Premises Liability Claims FAQ
Do I Need a Lawyer in a Premises Liability Case?
Indiana law says that an injured person can recover for:
- medical bills
- lost wages
- lost future wages (impairment)
- disfigurement (scars from surgery or lacerations)
- mental anguish (often called "pain and suffering" damages)
Without the support of an experienced Indiana premises liability lawyer like Attorney Jeff "JJ" Shaw, you could expose yourself to several different types of risks such as accepting a settlement offer that is far too low for the injuries you have sustained or signing a release unwittingly and losing your right to future compensation.
Our attorney will help you to decide whether an end to the case is within your best interests and help you to respond and manage requests, questions and phone calls from the homeowners' insurance company or other stakeholders involved in your premises liability claim. In every phase and aspect of your case, it is essential to have an attorney who knows the lay of the land and one who can help you to recover as much funds as possible for your pain and suffering, lost wages, other expenses directly linked to the accident.
Do Stores Have to Remove Snow from Their Property?
There are laws based on the individual state that may or may not require store owners to remove snow. It is simply good planning and minimizing risks for owners of retail premises to have a snow removal and other inclement weather removal program. This is because people can easily slip and fall on ice or snow, sustaining injuries or even damaging the property of the business.
Property owners and residents in Indiana are not allowed to remove snow and transfer it into a public roadway. However, there are other laws that have to do with sidewalks when it comes to slip and falls. In general, it falls to the responsibility of the property owner to take snow off walkways and other areas that visitors could hit and fall down. If a person removes snow from a public path or walkway, he or she could be held liable if a person experiences an injury because of the snow removal.
In a slip and fall case involving snow, you must be able to show that the property owner or manager knew about the condition or had reason to discover it and failed to take appropriate action to minimize the risks. If you slipped and fell or tripped and fell because a property owner did not to physical due diligence to remove dangerous conditions on the property, you can use this information to lodge a premises liability claim.
How Much Is My Premises Liability Claim Worth?
There are many different elements that are included in the calculation of the total value of your premises liability claim.
When you have an attorney to assist you with your claim or case with 30+ years of experience in handling slip and fall cases, who has been invited to speak to other attorneys in Indiana on how to handle slip and fall cases properly, it becomes a lot easier to know how the case might end up. Of course, all cases are different, and no results are guaranteed, but Attorney Jeff "JJ" Shaw has seen thousands of cases and claims that might be like yours. He is familiar with how to point out the good facts or your case and how to avoid many common pitfalls and problems.
Should I Give a Statement to an Insurance Company Adjuster?
The insurance company adjuster is paid to not believe you. The adjuster is paid to get a statement from you before you talk to an experienced attorney so the telephonic recorded statement can be used against you later in court or in a deposition.
What Does Hidden Debris Have to do With a Premises Case?
Debris on any property can be extremely dangerous, but what happens if a person slips and falls or trips and falls because of hidden debris? Hidden debris can change locations such as falling over or landing up in a walkway and thereby, obstructing an area in which a person is expected to pass.
If this occurs and you are the one who suffers, it is imperative that you consult with an Indiana premises liability attorney, such as Jeff Shaw. Jeff Shaw works hard on behalf of all accident victims who suffer in slip and fall accidents in Indiana to recover compensation on their behalf and to assist them with settlement negotiations.
What If an Indiana Homeowner Offers Me Cash to Settle?
If the homeowner comes forward to offer you a cash settlement to forget this issue and to never file a legal claim about it again, this might seem tempting because you probably want to put this matter behind you and move on with your life.
Although it seems like the easy route and one that could even help to maintain a neighborly relationship or a friendship, it could put yourself at a significant disadvantage if the settlement money runs out and you then must pay for all of your medical bills and associated expenses on your own.
No victim in a premises liability accident should have to cope with all of the negative impacts of recovering with such an incident and yet this often happens for people who don’t get counsel from an Indiana premises liability lawyer. At Shaw Law, it is our goal to investigate all the various facts of the case and to advise you about when a settlement offer might indeed be fair and when you should push back for additional compensation. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that a cash settlement offer which comes in a lump sum is going to fully pay for all of the associated expenses.
What Is a Deposition in a Premises Liability Case?
One common aspect of Indiana premises liability cases is known as deposition. This is when critical stakeholders involved in the case are asked to provide their own version of events and to answer questions provided by the other side's legal representation.
