Tupelo Premises Liability Attorneys Fighting for the Rights of Clients Injured Due to Someone Else’s Negligence in Tupelo, MS
Premises liability claims are among the most common types of personal injury claims in the United States. But what exactly is a premises liability case, and how do you get compensation for damages with this type of claim? Our attorneys explain how premises liability cases work in Mississippi and what you can do to receive a payment if you are injured.
What Is a Premises Liability Case?
Premises liability is a category of personal injury case that involves an individual who is visiting a private property (such as a home, apartment complex, retail store, or place of business) and encounters a hazardous situation that results in that person getting injured and suffering significant losses. This can also happen in a public place controlled by a government entity. The most common type of premises liability case is a slip-and-fall accident.
Premises liability claims are based on negligence because it is understood that the party who is in control of the property has the duty of care to ensure that the area is safe and free of potential hazards that could lead to an accident and hurt a visitor or client. However, the party responsible for the property failed to remedy a certain hazard or provide sufficient warning to alert others about the danger, and someone ended up getting hurt because of that. This is often referred to in legal terms as a “breach in the duty of care” and is the cornerstone of most premises liability cases.
Are All Premises Liability Cases the Same as Slip-And-Fall Cases?
Premises liability and slip-and-fall are terms used interchangeably to describe similar events, and while a slip-and-fall is indeed a frequent type of premises liability claim, other types of accidents may also fit under the premises liability category. Any type of accident that results from a hazardous condition found on private or public property and causes significant injuries to the victim due to the negligence of the party in control of the area may qualify as a premises liability case, with a few exceptions.
Examples of other types of accidents that could result in a premises liability claim may include snow and ice accidents, elevator and escalator accidents, swimming pool accidents, accidents suffered at an amusement park or due to defective amusement park rides, defective or poorly maintained premises, and injuries caused by the lack of sufficient building security. Dog bite cases may also be classified as a type of premises liability case, but each dog bite case may be affected by local laws and ordinances, depending on where the dog bite incident occurred.
Who Is Liable for Damages Caused by a Premises Liability Accident?
In general terms, the party in control of the property or area where your accident took place may likely be financially responsible for any damages if the victim can prove the accident was a direct cause of that party’s negligence, but each case is different. For example, if you were injured while visiting someone’s residence and that person has a homeowner’s insurance policy that covers personal liability claims, the insurance carrier may provide damages compensation to the accident victim. If the injury occurred at a place of business (such as a store or office building), that business may be held liable, and you may be able to file a claim through their business insurance policy.
A premises liability case can also occur at work, which could be considered a work injury. Since most employers in Mississippi are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance, any work-related injuries (including premises liability cases) may be covered by worker’s compensation, with a few exceptions. If the party responsible for your accident did not have any type of insurance, you might have the option of recovering compensation through a civil lawsuit with the help of an attorney.
How Much Money May I Be Entitled to Receive for a Premises Liability Claim?
When you are hurt and unable to work, your main concern may be how much money you may receive for your premises liability claim. However, because each case is unique, it is hard to provide an accurate estimate without analyzing the specific circumstances surrounding your accident and injuries. While it is easy to find online “personal injury calculators” that promise to let you know how much compensation you may receive for your case just by answering a few questions, these tools often yield inaccurate results with figures that are either too low or excessively high.
As a general guideline, the value of your claim is determined in part by the severity of your injuries and the extent of damages resulting from your accident. The more significant your damages and the more serious your injury, the more your claim may be worth. Seeing an attorney is the first step to obtaining a more accurate case value.
The types of damages included in most premises liability cases typically include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are tangible financial losses that happened as a direct result of the accident. These may include items such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Proving economic damages is usually simple, as documents such as medical billing statements, vehicle repair estimates, or bank statements can easily demonstrate how much the accident has cost you. But an injury has the potential to affect a lot more than just your finances. For that reason, you may also be able to seek compensation for non-economic damages, which may include pain and suffering, emotional distress and trauma caused by the accident and injury, sometimes taking into account the pain and suffering you may endure as part of your recovery as well. Non-economic damages are more subjective, and you may need to rely on medical records and even expert witnesses to properly document the extent of your non-economic damages.
Finally, some cases may also involve punitive damages. Punitive damages are not part of every personal injury claim and are only allowed at the discretion of the court when the party responsible for controlling and maintaining the premises where your accident occurred has acted with gross negligence or extreme recklessness. When available, punitive damages are paid in addition to simple damages, with the goal of punishing the defendant’s behavior and discouraging similar behavior in the future. Punitive damages work similarly to a fine for criminal action but have no criminal implications and are handled by a civil court, and are not usually available as part of a simple insurance settlement. If you wish to know whether you may be able to seek punitive damages for your case or not, it is best to consult an attorney.
Do I Need an Attorney to Initiate a Premises Liability Claim in Mississippi?
Because premises liability is a fairly common personal injury case type and it is not unusual for insurance companies and even the courts to find themselves dealing with frivolous slip-and-fall cases, it is in your best interest to get the help of an attorney so you can build a strong case with all the necessary evidence to support your argument. In addition, handling all the paperwork and insurance phone calls that are part of the claim process can quickly become a tiring, confusing and overwhelming task for most people.
By working with an attorney, you can not only rest assured your case is being put together properly, but you can also let your attorney handle all aspects of your case on your behalf, so all you need to do is to focus on healing and getting back on your feet. The attorneys at Rundlett Law Firm, PLLC, have successfully handled countless premises liability cases on behalf of clients in the Tupelo, MS area and vicinities, and they are ready to assist you, too. If you have been hurt in a premises liability accident, reach out to Rundlett Law Firm, PLLC by calling (662) 502-5195 to see how we can help.