. The premise's owner might have purchased a one hundred-thousand-dollar policy, or they might have purchased a one million dollar policy.  However, an excellent law firm that specializes in premises insurance claims, such as AZ Legal Injury Attorneys, have been able to win settlements or jury awards far above the monetary caps dictated by the insurance company. It's important to understand that just because a person was injured on someone's property, it does not automatically make the owner guilty of negligence.  The judge and jury will strongly consider whether the injured person acted with reasonable care or if the injured person was reckless and their actions contributed to his or her accident. If there was a sign clearly posted warning of a danger then this may negate a premises liability claim. For instance if a door was marked "˜Employees Only' but a non-employee entered anyway, and then was injured, then the injured person may not have a valid premises liability claim. Perhaps you might share part of the blame for your accident. Some states use a "comparative negligence" formula when determining monetary damages. The court might determine that you are 25% at fault and the property owner is 75% at fault. As an example if the court awards you $100,000, 25% would then be deducted from that amount. You would end up with $75,000. A premises liability insurance case must prove evidence of personal negligence by the owner.  It must be proven that the owner knew, or reasonably should have known, about the potential danger. Then, that the owner did nothing or not enough to fix it the hazard. Four Key Elements Are Required To Prove A Premises Liability Insurance Case. The person who caused your injury was directly in charge of the property. This person could be a landlord, manager, owner/operator or someone similarly in charge. Example: If the lights were out in your favorite shop at the mall, and you tripped and broke your knee in the dark, then it is the shop owner's responsibility to make you whole - not the owner of the mall. The person in control of, or managing, the property was negligent. You have the responsibility to show that the person in charge of the property was in some way negligent in the reasonable care and maintenance of the property. This negligence created an unsafe environment. This unsafe environment led to the hazard that caused your injury. Example: Keeping with the above example, the shop owner had a responsibility to fix the lights. The lights were not fixed and thereby created the hazard. You were injured on the property. You must have sustained your injury as a direct result of the hazard on the property. Injuries that occur on the premises, but not as the result of a hazard, are not the premise's owner's responsibility. Example: The hazard in this shop owner's case is that the lights were out and the shop was darkened. The direct result of this condition is that you fell and were injured. The property owner's negligence caused your injury. It's not enough to show that a hazard on someone's property caused you injury. You must show that the premise's or property owner was knowingly negligible in fixing the hazard. You must show that the premise's or property owner did not use proper care to ensure that they were providing a reasonably safe environment. Example: In the case of the darkened shop, was there a sudden city wide electrical black out which led to the darkened shop and therefore your injury? This would not be a case of negligence on the part of the premise or property owner. Conversely, let's assume the lights been flickering on and off for months then finally went dark while you were present. The premise or property owner had plenty of warning that the lights should be fixed yet did not do so. This is a case of negligence on their part. Nine Recommended Actions to Help Prove Your Premises Liability Case. Inform the premises' or property owner immediately of your injury Ideally the premise's or property owner would have been present or nearby at the time of your injury and seen your injuries when they occurred. Make detailed notes of the incident as soon as possible including anything the premise's or property owner said at the time. Take photos and video Document the hazard that caused your injury with photos and video. It's best to take the photos and video on the same day you were injured. If you can't do this on the day of your injury do it as soon as possible thereafter. Don't give the property owner time to fix the situation and erase the evidence.  It's also possible that security cameras were present and recorded the occurrence. Your premises liability lawyer can help obtain any recordings. Obtain eyewitness contact information If at all possible, obtain the names and contact information of anyone who was present at the time of your injury. Eyewitnesses can be very helpful in establishing how the incident occurred and what the conditions were at that time. If the police were involved chances are good that they will have this contact information. Police / Accident Reports If the police were called to the scene of your injury then a police report will have been filed. This might contain critical information to aid your premises liability insurance claim. If you reported your accident to the property owner make sure to retain copies of records including texts, voicemails and emails. Insurance Policies By receiving a copy of the property owner's insurance you will know exactly what their insurance covers and for how much money. Your premises liability lawyer can help you obtain this. Lease Agreements / Property Ownership You need to show in court that you are suing the correct person. The lease or property title will show that the defendant was the owner of the property at the time of your injury.  Your premises liability lawyer can help you obtain this. Medical Records You will need your medical records to prove the extent of your injury. Make sure to keep records of x-rays, CAT scans, doctor notes and more. It is invaluable as well for your doctor or a medical expert to testify on your behalf. A doctor or medical expert will be able to tell a judge and jury how much medical treatment is needed and for how long. Medical Bills You must show valid records of medical bills in court. This includes the original (or copy) of the bills and proof of any payment made towards those bills. This will help establish how much the treatment has cost in the past as well as how much it might cost in the future. This will help a judge or jury determine monetary compensation for you. Tax Returns Your tax returns and / or pay stubs will show how much money you typically make. If you lost pay by not being able to work due to your injury, this will help a judge or jury determine monetary compensation for past and future lost work payment. You may also need the services of expert witnesses. These witnesses might include your doctors or other people well versed in the situation of your injury. For instance, if you were injured in an elevator then an expert in the installation and operation of elevators might be needed. These witnesses will be identified and secured by your premise's liability lawyer. Just A Few Types of Premises Liability Claims

