Posted on: 22 September 2016
Injuring yourself at a place of business can be stressful on many levels – you are in pain, you may miss work, there are now medical bills to deal with, and the event may also have been embarrassing. For all of these reasons you may be considering a personal injury lawsuit against the business, especially if their insurance is failing to compensate you fairly. Before calling a lawyer, read through the following points to see if you have a case.
#1: You may have been negligent
If your injury occurred due to your own negligence, the business may not be responsible. Examples of personal negligence include going into an area that is listed as off-limits to non-employees, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or behaving in a manner that is deemed unsafe. If there is a chance that you were negligent, you will need to consult with a lawyer to see if you still have a case. In some cases, your negligence may affect the amount you are compensated, but it may not rule out all compensation.
#2: The business may not have been negligent
The business has to have actually been negligent in providing reasonable safety accommodations. For example, if someone spills there drink and then you slipped and fell on it within a minute of it occurring, the business may not be found negligent since it was unreasonable for them to have cleaned up or cordoned off the area in the short time window. On the other hand, if an employee was mopping and failed to put up warning signs, your slip on the wet floor could be considered company negligence since your accident could have been avoided.
#3: The accident must result in significant injuries
A personal injury case must result in actual injuries. Bruised pride or even a bruised knee aren't usually sufficient, since these heal quickly with no medical costs or loss of work. If the injury resulted in medical bills, lost work, or a long recovery or permanent disability, then you have a case. Also, while pride may not be covered, psychological damage can fall under personal injury. Consult with an attorney to see if your condition qualifies.
#4: The settlement amount must be realistic
Insurance policies cover up to a maximum settlement amount. If your injury costs exceed this amount, then your suit will revert to the owner of the business where the injury occurred. In some cases, this isn't worth the cost of a drawn-out court case if the owner will not be able to financially cover the remaining suit amount. It's best to consult with a lawyer before a settlement offer. This way, they can help you navigate the process to see whether it is worthwhile to pursue more or to accept the settlement, even if it is less than your losses.
For more information, contact Bendell Law Firm or a similar organization.Share