If you have recently sustained an injury from a fall on public property or at a place of business, a bite from a neighbor’s dog, or another type of injury on someone else’s property, you might need a premises liability lawyer.
What Is a Premises Liability Lawyer?
A premises liability lawyer is a lawyer who helps people who have had accidents or personal injuries due to negligence on a particular property. There are many aspects to a premises liability claim, and a lawyer can help gather evidence, determine whether a valid claim exists, and decide if part of the claim is to have the issue resolved and/or to receive compensation for the injuries.
What Does a Premises Liability Attorney Do?
State law and federal laws set up requirements for properties that they have to be kept safe. It is expected that rented apartments or similar housing buildings, offices, restaurants, hotels, or other public places adhere to a degree of safety.
The legal term “negligence” is often used with premises liability. Negligence means that someone, usually a property owner, failed in their duties or requirements under state and federal law. This type of negligence means that they knew of existing hazards or unsafe conditions and chose not to do anything about them.
If, for example, it’s early morning after a big snowstorm, you can’t expect business owners to already have their parking lots completely clear of ice or other hazards. But you can expect that, once they get to work and open business for the day, they make an effort to remove any ice or snow to make the area safe for people to walk to and from the business. If a business owner has refused to clear the area after a reasonable time, and someone is hurt in a slip-and-fall accident, that injury might be grounds for a lawsuit for compensation.
A premises liability attorney can help the person who sustained the injury to file a claim with the business owner’s insurance provider. Properties are expected to maintain certain levels of insurance for these situations. The process includes submitting paperwork and evidence to substantiate the injury claim to the insurance provider in exchange for compensation for injury-related expenses.
In the event that the insurance company denies the claim when there is sufficient grounds for negligence, a premises liability attorney can help to take the case to the next level by submitting an official lawsuit in court.
When to Hire a Premises Liability Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer for premises liability near you as soon as possible after an injury can offer substantial benefits to the injured party, including:
- Assisting in gathering evidence while the victim is still recovering;
- Building a strong case;
- Meeting claims and court filing deadlines; and
- Generally alleviating stress throughout the process.
How Do I Choose a Premises Liability Attorney?
Premises liability attorneys near you will vary in qualifications, experience, and cost. Weigh each factor carefully to find the lawyer who is the best fit for you.
The most important factor when choosing a premises liability attorney is his or her qualifications. Look for an attorney who either specializes in premises liability cases or who regularly handles premises liability cases along with other types of personal injury cases.
Similarly, you will want to find an attorney who has experience with similar cases. You might also consider whether the attorney has experience representing clients in cases that do not settle outside of court.
Because lawyers for personal injury cases are paid a percentage of their client’s winnings, known as a contingency fee, plus expenses, overall cost is not usually much of a concern. However, because not all attorneys offer free consultations, there may be an upfront cost to consider. During or after the consultation, the decision will be made by the attorney whether or not to take the case and by the injured party whether or not to hire that lawyer. The details about how the premises lawyer will be paid should be explained as part of the consultation, and this information will likely be a deciding factor.
How Much Does the Average Premises Liability Lawyer Cost?
The best premises liability lawyer near you will charge based on a contingency fee. A premises liability attorney falls under the umbrella of personal injury lawyers, and in most personal injury cases, attorneys will evaluate your case during the initial consultation and determine whether there are legitimate grounds for a liability claim. If they take the case, they can only charge a contingency fee, a percentage of the final settlement, plus expenses. This is generally between 30 and 40 percent of any winnings.
Do Premises Liability Attorneys Usually Charge for Consultations?
Premises liability law lawyers near you usually do not charge for the initial consultation. However, this is a good question to ask when calling to set up an appointment for a consultation at any law firm.