  • Slip and Fall
  • Unsafe Elevator and Escalator
  • Stair or Porch Collapse
  • Dog / Animal Attack
  • Inadequate Security Leading to Assault or Injury
  • Fires and Burns
  • Unsafe Swimming Pool
  • Snow and Ice Accidents
  • Toxic Fumes, Paint or Chemicals Leading to Illness or Injury
  • Inadequate Maintenance of Premises
  • Defective Conditions on Premises
  • Water Leaks / Flooding Leading to Injury

The below examples are intended to show you a few typical incidents and what types of questions you might ask yourself about your own situation. This will help your premises liability attorney assist you in your case -- as well as saving time (and money) trying to think of details while in your attorney's office. Slip and Fall Example: Gloria slipped in a puddle on the floor of a grocery store. She fell and broke her hip and injured her spine. If a slip and fall led to your injury here are just a few questions to consider:

  1. What event or events led to you being harmed?
  2. Were signs posted warning of any potential danger?
  3. Was the puddle created by a recurring issue such as an overhead leaky pipe?
  4. Was the slippery area caused by a one-time type of occurrence such as a bottle of olive oil breaking on the floor? In this case were floor signs, such as "˜Caution Slippery Floor', posted around the slippery area? How long had the slippery area been left unattended and not cleaned up?
  5. Did you suffer physical injury?
  6. Did you suffer emotional trauma?
  7. Is your livelihood threatened because you cannot work due to your injury?

Unsafe Elevator and Escalator Example: Jose was riding down an escalator in a mall when it stopped suddenly. Jose was thrown forward and fell down several stairs. He injured his head badly and suffered a concussion. To make matters worse, someone stole his wallet while he was unconscious. If a faulty escalator or elevator led to your injury here are just a few questions to consider:

  1. What event or events led to you being harmed?
  2. Were signs posted warning of any potential danger?
  3. Were signs posted such as "˜Hold Handrail At All Times'?
  4. Did you suffer physical injury?
  5. Did you suffer emotional trauma?
  6. Did you suffer a loss of personal belongings?
  7. Is your livelihood threatened because you cannot work due to your injury?

Stair or Porch Collapse Example: Taylor, along with several other people, was on the balcony at a friend's house when the balcony abruptly collapsed. Taylor fell two stories to the ground and broke her leg. If a stair or balcony collapsed, or was otherwise faulty, and it led to your injury here are just a few questions to consider:

  1. What event or events led to you being harmed?
  2. Were signs posted warning of any potential danger?
  3. Were signs posted such as "˜Occupancy 3 People'?
  4. Was the homeowner aware that the balcony was in need of repair?
  5. Would it be reasonable for the homeowner to have warned that the balcony might not hold the weight of that many people?
  6. Did you suffer physical injury?
  7. Did you suffer emotional trauma?
  8. Is your livelihood threatened because you cannot work due to your injury?

Dog / Animal Attack Example: Michael is a delivery person. He was delivering a pizza to a home when a dog raced out as the homeowner opened the front door. The dog severely bit Michael causing serious injuries. If an attack by a dog or another animal led to your injury here are just a few questions to consider:

  1. What event or events led to you being harmed?
  2. Were signs posted warning of any potential danger?
  3. Did you suffer physical injury?
  4. Did you suffer emotional trauma?
  5. Is your livelihood threatened because you cannot work due to your injury?

Inadequate Security Leading to Assault or Injury            Example: Dwayne was robbed in the parking lot of his apartment building. Dwayne then was injured and traumatized when he was tied up to a light pole in the parking lot. If lack of, or poor security led to your injury here are just a few questions to consider:

  1. What event or events led to you being harmed?
  2. Were signs posted warning of any potential danger?
  3. Was the security guard not at his / her post at the time?
  4. Were security cameras in working condition?
  5. Was the lighting in the parking lot appropriate to light the entire lot?
  6. Was the lock broken on a common area door or window?
  7. Did you suffer physical injury?
  8. Did you suffer emotional trauma?
  9. Is your livelihood threatened because you cannot work due to your injury?

Fires and Burns       Example: Luisa was at a restaurant when the waitress tripped on a loose floorboard and spilled a pot of hot coffee on her. The incident caused Luisa third degree burns on her face. If a fire or burn led to your injury here are just a few questions to consider: 

  1. Were signs posted warning of any potential danger?
  2. Should the premise's owner have anticipated this danger?
  3. How long had the danger (in this case, the loose floorboard) been present?
  4. Did you suffer physical injury?
  5. Did you suffer emotional trauma?
  6. Is your livelihood threatened because you cannot work due to your injury?

