If you received an injury at someone’s home, you might have more medical bills and additional costs than you bargained for. But how can you know if your injury was caused by owner negligence that might warrant a lawsuit for injury compensation? Here are some details to consider.
The State of the Property
Not every injury that occurs on someone’s private property can result in a personal injury settlement. Some accidents truly are no one’s fault, and these might not be covered by civil protections. However, if the injury was caused by a person’s negligence, you will almost always have a case. Usually, negligence is indicated by the state of the property.
For example, if you were invited to a New Year’s Eve party and the person who invited you knew it had snowed all day but had done nothing to clear up the snow, this person would be liable for any injuries caused by the snow, including slips and falls. Other indications of negligence include:
- Broken steps or railings.
- Wet flooring where people normally walk.
- Potholes in sidewalks
- Uneven walkways.
- Missing handrails on stairs
After your injury, make note of the circumstances surrounding the accident. If the owner of the property knew about the problem and did not fix it before having guests over, the fault of injury will lie with them.
The Nature of the Invitation
Not all people who come onto a property are permitted to be there. You might not be able to seek damages if you were not invited, if you have been asked to leave or if you were committing a crime while you became injured.
There is an exception to these restrictions. Generally, young children are not considered to be trespassers, as they often do not have full knowledge of their actions. If a child is drawn to the property by a large toy or animal, the owner of the property may still be liable for damages.
Additional liabilities extend beyond the normal expectation of safety for a guest. For example, if the owner of the property has several dogs and one of these dogs attacks you while you are visiting, the dog is an additional liability to the owner, and, as a result, you might be able to receive even more compensation for your injury. Other examples of things that might increase an owner’s responsibility for the safety of guests include:
These are a very common source of injury for visitors, especially for children. Since injuries can be severe, most property owners carry additional liability coverage to help protect against the potential for injuries.
Small farm vehicles, such as ATVs and tractors, can cause injuries to teens and young adults. Property owners have increased responsibility to know who is driving or even near their equipment.
If you or a family member are injured because of these “extras,” your case will stand even if there is a sign posted to play or use something at your own risk.
Even if you were injured and it was not the fault of the owner, it’s a good idea to talk with a lawyer. Sometimes a person’s home insurance will still help cover medical costs, even if you are not able to recoup any other expenses like lost wages or pain and suffering compensation.
If you have a personal injury case you’d like to discuss with a lawyer, contact at Friedman Rodman & Frank, P.A. They can help you understand the civil protections that you enjoy under the law.