This can be a nerve-wracking concept for a person who has already suffered in an accident and who believes that the fact of the case is obvious in and of themselves. However, it is important to be thoroughly prepared for the deposition process and to present as compelling a case as possible during these early stages of the case. The information that you provide in a deposition as well as the information gleaned during the discovery process can be used by your premises liability lawyer to explain to you what to anticipate and your best options for resolution going forward.
Who Is Responsible for a Wrongful Death from a Premises Liability?
The landowner or business owner could be responsible for causing or contributing to the wrongful death of a loved one under Indiana law.
Family members can bring the claim or lawsuit for the estate of the deceased individual. Damages that are recoverable depend upon the status of the deceased person upon his death and whether he had any dependents under Indiana law.
Many deaths that happen on another's property are preventable if simple safety rules had been followed including appropriate warning signs or the removal of the hazard itself.
A slip and fall or trip and fall incident where a person strikes his or her head, for example, could be enough to cause fatal injuries. The brain is a very fragile organ and brain bleeds, if not detected early, can cause death.
Can an Injured Person Recover Against a Business for Negligent Security When Another Customer Causes the Injury?
The concept of “negligent security” has undergone some real changes in Indiana during the prior few years and it has not been in favor of the injured people.
It’s important to remember to establish a claim for “negligence” on the part of any landowner (like a business, store or restaurant) for your injury, first you must show that the landowner owed you a duty. Next, you must show that duty was breached (not met) by the landowner which directly caused the injuries.
To determine whether a duty exists towards the injured person, Courts start with an analysis of whether the general class of persons of which the injured person was a member suffered a harm that could be normally expected. In other words, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that “foreseeability” is an essential component of the duty element of negligence and that analysis starts with looking at who the injured person was and how the injury happened in a general sense.
What Should I Do After I’m Injured?
You need to be evaluated carefully by a medical professional to rule out more serious diagnoses. After you have gotten medical attention, you also need to gather all the evidence surrounding the accident itself such as pictures or videos of the dangerous condition, any accident reports that you had to fill out at the scene of the incident, and your medical records.
Document anything and everything that affects your day-to-day life, including how difficult it is for you to carry out regular activities, how long you missed from work and any additional expense or challenges you face in your day-to-day life. After you have obtained all these materials, schedule a consultation with Jeff Shaw at Shaw Law.
What Is Negligence in A Personal Injury Claim?
Negligence, under Indiana law, is fault. In a negligence claim, you must prove that the other person or the landowner is at fault in causing your injury. You prove it by showing that the other person acted unreasonably under the circumstances. Unreasonable is defined as an individual or landowner who acts differently than other people or landowners would have acted under the same or similar circumstances. The reason car crashes are often settled is because investigators and the police officers produce a written report that clearly displays their conclusions as to who caused the crash.
Under Indiana law, an Indiana crash report cannot be entered into evidence, but the officer can be called before the jury, as a witness, to talk about what the conclusions were. When you are dealing with an insurance company adjuster during the auto crash claim, you will have the advantage of being able to produce the written report of disinterested persons: the accident investigator and the police officer. It is a very persuasive tool. Most insurance company adjusters will accept the written report as a determination of liability.
Indiana law requires landowners do reasonable inspections of their property to determine dangerous conditions. We have numerous clients who have slipped on potholes in parking lots or on uneven sidewalks. Just because 90 percent of slip and fall claims are denied at the starting phase does not mean that slip and fall lawsuits will result in not recovering by the plaintiff. In fact, in 30 years, we have never lost a jury trial. When we go to jury trial, we fully expect to win your case.
What Is the Difference Between a Lawsuit & a Claim?
A lawsuit is different than a claim only in a couple of regards. One of those regards is that it becomes official that at some point, there will be a conclusion to a claim. A lawsuit must end either in a victory for an injured person or a denial victory for the defendant. A claim can stay open forever. If both parties are agreeing to talk about it forever, the injured person and the insurance company can talk indefinitely but a lawsuit must have a beginning and an end.
Indiana law requires that all injured persons bring a lawsuit within two years of the date of the injury or the claim is forever lost. Consequently, bringing a lawsuit is typically a good idea when negotiations between yourself and insurance company’s adjuster break down. Over 90 percent of slip and falls result in a lawsuit being filed. Once a lawsuit has been filed, you will give a recorded statement at a deposition. If you are going to give a recorded statement anyway, it makes good sense to have an attorney with you to prepare you for the questions.
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