Unsafe Swimming Pool             Example: Elliott is six years old. At a hotel he gained entry to the swimming pool area because the fence's gate lock was broken. Elliott nearly drowned and suffered brain damage. If an unsecured swimming pool led to your (or your child's) injury here are just a few questions to consider: 

  1. Were signs posted warning of any potential danger? (In this case the child probably could not read or understand the danger).
  2. How long had the lock been broken?
  3. Was the manager or the premise's owner aware of the broken lock before the injury?
  4. Did your child suffer physical injury?
  5. Did your child suffer emotional trauma?
  6. Is your livelihood threatened because you now cannot work due to your child's injury?
  7. Did you, as a parent, suffer emotional trauma due to your child's injuries?
  8. Is the medical treatment predicted to be a lifelong need?

Snow and Ice Accidents            Example: Dominick was walking up the sidewalk to his doctor's office. He slipped and fell on the icy walkway breaking his hand. As a concert violinist he could no longer work. If snow or icy conditions led to your injury here are just a few questions to consider:

  1. Could the owner of the premises reasonably have prevented this accident?
  2. How long had the danger been present?
  3. Did you suffer physical injury?
  4. Did you suffer emotional trauma?
  5. Is your livelihood threatened because you cannot work due to your injury?

Toxic Fumes, Paint or Chemicals Leading to Illness or Injury            Example: Joanne had smelled something odd both inside and outside her apartment for several months. After she became ill with headaches it was discovered that chemicals being stored in the basement of her apartment building were creating toxic fumes. If toxic fumes, paint or chemicals led to your injury or medical issue here are just a few questions to consider: 

  1. Was the premise's owner, landlord or manager aware of the presence of the chemicals?
  2. Was the storage of the chemicals illegal?
  3. Are the chemicals known to create medical issues or injury?
  4. Were signs posted alerting residents to the presence of the chemicals?
  5. Did you suffer physical injury?
  6. Did you suffer emotional trauma?
  7. Is your livelihood threatened because you cannot work due to your injury?

Inadequate Maintenance of Premises            Example: When Frank walked into his auto body repair shop he didn't see the crack in the concrete floor. He tripped on the cracked concrete and fell hard breaking his arm. And, as Frank is a house painter he now cannot use his broken arm. If poor maintenance led to your injury here are just a few questions to consider: 

  1. What event or events led to you being harmed?
  2. Were signs posted warning of any potential danger?
  3. Were signs posted such as "˜Keep Out' or "˜Employees Only'?
  4. Was the lighting appropriate for the area?
  5. Is your livelihood threatened because you cannot work due to your injury?
  6. Did you suffer physical injury?
  7. Did you suffer emotional trauma?

Defective Conditions on Premises            Example: The window frame in Keisha's apartment had always been crooked and the window couldn't shut properly.  One day her small dog jumped against the window and fell out. The dog survived the second story fall but was seriously injured. If defective conditions on the premises led to your injury here are just a few questions to consider: 

  1. Was the premise's owner, landlord or manager aware of the faulty construction?
  2. Had the premise's owner, landlord or manager refused to fix the faulty construction or acted slowly to do so?
  3. Did you, or a loved one, suffer physical injury?
  4. Did you, or a loved one, suffer emotional trauma?
  5. Is your livelihood threatened because you cannot work due to caring for your loved one's, or your own, injury?

Water Leaks / Flooding Leading to Injury            Example: During a rainstorm the sewage tank at Angelina's rental home backed up into the house. Not only were the contents of the house destroyed by raw sewage but Angelina developed Hepatitis A from the exposure. If water leaks or flooding on the premises led to your injury here are just a few questions to consider: 

  1. Was the premise's owner, landlord or manager aware of the issue prior to the event?
  2. Had the premise's owner, landlord or manager refused to fix the issue or acted slowly to do so?
  3. Did you suffer loss of belongings?
  4. Is your livelihood threatened because you cannot work due to your injury?
  5. Did you suffer physical injury?
  6. Did you suffer emotional trauma?

You've probably guessed by now that, in order to receive the compensation you deserve for your injury, you'll need a good lawyer. And not just any lawyer but one who specializes and excels in premises liability insurance claims.  You'll need a lawyer who is not afraid to get tough with the opponents. You'll need a lawyer who knows the in's and out's of insurance companies and the legal system. AZ Legal Injury Attorneys is a great example of a top ranked firm that specializes in premises liability insurance claims. Good luck with your claim. Hopefully this article helped to educate you in order to gain the best possible financial outcome. If you liked this article please "˜Like' and "˜Share' on social media.

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